JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COURT (First Chamber) 25 February 2016 (ECLI:EU:C:2016:114)
The ECJ decided on 25th February 2016 that the Member States are allowed to exclude nationals of other Member States from certain social benefits. The ruling made it clear that the German authorities had the prerogative to refuse European jobseekers and their children subsistence benefits during the first three months of their stay in Germany.
The question was referred to the ECJ by the Higher Social Court in North Rhine-Westphalie (L7 AS 2136/13), Germany, which had to resolve a dispute between a Spanish family and a German employment center. The employment center had refused to grant the Spanish family German subsistence benefits for the first three months of their stay.
The Court pointed out that according to the Citizenship Directive (2004/38/EC), EU citizens could reside in any Member State without any requirements other than owning a valid identity card or passport. Since the Member States would not be able to require Union citizens to have a medical insurance and sufficient financial means during this period, they should be able to refuse those citizens subsistence benefits as well.
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