Free movement of EU citizens : including for the poor?
Faculty of Law
Maastricht journal of European and comparative law. - Maastricht
, p. 10-34
University of Antwerp
This article analyses the ambiguity within the Unions policy goals of free movement of Union citizens and the combating of poverty and social exclusion. The former is viewed as a fundamental right with constitutional status, whereas the latter is viewed as a central policy objective of the EU. Yet, the right to free movement of economically inactive persons and to equal treatment with the host states citizens with regard to social benefits is subject to the economically inactive persons having sufficient resources. As a result, in practice the right to free movement could very well become impossible for indigent people. This article examines the legal context offered by the Treaty, secondary legislation (Directive 2004/38 and Regulation 883/2004) and Court of Justices case law. It finds that the EU has problems in reconciling the right to free movement and the policy objectives of fighting poverty and social exclusion. To conclude, the article presents some ideas and proposals on how this ambiguity and these contradictions could be solved so as to guarantee the right to free movement for all, including the poor.