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Top EU court rules against 'welfare tourists'

Top EU court rules against 'welfare tourists'
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The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has delivered a verdict on a German case that may come as sweet news for EU member states concerned about what some call “benefit tourism”.

The court ruling appears to close off one avenue for claimants by underlining the right of member states to insist that claimants from another EU member must actively pursue employment as a condition for basic provisions. This means unemployed people from one member state cannot go and claim unemployment benefit in another unless they first work.

The case in question involved a Romanian woman with a son who lived with her sister, a German resident. She receives child benefit and maintenance payments, but is unqualified and was refused basic provisions for herself on the grounds she had not entered the country to seek work.

The ruling will have pleased Germany and other member states where EU claimants have become an issue, none more so than in Britain.

The anti-European Ukip party may now find one of its main arguments weakened, relieving pressure on David Cameron’s Conservative government.

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