England forwarned and halfway forearmed

by Beatrice Credi - 2011.10.03
England forwarned and halfway forearmed
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New wrestling match between the European Union and England. This time the issue concerns social security that the United Kingdom may be violating at the expenses of  “non-British” Europeans. How? It’s easier said than done. Beyond the English Channel some of the allowances and benefits, such as for example the unemployment compensation or family allowances are only issued in behalf of those who have the “right to stay”.  While this is automatically due to British citizens, the same does not apply to citizens of other EU states. The latter are subject to a residence test which takes in account their economic status. The EU executives have been unconditional over this matter: although the European regulation (883/2004) recognizes the right of UK’s administration to pay social security benefits only to regular residents, it has to be remarked that the 4th article also clearly stresses that no form of indirect discrimination is admitted. Nonetheless this is what is currently occurring in the above mentioned case, with the subordination of Europeans to a clause that does not affect nationals. The United Kingdom has now 2 months to notify  the Commission of the adjustment measures to the communitarian  legislation. Otherwise it will have to deal with it directly in front of the European Court of Justice.

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