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The Free Movement of Inactive Citizens in the EU – A Challenge for the European Welfare State?

By Wolfgang Ochel

Abstract

The EU Directive on Free Movement of 2004 extended free movement within the EU to Union citizens who are inactive and gave them access to the welfare benefits of host countries. The paper examines the extent to which these measures provoke migration to those countries with the highest levels of welfare benefits. The paper concludes that migration is limited by the requirement of considerable financial assets in order to bridge a waiting period of five years as well as negative financial incentives. On the other hand, migration is attractive for those working in the informal sector of host countries.EU Free Movement Directive, welfare tourism, inactive citizens

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