CYIL Vol. 7, 2016

CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ SAVING THE EU AND ITS WELFARE STATES THROUGH DISINCENTIVES… Key words : EU citizenship, Court of Justice of the EU, Directive 2004/38, free movement of persons. On the Author: doc. JUDr. Václav Šmejkal, Ph.D. , is lecturer and researcher at Charles University Law Faculty in Prague and Skoda Auto University in Mlada Boleslav. Specialised in EU law, antitrust, consumer and social aspects of European integration. Author of “EU Competition Policy and Law 1950–2015” monography (in Czech). Introduction Mass migration into the EU from countries lying beyond its borders has overshadowed another migratory problem in the media. In Germany it is known as “poverty migration”, in the UK as “benefits tourism”, 1 and its cause does not consist in distant conflicts but in the exercise of the right to free movement and residence of EU citizens pursuant to Article 21(1) TFEU. In February 2016 this problem was given recognition at the meeting of the European Council, in whose Conclusions 2 so far unheard formulations can be read. Joint measures limiting not only the flow of those who move to abuse the generosity of certain national social systems, or those in a situation of job seekers were declared desirable. The EU summit recognized the necessity of solving the problems caused by the free movement of workers and pronounced support for limitation of its scale and for its restriction for specific reasons, including reducing local unemployment or protecting the sustainability of social security systems. At the same time, it is the statistical truth that Europeans migrate between Member States on a relatively modest scale. 3 If there are problems in connection with their free movement, they stem more from a rapid buildup of newly arrived EU citizens to a particular destination. 4 In statistical terms, EU-migrants from other Member States represent a clear economic benefit even to the UK, i.e. to the country 1 MEGHAN BENTON, ‘Reaping the benefits? Social Security Coordination for Mobile EU Citizens’ [2013] Policy Brief series No. 3 Migration Policy Institute Europe, 5, 1. 2 European Council meeting (18-19 February 2016) – Conclusions. EUCO 1/16. ANNEX I Section D. 3 According to the Eurostat statistics, in 2013 in total 1.2 million EU citizens moved to another Member State. In January 2014 some 17.9 million people lived in another EU Member State than was the Member State of their origin. These numbers are rather insignificant in relation to the total population of the EU. 4 See the Letter of Ministers of interior of Germany, Austria, UK and the Netherlands to the President of the European Council for Justice and Home‘ (PDF n.d.) accessed 22 April 2016. It surely can be proved that Member States with a liberal regulation of hiring and firing plus with a social system financed predominantly from the general taxation are in reality more attractive for jobseekers thanks to an easier access there to both employment and social assistance. For details see MARTIN RUHS, ‘Is unrestricted immigration compatible with inclusive welfare states? The (un)sustainability of EU exceptionalism.’ [2015] WP No. 125 Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford, 2.


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