Bloc states can ban migrants from social benefits: EU court

European court rules migrants may be banned from social benefits while looking for work

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice, on Thursday said EU migrants may be banned from social benefits during the first three months of their stay in another bloc member state.

EU Advocate General Melchior Wathelet in an opinion piece said: “EU citizens who move to a member state of which they are not nationals may be excluded from entitlement to certain social benefits during the first three months.”

The decision came after Germany requested the Court of Justice to analyse the case of Joel Pena Cuevas.

Cuevas arrived in Germany in June 2012 and was not able to claim any social benefits for a couple of months.

However, Wathelet said EU migrants are not banned from all benefits if they can prove that a citizen is genuinely looking for work during the first three months.

“Since the member states cannot require EU citizens to have sufficient means of subsistence and personal medical cover for a three-month stay, it is legitimate not to require member states to be responsible for them during that period,” said the Advocate General.

The new ruling may help aid British Prime Minister David Cameron to bring in tougher laws for migrant workers claiming social benefits.

Cameron wanted reforms before Britons voted in an EU in/out referendum in 2017, including amendments on conditions of migrant workers.

The British prime minister wants to demand a “four-year qualification period” before any migrant can start to receive benefits and deport EU jobseekers out after six months if they cannot find work.

TRTWorld and agencies