CYIL Vol. 7, 2016
CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ THE SCOPE AND THE FUTURE OF EQUALITY OF TREATMENT… like Ms Dano as unsympathetic welfare tourists, non-willing to work and with no promising future (Phoa, 2015)? 33 Or is it under the pressure of certain Member States that the Court has restricted access to social assistance to economically inactive Union citizens? Of course, Ms Dano is not a perspective or model Union citizen, but she does not seem to be an unreasonable burden for the German social assistance system. She does receive some assistance like child benefits amounting to € 184 per month and an advance on maintenance payments of € 133 per month, but she is accommodated and fed free by her sister. The amount of the German social system supporting her is certainly not endangering the State’s finances. It seems that the new approach of the Court is abandoning the individual approach to move forward a “model” approach. The refusal of Ms Dano’s request for social assistance serves as an example for all economically Union citizens who would decide in the future to move to another Member State solely with the aim to take advantage of the host social assistance system. 2. The principle of equality of treatment under challenges The principal of equality of treatment as it is regulated nowadays has been now questioned by the occurrence of new phenomena resolving in new positions of Member States. The question of the future of the principle of equality of treatment of economically inactive Union citizens is really at stake. 2.1 The new challenges and the new Member States’ requirements Member States of the EU have been facing a new political, economic and social context since 2004 leading to their restrictiveness towards freedom of movement of persons and equality of treatment of Union citizens as well as their abuse of their expulsion powers (Maslowski, 2016). 34 – New political, economic and social context since 2004 The last enlargements of the EU to economically poorer countries in 2004 and 2007 has provoked great fears amongst the old Member States. 35 A new concept emerged in 2004 for the first time in the history of the EU, restriction periods provisionally restricting the access of nationals of the new Member States to the 33 PHOA P., EU citizenship: reality or fiction? A law and literature approach to EU Citizenship , 2015, p. 84. 34 MASLOWSKI S., Member States’ Sovereignty And Freedom of Movement of Union Citizens in KOVÁŘOVÁ, E., L. MELECKÝ and M. STANÍČKOVÁ (eds.). Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on European Integration, 2016. Ostrava: VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, 2016, pp. 594-604, ISBN 978-80-248-3911-0. 35 Nevertheless, we should not forget, as Lola Isidro reminds us in her article „De la citoyenneté sociale au „tourisme social“, that, even in 1964, Professor Gérard Lyon-Caen was stating that, following the decision of the ECJ in the case Unger 75/63 that the provisions of comunautary law by this time were tending to favor what he was calling “social tourism”. Fears related to social tourism or unreasonable burden on the social assistance systém of the host Member State are not so new as we might think.
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