CYIL Vol. 7, 2016

CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ SAVING THE EU AND ITS WELFARE STATES THROUGH DISINCENTIVES… The CJEU thus defends the foundation that European integration has historically been built on, i.e. the equal, non-discriminatory and friendly treatment of those who want to be economically active in another Member State. By adhering to this pragmatic basis of integration the CJEU seems to be strengthening the barrier that the Heads of the EU States and Governments are apparently seeking to cross, if we believe in their Conclusions approved at the European Council in February 2016. Here the EU supreme leaders admit the necessity to limit flows of workers of a certain scale and also to impose on them some restrictive conditions in relation to certain benefits, in order to ensure first that there is a real and effective degree of connection between the person concerned and the labor market of the host Member State. The “sacrifice” of rights of economically inactive EU-migrants in the recent CJEU case law looks like a minor retreat compared to the planned reduction of equal treatment of EU-workers who might not be eligible for certain types of benefits for themselves and their family members for several years of employment in another Member State. It is to be hoped that the CJEU, which used to be seen in the UK-Brexit debate as the greatest potential complication for concessions agreed between the British Prime Minister and the rest of the EU statesmen, will not budge from its definition of migrant EU-worker and his rights in the Member State of his genuine and effective employment at least until the Member States have overcome the present period of EU-negativism and begin to look for common European solutions rather than for measures degrading the EU acquis . No one can deny that labor migration may raise pressures on the welfare systems that remain based on national solidarity. There is no doubt that any further expansion of rights derived directly from EU citizenship, without actually requiring certain “obligations” (expressed rather as limitations of the full exercise of the rights), would only further undermine the willingness of Europeans to any mutual solidarity. The question is whether these problems can be solved by interference in the rights of migrant EU-workers, who would, in their claims to welfare, depend on exemptions applied differently in different Member States. EU decision-makers and legislators should rather not test the resistance of judges in Luxembourg by taking measures that would throw European integration decades back, but should better look for a consensus on EU-friendly solutions that have already been proposed from many sides. Why not to establish a European Mobility Fund to assist a Member State reporting disproportionate pressure exerted by EU- migrants on its welfare system? 65 In the same vein, an EU scheme for the payment of certain benefits to the unemployed who decide to look for a job in another Member State, i.e. for situations treated in the cases Alimanovic and García-Nieto , could also be envisaged as well as the EU or Eurozone unemployment insurance scheme 65 CATHARINA SORENSEN, ‘Some solutions for the EU social benefits debate.’ accessed 22 April 2016. It was proposed to finance this new Moblity Fund through transfers from other EU funds with unused means.


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