SOLANGE MASLOWSKI CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ migrant Union citizens and the nationals of the host Member State in so far as Union citizens on the move do not become an unreasonable burden on the public finances of the Member States concerned (Grzeczyk). The concept of unreasonable burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State was the limit for the Conference of Social Assistance to Economically Inactive Union citizens. Economically inactive Union citizens who are reasonably using the social assistance of their host Member State can rely on its generosity and solidarity. Unfortunately, the Court was not precise about under which circumstances we can presume that one individual becomes an unreasonable burden for the whole national social system. 25 Fearing that Member States would use the limit of unreasonable burden abusively to refuse social assistance to Union citizens on the move, the Court established a list of safeguards that Member States should respect while analyzing a request for social assistance. These safeguards have been taken back in Directive 2004/38/ EC especially for protecting Union citizens against expulsion and are explained in the Communication of the Commission (2009) 313 final. The first element of protection is the individual approach. Before taking a decision restricting the right of residence or the right to equal treatment of a Union citizen, the host Member State should take into consideration the personal circumstances of the applicant, like his or her age, economic and social situation of the applicant etc. No collective approach targeting a group of persons is allowed. 26 The second element is respect for the principle of proportionality that requires taking into account the degree of integration of the persons concerned, the length of their residence in the host Member State, their age, state of health, family and economic situation and their links with their country of origin according to Recital 23 of the Preamble of Directive 2004/38/EC. The level of integration can be measured by different elements as long as these elements are not exclusive in nature or as long as one element does not unduly favour aspects which are not necessarily representative of the real and effective degree of connection in existence (Lucy Stewart). 27 One reasonable element can be the existence of genuine or real links with the host society (D’Hoop), 28 even if this element should not be fixed in a uniform manner for all benefits. On the contrary, it should be determined according to the nature and objectives of the particular benefit. 25 See the Communication of the Commission on guidance for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States- COM (2009) 313 final. 26 This is in line with the case Commission v Belgium, C-321/87, para. 10. 27 See case C-503/09 Lucy Stewart v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, para. 20. 28 See case Marie-Nathalie D’Hoop v Office national de l’emploi C-224/98 which states that in such a context it is legitimate for the national legislature to wish to ensure that there is a real link between the applicant for that allowance and the geographic employment market concerned (para. 38).