EU Citizenship and Social Rights
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EU Citizenship and Social Rights

Entitlements and Impediments to Accessing Welfare

Edited by Frans Pennings and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser

In the 1990s, the Maastricht Treaty introduced the right to free movement for EU citizens. In practice, however, there are substantial barriers to making use of this right, particularly to integration and to accessing the social and welfare rights available. This is particularly true when it comes to accessing social rights, such as social assistance, housing benefit, study grants and health care. This book provides a detailed description and thorough analysis of these barriers, in both law and practice.
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Chapter 6: Social human rights as a legal strategy to enhance EU citizenship

Sara Stendahl and Otto Swedrup


This chapter discusses three theoretical focal points: social rights, redress mechanisms and citizenship. Core references were made to Jeff King, Anna Hollander, Håkan Gustafsson, Lotta Vahlne Westerhäll and T.H. Marshall. The aim of the study is to investigate the possibilities and impediments for EU-citizens in Denmark, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom to enforce their (moral and/or legal) social rights in the fields of education, health care, housing and social assistance. The redress mechanisms developed in the eight countries to secure the enforcement of the selected social rights are discussed as well as other – extra-legal – circumstances that create hindrances for EU-citizens to enforce their social rights in spite of established redress mechanisms.

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