Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


EU law does stop ‘benefit tourism’

EU welcomes French PM's reform pledges but awaits details/AFP

EU law does stop ‘benefit tourism’/AFP

LUXEMBOURG, May 20- European Union citizens travelling to another member state do not automatically have a right to social welfare benefits there, a lawyer at the EU’s top court said Tuesday.

Taking up a German complaint about what has become a hot button issue in European Parliament elections next weekend, the lawyer at the European Court of Justice was careful to stress that freedom of movement remains a core EU right.

A person and their family have the right to stay in another EU state for up to three months “as long as they do not become an unreasonable burden on the social welfare system of the host country,” Advocate General Melchior Wathelet wrote in an opinion.

“If such people wish to stay more than three months, they must have sufficient resources” to manage on their own, Wathelet said.

Commenting on the case of a Jobcentre in the east German city of Leipzig which had rejected a benefits request by a Romanian woman and her son, who was born in Germany, Wathelet said the authorities had the right to refuse.

“It is a matter of preventing abuse and a certain type of ‘social tourism,'” the lawyer said, using a phrase which has become politically highly charged in countries such as Britain, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, where resentment has grown against some EU immigrants seeking welfare payments.

Lumped together with benefit fraud, eurosceptic and parties to the right have made the issue a rallying call in the current election campaign.

Wathelet’s opinion is not binding on the ECJ but in about 80 percent of cases, the court will follow an Advocate General’s reasoning in the subsequent ruling.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...