Free movement, citizenship and welfare benefits for the economically inactive: re-thinking the balance of interests in EU law.

  • Victoria Hooton

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis considers whether free movement law is sufficient for balancing the interests of Member States with fundamental EU objectives. Free movement law has expanded to allow non-economically active citizens to reside in another Member State; resulting in the possibility of financial responsibility for those non-national citizens shifting to the host Member State. The traditional boundaries of welfare systems rely on nationality and territoriality, in order to protect the finite resources of States to look after their citizens. This thesis will determine how EU law and the CJEU has addressed this clash of principles, in the development of secondary legislation and the case law on free movement of economically inactive citizens. Ultimately, it determines that there is a growing culture of imbalance in the law, with Member State interests being conflated and overly protected, to the detriment of free movement objectives. The legitimacy of this is reviewed by considering the different competences of the EU and Member States in the Treaties, in relation to free movement of inactive citizens.
Date of Award31 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAnnette Nordhausen Scholes (Supervisor) & Dimitrios Doukas (Supervisor)


  • single market
  • EU
  • residency
  • fundamental right
  • social policy
  • free movement
  • benefits
  • welfare
  • citizenship

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