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Case C-184/99 Rudy Grzelczyk

[2001] ECR I-6193

Case summary last updated at 12/02/2020 20:18 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Case C-184/99 Rudy Grzelczyk

G was a French national studying in Belgium. Belgian citizens were entitled to a minimum subsistence allowance, whereas G was refused on the grounds of his being French foreign. The ECJ said that since this was obviously a decision of unequal treatment based on race it would be unlawful under article 12, PROVIDED that the allowance came within the scope of the EC treaty (same approach as in Martinez Sala). To determine the scope of the treaty article 6 must be read in conjunction with other treaty provisions- here article 18 (freedom of movement and residence in any MS). There was no provision in the Students’ Residence Directive (93/96) saying whether or not foreign students were entitled to the subsistence allowance. However ECJ said some economic solidarity could be expected between the host MS and the MS foreign national visitor. Thus articles 12 and 18 preclude from being made dependent on a condition that did not apply to nationals of the host Member State as well. 
 
ECJ: Union Citizenship ‘is destined to be the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States’. ECJ doesn’t actually say what this means or what effect on current/new rights the term ‘citizenship’ has. All we know is that it must have some effect because previous case law suggested there was no entitlement to benefits, and the court distinguished precedents on the grounds that since then citizenship has been introduced.  What rights enjoyed by the national of Member State X are not available to nationals of another Member State residing or wishing to reside in X? And: does that migrant’s level of economic activity matter in defining his or her rights?

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