Revija za socijalnu politiku, Svezak 25, Br. 1 (2018)

Veličine fonta:  Mali  Srednji  Veliki

ECJ's Approach to EU Migrants' Social Benefit Claims: Tracing Judicial Influence on German Social Policy

Mario Munta


The purpose of this paper is to investigate to what extent the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decides strategically on preliminary references in matters of access to social benefits by economically inactive EU migrants, and to what extent national courts decide to comply with ECJ preliminary rulings in these issues. In doing so, this paper attempted to contribute to a better understanding of judiciaries’ impact on public policy through the EU preliminary reference procedures. Knowing that the field of social policy is highly conflict-laden, this paper assumes that the ECJ activity in this area will largely reflect a strategic balancing between deeper EU integration through case law and respect for national (fiscal) interests and competences. The paper draws on an intergovernmental, rational-choice theoretical perspective and applies it in a case study on Germany, where three cases (Dano C-333/13, Alimanovic C-67/15 and García-Nieto C-299/14) regarding the access to social benefits (i.e. special non-contributory benefits) have recently been referred to the ECJ. To draw conclusions, the author traces political circumstances, previous ECJ case law, ECJ reasoning in the case studies and final verdicts by national courts.

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Revija za socijalnu politiku (Online). ISSN: 1845-6014