27 maio 2014

O fim da solidariedade europeia ou o término do "turismo dos benefícios" sociais?

Da decisão do Tribunal de Justiça Europeu, sobre a proposta alemã de expulsar imigrantes desempregados: The Advocate General recalls that EU law authorises EU citizens and their family members to reside in a Member State other than that of which they are nationals for a period of three months, as long as they do not become an unreasonable burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State. Where such persons wish to remain for more than three months, they must have sufficient resources in order not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State. It necessarily follows that there may be unequal treatment in respect of the granting of social assistance benefits between nationals of the host Member State and other EU citizens.According to Advocate General Wathelet, legislation which excludes from basic provision benefits people who come to Germany solely in order to benefit from the German social assistance scheme, rather than seeking to integrate themselves into the labour market, is consistent, with the EU legislature’s intention. Such exclusion serves to prevent persons who exercise their freedom of movement with no intention of integration becoming a burden on the social assistance system. It is also consistent with the latitude granted to the Member States in that regard. In other words, it helps to prevent abuse and a certain form of ‘benefit tourism’.

The Advocate General observes, in addition, that the criterion adopted by Germany (namely, where the sole reason for entering German territory is to seek employment or obtain social assistance) is capable of demonstrating the absence of a genuine link with the territory of the host Member State and a failure to integrate that State. That criterion helps to ensure the economic viability of the scheme without jeopardising its financial equilibrium. The German legislation therefore pursues a legitimate objective, as the Court of Justice requires. Moreover, the Advocate General takes the view that the criterion chosen appears to be proportionate to the objective pursued. In order to determine whether the applicant falls within the exclusion in question and must accordingly be refused the grant of the basic provision benefits, the German authorities are required to examine the applicant’s personal situation.

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