EU Court Ruling Heightens EU Benefits Issue for Mobility

Free movement of citizens in the EU does not preclude E.U. national governments from treating each person equally should they move around the European Union countries when it comes to social security benefits.

In regards mobility, if someone travels around, let us say on the basis of no fixed abode (or a temporary address) , then which ever country a person finds them self in, a European Court of Justice court ruling in July (2011) means any local government administration will have to treat that EU national equally to those with a local registered address when it comes to social security.

Any benefits should be paid regardless. That person as an #EU national does not have to prove they have contributed to the social welfare system of the country they find themselves in currently.

This is a far reaching judgment that has got lawmakers across the European Union rushing to check how they can handle this matter.

I am referring to a decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union last month in its judgment in Case C-503/09, Lucy Stewart versus the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, (UK Government).

The Court of Justice decision confirmed the fundamental status of EU citizenship and its rights, in particular the freedom to move and reside in another EU country, as well as the right to social security coverage.

This right could not be fully effective if a person would be excluded from claiming a social security benefit on the sole ground that he or she has previously not been present or is not present in the country in which he or she claims the benefit.

EU countries still have the power to organize their social security systems and they may set conditions to establish the entitlement to social security benefits. However, the condition of past presence in order to establish a genuine link between the claimant and that country is contrary to EU law, according to this court's decision.

As stated above, the EU Commission is studying the European Court of Justice ruling carefully, in order to ascertain its implications. In particular, it will need to study the possible effects of this ruling on other infringements against the United Kingdom before taking a position on these related procedures.

This could mean in Greece for example, British, Irish or other EU nationals would no longer have to work three years consecutively in a summer job (and of course, paying IKA contributions - the Greek social security system) before becoming eligible to claim winter unemployment benefit which is currently the case, I believe. Keeping our fingers crossed that it is recognized that free movement in the EU i.e. mobility, does not require a fixed abode address locally to claim appropriate social security benefits.

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