ECJ judgment on limitation of social benefits for EU citizens in another Member State

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The European Court of Justice declared in its  Judgment in Case C-333/13  of Elisabeta Dano, Florin Dano v Jobcenter Leipzig on 11 November 2014 that a  German Court can ban unemployment benefits of a Romanian immigrant who did not seek employment in Germany. Claims  were filed by Elisabeta Dano, a Romanian woman, who gave birth during her stay in Leipzig, Germany. She received child benefits worth €317 per month but was refused unemployment support when the authorities decided she was not actively seeking a job.

The EU has rules in place to safeguard “freedom of movement” issues and “the right for EU citizens to live and work in other member states”. Pursuant to the 2004/38  EU directive on freedom of movement  , EU citizens must however have sufficient resources to support themselves after three months of living in the new member state. The directive thus seeks to prevent economically inactive Union citizens from using the host Member State’s welfare system to fund their means of subsistence. The Romanian immigrants did not have enough resources to support themselves.

The Court concluded that:

A Member State must therefore have the possibility of refusing to grant social benefits to economically inactive Union citizens who exercise their right to freedom of movement solely in order to obtain another Member State’s social assistance although they do not have sufficient resources to claim a right of residence

For comments on Directive 2004/38 , consult  ECJ Library Catalogue or Primo.