New Ruling for EU Migrants

A recent case at the Court of Justice namely, “Jobcenter Berlin Neukölln v Nazifa, Sonita, Valentina and Valentino Alimanovic (C-67/14)”, centres on freedom of movement and social benefits. The case called upon the Court to decide whether a Member State can deny certain social benefits to an EU Migrant job-seeker who had worked there for less than a year, but has subsequently become unemployed and looking for a job.

On the 26th March 2015, the Court provided three guiding principles on the matter:

  • Following the Court of Justice”s decision in the Dano case, a national of a Member State who moves to another national territory, and stays there without the goal of seeking employment can legitimately be excluded from social benefits.

  • Secondly, a Member State can legitimately deny social benefits to EU citizens who have arrived in their national territory with the intention of finding a job.

  • Thirdly, an EU citizen who had lived in the Member State for more than three months and had been employed there should not be automatically excluded from these social benefits. The person concerned must instead be allowed the opportunity to prove the existence of a “genuine link” with the host Member State. Family circumstances, as well as having sought employment for a reasonable period, can serve as evidence capable of demonstrating this link.

The exclusion from social assistance benefits, established by German legislation is also not applicable to the Alimanovic case if it is shown that the Alimanovic children are: “duly continuing their education within an establishment in Germany”. This would grant them and their primary carer a right of residence in the national territory based on their right of access to education as indicated in the above tests.

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