Union Citizenship and the Legality of Durational Residence Requirements for Entitlement to Student Financial Aid

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The recent ruling in förster demonstrates that union citizenship is not a magic judicial tool for expanding citizens' rights. The court upheld a national rule that makes entitlement to maintenance grants for economically inactive nationals of other member states conditional upon five years of prior residence on the national territory. The court did not support its conclusion by persuasive reasons. The ruling suggests that the court merely accepted the five-year residence requirement simply and only because the eu legislator had authorized it. While there is in principle nothing wrong with respecting legislative choices, this contribution argues that the court showed far too much deference to the eu legislator. Förster constitutes an unnecessary step back on the road to a meaningful union citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-496
JournalMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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