e-resident card continues to cause misery for EU citizens

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e-resident card continues to cause misery for EU citizensThe ‘Up in Arms’ class action group said today that some schools are refusing to accept the old ‘A’ ID card as proof of residency.

“With most children returning to school in a few short weeks, many due to the e-resident card failure, may well be staying at home. The original ‘A’ ID card was extended till November due to the well publicised shambles of issuing the new e-cards,” the action group said

The statement from the ‘Up in Arms’ class action group said that “parents attempting to enrol their children in school who do not have the new e-residency card are being informed that procedures have changed and they must now take all documents including the e-residency card to the Department of Education in Valletta.

“The old ID card is not acceptable at the D.O.E and without the e-residency card parents will be liable for fees.”

The ‘Up in Arms’ action group added that it has “continued to question the legalities of the new e-residency card and urge all non-Maltese EU / EEA / Swiss citizens not to pay illegal fees to Government schools.”

It also said that it “encourage those experiencing this discrimination to file a petition with The European Parliament Committee on Petitions online in any of the official languages of the European Union at: https://www.secure.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/petition.html.”

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    35 Responses

    1. Oisin Jones-Dillon says:

      The ‘e-Residence Card / New identity card shambles features prominently among the hundreds of ‘Reasons for signing’ which are appended to this petition: – “EU Commission: Stop the discrimination of EU Nationals in Malta”.

      https://www.change.org/petitions/eu-commission-stop-the-discrimination-of-eu-nationals-in-malta

    2. Patricia Graham says:

      This is basically yet another example of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. Who has told the D.O.E (Government schools) that they can no longer accept the old ID card and that the e-card is the only proof of residency that can be accepted? The Minister for Education?
      I’m sorry, but this seems to me yet another excuse to use the EU Citizen as a ‘cash cow’

      As EU citizens, your children are entitled to attend school in any EU country under the same conditions as nationals of that country

    3. Mick Cundy says:

      Can anyone state how many times this has happened? Can anyone cite specific examples? I wonder?

    4. Oisin Jones-Dillon says:

      Re: EU law, your children and their schooling in another EU country.

      The children of EU citizens are entitled to attend school in any EU country under the same conditions as nationals of that country.

      Therefore, the practice of 1) State/Government primary-secondary schools not permitting non-Maltese EU/EEA/Swiss children to attend classes or 2) State/Government primary-secondary schools requiring fees from non-Maltese EU/EEA/Swiss parents unless and until they obtain an ‘e-Residence Card’ is illegal because EU law stipulates that an ‘e-Residence Card’ ‘may under no circumstances be made a precondition for the exercise of a right or the completion of an administrative formality, because entitlement to rights may be attested by any other means of proof.’

      In this connection, the European Commission has confirmed in writing that non-Maltese EU citizens ‘are entitled to prove their right of residence in Malta and any right connected to it by any means of proof (e.g. work contract, former and current payslips, utility bills, etc.).’

      In addition, ‘……Equal treatment requirements are not limited to the government. It applies equally to other institutions in a host member state, for example: employers, businesses, service providers, transportation providers, clubs and hospitals…..’

      Sources: see page 36: Directive 2004/38/EC – Article 25 – General provisions concerning residence documents:

      1) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ%3AL%3A2004%3A158%3A0077%3A0123%3Aen%3APDF

      2) http://eumovement.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/equal-treatment/

      3) http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/education/school/enroll/index_en.htm

    5. Mick Cundy says:

      So, as I asked, how many times in total are you aware of?

      • Patricia Graham says:

        With respect Mr Cundy can I ask you to contact the Up in Arms Action Group at armsclassaction@gmail.com where one of the team will endeavor to answer your questions in full by Tuesday morning. I personally know of 4 and 3 more who have contacted us since this editorial but as of yet haven’t had a chance to verify.

      • Mick Cundy says:

        Thank you, I have done that.

    6. David Reiling says:

      what about naming the schools who are involved.

    7. Tony Nicholls says:

      Left hand and right hand? Although not related to the schools issue I tried to use my new residence card on an Arriva bus in Gozo this morning. The new card does have “60+” on the reverse if you are a senior citizen and entitled to receive concessions on the buses etc. Having waited just under seven months to receive it I was keen to use the new card. However, the Arriva driver refused to accept it and demanded the old blue card. I flicked off an email to Arriva about the issue and am still awaiting their comment.

      I was informed by the Project leader at the Electoral Office that:
      “We are no longer issuing KartaAnzjan for non-Maltese EU nationals. Since January 2013, this has been integrated with the eResidence card issued by the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs.”

      Good idea, but who knows about it? Have they informed everybody? The lady who issues the Karta Anzjan cards in Valletta did not seem to know about this either. Silo management writ large in Floriana and Valletta. The school fees issue unfortunately is another example of silo management. Let’s hope common sense prevails quickly, and ministries start talking to each other.

      • Patricia Graham says:

        “Let’s hope common sense prevails quickly, and ministries start talking to each other.”

        That Tony is the crux of the matter. There is no communication and if there is no communication between Ministries it is almost understandable that Arriva are not going to get the memo.

        Who in their right mind, knowing the absolute bedlam that prevails at the Citizenship office would last week, issue new procedures for non Maltese children enrolling in school? Not just Government schools but all schools. All non Maltese children attending school must have the new e-card or at the very least a receipt saying it is being processed by the end of the year. It’s an absolute nonsense when appointments are like liquid gold. So much for JM cutting red tape and bureaucracy, it seems to me he is creating more.

    8. anthony farrugia says:

      what about a person who was born in Malta to Maltese parents, and cant get a Maltese passport or ID: card, it’s a disgrace.
      perhaps if i came in on a boat i would have been treated better.
      Other EU countries allaw dual ctisenship, but not Malta

    9. Tony Nicholls says:

      Well, I have an answer from Arriva regarding the use fo new residence/ID cards on the buses. so any senior citizens out there can use the new card instead of the Karta Anzjan, but give it time.

      “Our department concerned contacted today the Department for Eldery and Social care and they confirmed new cards are same as kartanzjan. Therefore please accept our apologies and would like to inform you that a sample copy will be circulated around staff to avoid this happening again.

      Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused and feel free to contact us back if you have any further queries.”

      So far, so good…and, despite all their recent problems with the bendy buses, Arriva took time to be pro-active one they realised there was a problem. Good for them! Let us hope the school fees situation gets solved as quickly too.

    10. Dick Stek says:

      I got my new ID card after 8 months.
      I’ve turned 60 since then, do I have to get a new one ?
      To get my Karta Anzjan ?

    11. Mick C says:

      You will need a new one as the card is marked 60+ as Karta Anzjan are no longer issued.

    12. Ray Pizer says:

      If that’s an eResidence card, rather than an ID card, then yes,I think you will need to apply for a new one as the Karta is no longer issued to EU nationals.
      I would imagine you will have to provide the same documents as when applying because of an address change.
      (Our replacement cards took 5 weeks through the Gozo office compared with 7 months for the originals)

      • Mick C says:

        Now EResidence = ID Card to all intents and purposes. Functions for both purposes, though different if Maltese National. ID cards no longer known as or issued as ID cards.

    13. Mick C says:

      E-ID Card Office on Gozo is off St Francis Square, Rabat (Victoria) to the left of the Government Offices.

    14. Oisin Jones-Dillon says:

      @Dick Stek

      In so far as you did not AUTOMATICALLY receive a Kartanzjan on reaching your 60th birthday, the Maltese authorities have violated your EU right to equal treatment to that afforded to Maltese nationals.

      I urge you, therefore, to take 3 minutes to send your own individual petition to the European Parliament Committee on Petitions online.

      If you input your e-mail address on the website form, you will receive a computer generated acknowledgement instantly.

      Simply click on this internet link to do so:

      https://www.secure.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament/en/petition.html

      The IMMEDIATE benefit to you is that possession of a computer generated acknowledgement from the European Parliament Committee on Petitions greatly enhances your negotiating position vis-à-vis the Maltese authorities because it demonstrates to them that you ALREADY have the European Parliament on their backs.

      As regards Maltese nationals, please note that a ‘Kartanzjan’ – Senior Citizen Card – ‘…….. is issued AUTOMATICALLY by the Electoral Office to every (Maltese) person upon his or her 60th birthday, if that person is a holder of a Maltese Identity Card in terms of the Identity Card Act (Cap.258).

      There are no application forms or application fees to obtain the Kartanzjan since the Electoral Office automatically issues the card once a person reaches 60 years of age.

      No documents are required since Kartanzjan is issued automatically.

      The Kartanzjan entitles its holder to obtain certain rebates and concessions on services in Malta and Gozo. These include reductions on public transport bus fares (card holders pay €0.50 cents on all bus routes) as well as free passenger fares on the Gozo ferries………….’

      Source: http://www.activeageing.gov.mt/en/Pages/Kartanzjan/Kartanzjan.aspx

    15. Mick C says:

      Here we go again, wondered how long this would take. There is NO karta anzjan any more and there is NO so called ‘discrimination’ here regarding this as the process applies to all living here, including Maltese Nationals. So, stop hijacking and using this to further your own agenda – AGAIN!

    16. Oisin Jones-Dillon says:

      @Mick C

      Go and tell that to the 2,900 aggrieved non-Maltese EU / EEA citizens who have already signed these online mass petitions which feature hundreds of ‘reasons for signing’ – one of which reads as follows:

      ‘Not only the electricity rate but ALL issues regarding quotidian life like access to national health requests, getting a contact with GO, bank account, working contracts, employer habits (use and abuse) … Malta is a shame to be part of EU!’

      Sabine Emma Hillebrand – ST PAUL’S BAY, MALTA

      A) Online mass petition: “EU Commission: Stop the discrimination of EU Nationals in Malta”:

      http://www.change.org/petitions/eu-commission-stop-the-discrimination-of-eu-nationals-in-malta

      B) Online mass petition: Comisión Europea: Que acabe la discriminacion a los ciudadanos europeos en Malta:

      https://www.change.org/petitions/comisi%C3%B3n-europea-que-acabe-la-discriminacion-a-los-ciudadanos-europeos-en-malta-2?utm_campaign=share_button_mobile&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

      C) Indeed, go and try to tell the European Parliament too:

      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-532.615&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=01#page=1&zoom=auto,-13,743

      • Mick C says:

        And there you go again, banging you own drum. You are wrong about the Karta Anzjan and also wrong about a lot of the so called ‘discrimination’. I wonder why you live here when you complain so much.

    17. Mick C says:

      If there is one thing that irritates me about living out here it is when ‘foreigners’ come here and try to change the way the people here do things. Yes, sometimes it may be irritating and yes sometimes we may all have a moan but to campaign against the way things are done here on the basis of ‘we are all in the EU’ is ridiculous. I am a foreigner and a guest in another’s country. (As I have been in many others around the world) I therefore do not try to change the way my host does things. I adapt and accept and bear in mind I can always leave, should I choose. I also know the real meaning of the word ‘discrimination’ and how to use that word, unlike some others who do not. As a ‘foreigner’ and a guest, I apologise for the behaviour of some others with whom some may think I am associated. I am not.

    18. Ray Pizer says:

      @ Oisin Jones-Dillon

      How many of the 2900 are as a result of your organisation feeding them misinformation such as you have about the Kartanzjan which as stated by ‘Mick C’ no longer exists for EU Nationals but is a part of the eResidence card.’

      As I understand it, this is also going to apply to Maltese nationals as and when their ID cards need renewing and they are also going to be issued with similar electronic cards.

      • Mick C says:

        Absolutely correct Ray, therefore there is NO discrimination. I would also add that the UK has many local only schemes which are comparable with what used to happen here which were also labelled ‘discriminatory’ by members of a certain organisation. Again, they were NOT discriminatory – as defined by that certain group.

    19. Kerry says:

      I agree Mick, you can see the behaviour of the ugly arrogant expat all around the world and it is embarrassing. I was seeing to my ID card in Valletta last year, and we all know what seemingly chaotic place that office seemed to be. There was a Brit arguing with the receptionist, or should I say berating the receptionist who was trying to handle the usual queue. She was being ever so polite , he was completely obnoxious , something along the lines of ;- “…please sir can I have your home address..” “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, CAN”T YOU TELL I’M FROM MANCHESTER, DON’T YOU KNOW, DIDN’T THEY TEACH YOU ANYTHING AT SCHOOL”, “please sir….”
      We interrupted and told him how obnoxious he was.. “YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING YOU HAVEN’T BEEN HERE BEFORE…”
      Well we had been several times and always got polite service and a favourable result, sometimes against all odds. As you say things are different from country to country, but what we have learned is that if you adapt to the customs of that country then anything is possible, if you try and fight, then you can wait forever:)

    20. Oisin Jones-Dillon says:

      With specific regard to the original Gozonews report – above – please see the reply of 27th May, 2014 from the European Commission to the European Parliament Committee on Petitions regarding Petition 0328/2013 by David Reiling (British), on Access to Maltese state schools concerning the children of EU nationals, who are of school age, but are not allowed to enter the Maltese state schools.

      That no such reports have recurred this year is ample testament to the responsible initiative of proactive participative citizens as opposed to certain individuals who merely carp and rant, deluding themselves whilst continuing rise and sleep in this place under the very blanket of security that others freely provide.

      Excerpt: ‘…….Moreover, pursuant to Article 25 of Directives 2004/38/EC possession of a registration certificate, of a document certifying permanent residence, of a certificate confirming submission of an application for a family member residence card, of a residence card or of a permanent residence card, may under no circumstances be made a precondition for the exercise of a right or the completion of an administrative formality, as entitlement to rights
      may be attested by any other means of proof.

      However, as mentioned above, further assessment of this situation is nonetheless needed.

      Conclusion – The Commission is currently investigating these matters and will keep the Petitions committee duly informed of the outcome of this investigation.’

      Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-535.904&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=01

      • Mick C says:

        Totally irrelevant to the discussion which developed in which you have been found to be absolutely wrong in your first response. As for the original topic now over a year old, why regurgitate that issue? We know alternative methods of proof of residence are acceptable. I would stop digging if I were you.

    21. Oisin Jones-Dillon says:

      1) Cause:

      22nd January, 2013 – Excerpt: ‘…..I should stress that in respect of Gozo-based non-Maltese EU citizens, I was categorical in my submission of 19th October, 2012, to the European Commission Directorate General Justice, as follows:…….

      ……The practical consequences for a non-Maltese EU applicant who is resident on the sister island – Gozo – is a 5 hour round trip each and every time he/she is required to personally attend the Department of Citizenship and Expatriate Affairs laden with all manner of official documentation.……..’

      Source: e-Card “for non-Maltese EU citizens is illegal under EU law”

      http://gozo.news/27216/e-card-for-non-maltese-eu-citizens-is-illegal-under-eu-law/

      2) Long-term effect:

      1st July, 2014 – Gozo e-Residence Unit officially inaugurated in Victoria:

      Excerpt: ‘…The full service started in the new Gozo Office in December last year. The eResidence Unit serves as a one-stop shop for foreigners who have queries about residence matters in Malta and Gozo, as well as other related issues….’

      Source: http://gozo.news/51063/gozo-e-residence-unit-officially-inaugurated-in-victoria/

      QED.

    22. chris green says:

      Oisin
      Thank you so much for the hard work and effort which goes to make our lives a little easier when navigating the complexities of Maltese bureaucracy as well as the pressures you apply to those responsible for the interpretation of both local and EU law.

      Other ‘noisy’ contributors do much huffing and puffing then just cut and paste the advice gleaned from your interventions.
      Well done. cg

      • Ray Pizer says:

        Chris are you being serious? Nearly everything posted by Oisin Jones-Dillon is cut and paste and there many occasions where information he has actually posted himself is misleading or out of date!

    23. Mick C says:

      Shame the information given was incorrect. As for cutting and pasting – LOL!!

    24. chris green says:

      @Ray. You have always been capable at arriving at the correct conclusion previously – so has anything changed? cg.

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