28./29. April 2016
The free movement of persons is central to the legal and political identity of the European project and the Court of Justice famously maintained that citizens from other Member States may expect ‘a certain degree of financial solidarity.’ For more than a decade, innovative judgments from Luxembourg captured the imagination of academics working on Union law, in particular concerning the access to social benefits.
However, the expansionary potential of Union citizenship seems to have met its limits when the Court of Justice declined equal treatment rights to those who do not work or are looking for jobs in a number of recent judgments. This contrasts with the optimistic outlook on transnational citizenship which had defined many academic contributions. The time has come, therefore, for academic commentators to consider the limits of Union citizenship. This conference will confront this challenge by embedding ongoing legal debates in a broader constitutional and theoretical analysis about how to accommodate social solidarity and transnational mobility. It will explore in how far debates about Union citizenship can be connected to wider discussions about the treatment of foreigners.