I see lots of questions alluding to the Dutch concept of verblijfsvergunning, which my 2003 Dutch language textbook says is required to buy a house in the Netherlands if you’re from another country.

If the “Single European Market stands for ‘free movement’ of people, goods, services and capital,” can such a thing be still required of EU citizens?


1 Answer 1


Such things aren't required of EU citizens. Your 2003 Dutch textbook was written before Directive 2004/38/EC was enacted, and the law in the Netherlands was different then. I was living in Amsterdam at the time, and I had an English colleague who was stopped by a police officer for crossing the street away from a pedestrian crossing and told that he had to go get a residence permit.

That requirement was removed somewhat later, presumably because of directive 2004/38/EC.

  • Thanks. I thought the "free movement" part was in place longer than that.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 6:14
  • @WGroleau In a different form it did exist. This directive formulised it in a more comprehensive manor. It consolidated older regulations and directives Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 6:47
  • @WGroleau Mainly directive (EWG) Nr. 1612/68.. In Germany a residence permit was issued stating that in all matters concerning working the same rights as German citizens applid. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 7:07
  • @WGroleau as Mark Johnson says, the directive consolidated various aspects of free movement. Free movement of workers, for example, had been in place for decades, but freedom for the self-sufficient to relocate was not. The directive also established the principle that residence permits could not be required.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 14:02

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