Keywords: Unemployment Benefits; Germany; Court of Justice; European Union; European Citizenship.
Freedom of movement is one of the core elements of the European project. The fundamental social rights of EU citizens are also enshrined in European primary law. However, recent developments in the German welfare state must be seen as limiting this freedom in that EU citizens are being denied access to unemployment benefits II and social assistance benefits in Germany. Recent legislation in Germany has taken advantage of earlier ECJ's case-law according to which EU citizens could be excluded from social benefits if access to such benefits placed an inappropriate burden on public finance. The article analyses these recent trends, and considers the Court of Justice's judgments as well as the relevant German legislation as being incompatible with fundamental European and German legal norms. It also questions the German government's claim that current migration trends impose an inappropriate burden on the public budget.