EU Court: Germany entitled to cut off employment benefits to migrant workers

EU Court: Germany entitled to cut off employment benefits to migrant workers

[JURIST] The Court of Justice of the European Union [official website] ruled [press release] Tuesday that Germany was entitled to cut of unemployment benefits to a Swedish family who migrated to the country and held temporary jobs. The case involved a Bosnian-born Swedish national who had three children born in Germany while working in the country temporarily during the late 1990s. In 2010 the family returned to Germany and obtained temporary jobs. After being relieved from these temporary jobs the family received unemployment benefits from 2011 to 2012. In 2012 Germany denied to continue unemployment benefits to the family. The EU Court held that countries’ ability to deny unemployment benefits to citizens of EU nations “does not contravene the principle of equal treatment.” The court held that in order for a worker to receive social assistance from a EU member state they must meet the requirements stated within the Free Movement of Citizens Directive [text]. The decision affirms previous rulings by lower courts in granting the right of Germany to refuse benefits to individuals who have no intention of finding employment and staying within the member state.

The rights of migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issue around the world, as millions seek asylum in Europe from conflict nations. On Sunday Germany announced [JURIST report] that it is invoking temporary border controls at the nation’s southern border with Austria, after thousands of immigrants entered the country in recent days. Last week the Hungarian National Assembly [official website] passed a number of emergency measures [JURIST report] to address the recent mass migration into Europe. Last month UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged [JURIST report] the global community to develop comprehensive solutions to allow for safe and legal migration after more than 70 bodies, believed to be Syrian asylum seekers, were discovered in a truck near the Austria-Hungary border. On the same day, Ban issued a statement [text] on the recent increase in refugee and migrant tragedies in the Mediterranean and Europe.