On 11 November 2014, I joined the BBC News team to discuss the case of Elisabeta Dano, who brought her case against Jobcenter Leipzig following a refusal to make a ‘basic provision’ payment.
Speaking ahead of the judgment, which later confirmed that economically inactive EU citizens who go to another Member State solely in order to obtain social assistance may be excluded from certain social benefits, I summarised the position and the advice of the Advocate General.
In its judgment, which has hit the headlines in the UK and across Europe, the Court of Justice said that “nationals of other Member States can claim equal treatment with nationals of the host Member State only if their residence complies with the conditions of the Directive on free movement of EU citizens.”
It was clarified that a host Member State is not obliged to grant social assistance during the first three months of residence and where the period of residence is longer than three months but less than five years, one of the conditions which the directive lays down for a right of residence is that economically inactive persons must have sufficient resources of their own.
The directive and the judgment seek to prevent economically inactive Union citizens from using the host Member State’s welfare system to fund their means of living.
In the present case of Ms Dano and her infant son, the Court observed that without sufficient resources they cannot claim a right of residence in Germany.