(LUXEMBOURG) - Unemployed EU migrants can be barred from claiming benefits during the first three months of their stay in another member state, one of the bloc's top legal advisers said Thursday.
- The recommendation, from the advocate general of the EU Court of Justice, could boost Britain's push for stricter requirements for EU migrants claiming British social welfare benefits.
- "EU citizens who move to a member state of which they are not nationals may be excluded from entitlement to certain social benefits during the first three months," Advocate General Melchior Wathelet wrote in an opinion.
- Germany asked the Court of Justice to review the case of a Spaniard, Joel Pena Cuevas, who arrived in Germany with his son in late June 2012 and was refused German benefits for the following August and September.
- "Since the member states cannot require EU citizens to have sufficient means of subsistence and personal medical cover for a three-month stay, it is legitimate not to require member states to be responsible for them during that period," Wathelet wrote.
- But he said an EU migrant who could prove he was clearly seeking work during the first three months could claim other benefits "intended to facilitate access to the labour market."
- Following his re-election last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron toured European capitals to push for EU reforms before a referendum on Britain's membership of the bloc, to be held by the end of 2017.
- The reforms, which Cameron says will require treaty changes, include stricter requirements for EU migrants claiming British social welfare benefits and the possibility for London to opt out of an EU commitment to "ever closer union."