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EEA workers’ free movement and social rights after Dano and St Prix - Is a Pandora’s box of new economic integration and ‘contribution’requirements opening?

PUTTICK, Keith (2015) EEA workers’ free movement and social rights after Dano and St Prix - Is a Pandora’s box of new economic integration and ‘contribution’requirements opening? Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 37 (2). pp. 1-21. ISSN 0964-9069

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Union citizenship, and the equal treatment and anti-discrimination provisions in the Treaties and secondary measures like the Citizens Directive, were intended to underpin free movement and ensure that nationals from the European Economic Area will generally enjoy comparable social rights to those of host State nationals, albeit subject to limitations and conditions. Whilst primarily directed at the economically inactive and those seen as failing to ‘contribute’ and reciprocate for the host community’s support, the restrictions can leave a number of vulnerable groups at risk of exclusion
from support. This includes those with family and caring responsibilities who may struggle to balance those responsibilities with expectations of labour market
participation. The article considers these points and the evolving regime, important developments like the St Prix and Dano cases in the Court of Justice of the European
Union, and the increase in restrictions, including the introduction of minimum income thresholds. It also considers the surge in anti-migrant, anti-EU, and anti-welfare feeling that preceded the May 2015 General Election in the UK, and the impact this has had on
the domestic political agenda – what some commentators have called ‘the UKIP effect’. This has become a significant driver for policy change, with all of the UK’s main political parties now signed up to a bar on EEA nationals’ access to assistance in most of its forms, including social housing and in-work tax credits, pending satisfaction of integration criteria, notably periods of employment ranging between two and four years. As the article considers, it is difficult see how such differential treatment between EEA residents and host State nationals can be justified, especially in the light
of reliable and authoritative evidence of the sizeable scale of EEA nationals’ contribution to the economy. Furthermore, implementation would not just be divisive,
it would be highly problematic.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Link to on-line published article:
Uncontrolled Keywords: EEA nationals; social rights; economic integration; free movement
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Law
Depositing User: Keith PUTTICK
Date Deposited: 01 May 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:42

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