Earning social citizenship in the European Union
Free movement and access to social assistance benefits reconstructed

  • EC
Category: book chapter
Year: 2016
In book: Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies


While ideas on ‘earned citizenship’ have been around in discussions on the coexistence of freedom of movement and nationally-bounded welfare states in the European Union, both the concept and the process it entails have hardly been explored in connection to EU (case) law. This contribution identifies earned citizenship as a technique of government in the broader political strategy of neoliberal communitarianism, requiring Union citizens to ‘earn’ access to the welfare system through an emphasis on their individual responsibility to fulfil the economic, social and cultural conditions of membership. Analysing economically inactive Union citizens’ access to social assistance benefits, it argues that earned citizenship has been visible since the Court’s early citizenship jurisprudence, but has been reconstructed with the recent Dano-line of case law.


Kramer, D. (2016) 'Earning social citizenship in the European Union: Free movement and access to social assistance benefits reconstructed.' Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies. © Centre for European Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge 

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