Keywords: Principle of equality, non EU nationals, social benefits, Italian Constitutional Court, European Court of Justice
This article deals with the right of non EU nationals to enjoy non contributory social benefits. The Italian Constitutional Court considered unreasonable the refusal of granting allowances to lawfully resident disabled aliens on the grounds of equality granted by Article 3 of the Italian Constitution. The Author compares this ruling of the Italian Constitutional Court to the case law of the Court of Strasbourg based on Article 14 and Article 1 Prot. n. 1 ECHR and to that of the European Court of Justice's decisions triggering the EU fundamental principle of non discrimination on the basis of nationality. The Author argues that the principle of equality is conceived and applied at every level of protection and it identifies the values enhanced by the principle of equality. Indeed, the implementation of the Aristotle's logic rule «equal for equals, unequal for unequals» is not neutral, but enlightens the basic values of each legal system, like dignity, plurality and solidarity.