EuGH zum Ausschluss von EU-Bürgern von Sozialleistungen

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled on the 4th of June 2009 on the matter of the exclusion of EU-Citizens who are seeking a job in another member-state from welfare in that state.

The case – C-22/08 and C-23/08 (Vatsouras/Koupatantze v. ARGE Nürnberg) – was based on claims by Greek workers who had applied for Hartz IV – benefits (SGB II). The ARGE/Jobcenter had denied the application because of § 7 Abs. 1 Satz 2 SGB II.

The ECJ has ruled, that a Eu-Citizen earnestly seeking work or having a viable connection to the labour market must not be excluded from such benefits after the first three months of his stay. Even very minor work hours constitute an employment in that sense.

It is, however, not in violation of the EU-Treaty to exclude other EU-citizens from benefits that are purely welfare-benefits. The ECJ leaves it to the German courts to determine the nature of the SGB II – benefits (Hartz IV), i.e. whether they are means for the integration into the labour market or simply and purely welfare benefits.