Entitlements and Impediments to Accessing Welfare
Edited by Frans Pennings and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser
Chapter 7: The need of residence registration for enjoyment of EU citizenship in Sweden
The European Union Member States are under the obligation to ensure that Union citizens may exercise freedom of movement without encountering unjustified restrictions or otherwise discriminatory treatment. Whether private parties are also directly obligated under Union law to respect the ban on nationality discrimination in contractual agreements is a more contested issue. Formal public law structures in a host Member State can nevertheless make it difficult in practice for a non-national Union citizen to access both public benefits and private services on equal terms with resident nationals. This chapter looks at the example of Sweden, which, like its neighbouring Denmark, Finland and Norway, relies heavily on a national public law administrative system of residence registration of all its inhabitants, primarily for the purpose of taxation, and control of national migration within the State. The significance of being registered is however greater than what is reflected normatively when looking at Swedish public law, since, to navigate in Swedish public and private society without a residence registration may in fact pose great practical difficulties.
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