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Monday, March 10, 2014

EPP manifesto: EU migrants should be allowed to access benefits only if they've worked in the country where they live

At its Congress in Dublin on Friday (which also saw U2's Bono delivering a speech), the European People's Party (EPP) officially nominated Luxembourg's former Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as its leading candidate for European Commission President.

More importantly, the EPP also adopted its manifesto for the upcoming European Parliament elections. You can read it in full here. We would just like to draw your attention on the following paragraph:
Free movement of people within the European Union is one of our greatest achievements together, and we are committed to ensuring it remains so [...] However, we are against social fraud - social benefits for EU citizens should only be available if they have worked in the country where they live.
This shows how, once a clear distinction between free movement of workers and free access to other EU member states' welfare systems is made, many are in favour of the former - but many are also wary of the latter.

The EPP includes over 70 parties from 40 different European countries. This suggests the UK is far from alone when it comes to a desire to reform the rules on EU migrants' access to benefits - or at the very least when it comes to admitting there is an issue at hand. Whatever the outcome of the European elections, this will be one topic that will not go away. The next European Commission and Parliament would do well to tackle it head-on, rather than skirting the issue. 

9 comments:

Denis Cooper said...

Can you say who paid for this event in Dublin?

Jesper said...

While I agree with their recommendation I disagree with their implied claim that it should be decided on a supra-national level. The subsidiarity-principle should be upheld.

If the subsidiarity principle is ignored for this then the competence will have been transferred from nations to EU-institutions. Anyone care to guess how much power would be transferred?
The ECJ would be the arbiter on exactly what would be transferred so...

Anonymous said...

To be frank, I do not care what the EPP do or say.

The fact is that uncontrolled immigration impacts us in an entirely different way than it does most other EU nations.

As for Juncker, he has helped 'junk' the MananaZone so has little or no credibility.

We need to act in our interest and not wait around for others to slowly wake up and smell the BS.

SC

Anonymous said...

Does the restriction include the "workers'" families?

christhai said...

The UK MUST be allowed to determine who comes to live and work in the UK.

That decision process cannot be shared with any other country.

Rik said...

Juncker looks an optimal candidate for the UK btw.
Seen as dodgy by large groups (totally unlikley someone who will break the downward trend).
At the same time a wheeler and dealer (EUs own 'Arry Redknapp) somebody that understands that change might be necessary and is able to make the deals for it.

In fact all major candidates on the first issue looks as good as it gets. On the second however a mixed bunch.

Anonymous said...

The link to the Manifesto doesn't work. Can you update it in the body of the text or send it in the comments section?
thanks

Open Europe blog team said...

Thanks Anonymous, there seems to be a problem with the EPP website. We will update the blog with a new link to the manifesto, as soon as we find one.

Open Europe blog team said...

Anonymous, as promised we have updated the blog with a new link to the EPP manifesto (it was moved to a different web address). The new link is: http://dublin2014.epp.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/EPP-Manifesto-final.pdf