Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2013
This paper analyses the mutual influence and self-perpetuating cycle of legitimacy of EU legal scholars and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in expanding and broadening the free movement rights of Union citizens and their family members. It is argued that legal scholars have played a dual role in promoting the constitutional paradigm of an ever-expanding scope of directly enforceable residence and movement rights in the EU. First, by presenting the expansion of free movement rights as an inevitable outcome of the EU constitutional order based on directly enforceable individual rights, scholars have played a significant role in legitimizing the jurisprudence of the Court in the face of initial resistance from the member states. Second, legal scholars have been an important source for the Court of Justice in developing its case law in this area. The Advocates General in their opinions have drawn on an expanding field of scholarship presenting the expansion of free movement rights as an inherent feature of the EU as a constitutional legal order. Spurred by the objective of turning the EU into more than an internal market, the opinions of the Advocates General have mostly been followed by the Court. Legal scholars have thus served not only as a legitimizing force, but also as a source of inspiration for the perceived constitutionalization of free movement rights in the EU.
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20 See for example the reactions to Metock.
21 Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states, OJ L 158/77, 30.4.2004.
22 See recital 3 of the Directive’s preamble.
23 S Giubboni, ‘Free Movement of Persons and European Solidarity’ (2007) 13 European Law Journal 3, 360–79.
24 Declaration 17 annexed to the Lisbon Treaty.
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28 See amongst others Faist, T, ‘Social Citizenship in the European Union: Nested Membership’ (2001) 39 Journal of Common Market Studies 1, 37–58; Wind, M, ‘Post-National Citizenship in Europe: The EU as a Welfare Rights Generator’ (2008) 15 Columbian Journal of European Law 239; Enjolras, B, ‘Two hypotheses about the emergence of a post-national European model of citizenship’ (2008) 12 Citizenship Studies 5, 495–505.
30 Case C‑184/99 Grzelczyk  ECR I‑6193.
31 Case C-135/08 Rottmann  ECR I-1449.
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33 European Commission, EU Citizenship Report 2010. Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights, COM(2010) 603 final, 27.10.2010.
34 Case C‑184/99 Grzelczyk  ECR I‑6193, para 31.
35 See also (amongst others) the following cases: Case C‑413/99 Baumbast  ECR I‑7091; Case C‑148/02 Garcia Avello  ECR I‑11613; Case C-138/02 Collins  ECR I-2703; Case C-456/02 Trojani  ECR I-7573; Case C-209/03 Bidar  ECR I-2119; Case C-403/03 Schempp  ECR I-6421; Case C-406/04 De Cuyper  ECR I-6947; Case C-192/05 Tas-Hagen  ECR I-10451; Joined Cases C-11 and 12/06 Morgan and Bucher  ECR I-9161; Case C‑127/08 Metock and Others  ECR I‑6241; Case C‑310/08 Ibrahim  ECR I-1065; Case C‑480/08 Teixeira  ECR I-1107; Case C-162/09 Lassal  nyr; Case C-145/09 Tsakouridis  nyr.
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37 Case C-85/96 Martinez Sala  ECR I-2691. The case has been discussed widely; see for instance C Tomuschat, ‘Case Note Martínez Sala’ (2000) 37 Common Market Law Review 450.
38 Para 61 of the judgment.
39 Case C‑184/99 Grzelczyk  ECR I‑6193, para 31.
40 See Case C-456/02 Trojani  ECR I-7573. The Court has, however, set certain restrictions on the right of access to social benefits. For instance, in Bidar (Case C-209/03), it argued against the Advocate General, holding that a certain degree of integration, possibly appropriate residence requirement, can be required. Moreover, the Union citizen may not become an unreasonable burden on the welfare system of the host member state. The Court has also stressed in Vatsouras (Joined Cases C-22/08 and C-23/08) that Article 24(2) of Directive 2004/38 remains valid and that member states retain competence to evaluate whether a jobseeker is entitled to receive social assistance whilst actively seeking work and having a genuine chance of finding employment. Benefits intended to facilitate access to the labour market, such as jobseeker’s allowances, however, are not to be regarded as social assistance and must be made available.
41 Case C-413/99 Baumbast  ECR I-7091.
42 Case C-224/98 D’Hoop  ECR I-6191; see also Case C-224/02 Pusa  ECR I-5763.
43 Case C-192/05 Tas-Hagen  ECR I-10451.
44 Case C-499/06 Nerkowska  ECR I-3993.
45 Case C-221/07 Zablocka-Weyhermüller  ECR I-9029.
46 Case C-34/09 Zambrano  nyr; Case C-434/09 McCarthy  nyr; Case C-256/11 Dereci  nyr.
47 Case C-60/00 Carpenter  ECR I-6279. According to the Court, the content of the right to family life must be defined in line with Article 8 ECHR and the case law of the ECtHR. See also Case C-459/99 MRAX  ECR I-6591; Case C-540/03 Parliament v Council  ECR I-5769. Hence, in the official discourse of the Court, the right to respect for private and family life enshrined in Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights offers the same level of protection as Article 8 ECHR.47 Yet, the jurisprudence of the Court in Carpenter, Akrich, Metock and Zambrano suggests a much more inclusive approach than that pursued by the ECtHR. Union citizens’ right to family life is protected also in cases where the family relationship was established at a point of time where the residence status of the applicant was precarious.
48 Case C-109/01 Akrich  ECR I-9607.
49 Case C‑127/08 Metock and Others  ECR I‑6241.
50 Case C-34/09 Zambrano  nyr.
51 Case C-256/11 Dereci  nyr.
52 Opinion of AG Cosma in Case C-378/97 Wijsenbeek  ECR I-6207.
53 Para 83 of the AG opinion.
54 Opinion of AG La Pergola in Case C-85/96 Martinez Sala  ECR I-2691.
55 Para 18 of the AG opinion.
57 Opinion of AG Alber in Case C-184/99 Grzelczyk  ECR I-6913, para 52.
58 Opinion of AG Jacobs in Case C-224/02 Pusa  ECR I-5763, paras 20 and 21.
59 Opinion of AG Geelhoed in Case C-406-04 De Cuyper  ECR I-6947, paras 107 and 108.
60 Opinion of AG Kokott in Case C-192/05 Tas-Hagen  ECR I-451, para 50.
61 Opinion of AG Leger in Case C-214/94 Boukalfa v Federal Republic of Germany  ECR I-2253, para 63.
62 Opinion of AG Jacobs in Case C-168/91 Konstantinidis  ECR I-1191.
63 Para 27 of the AG opinion in Petersen.
64 Para 89 of the AG opinion.
65 Para 123 of the AG opinion in Eind.
66 Para 96 of the AG opinion in Baumbast.
67 O’Leary, S, The Evolving Concept of Community Citizenship (Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1996); Closa, C, ‘The Concept of Citizenship in the Treaty on European Union’ (1992) 29 Common Market Law Review 1137–69.
68 Para 125 of the AG opinion in Zambrano.
69 See (n 67) 23–30; Editorial (2008) 45 Common Market Law Review 2–3; Besselink, LFM, ‘Dynamics of European and national citizenship: inclusive or exclusive?’ (2007) 3 European Constitutional Law Review, 1–2; A Castro Oliveira, ‘Workers and other persons: step-by-step from movement to citizenship – Case Law 1995–2001’(2002) 39 Common Market Law Review; Dougan, M and Spaventa, E, ‘Educating Rudy and the (non-) English patient: A double-bill on residency rights under Article 18 EC’ (2003) 28 European Law Review 700–4; Martin, D, ‘A Big Step Forward for Union Citizens, but a Step Backwards for Legal Coherence’ (2002) 4 European Journal of Migration and Law 136–44; O’Leary, S, ‘Putting flesh on the bones of European Union citizenship’ (1999) 24 European Law Review 75–9; Shaw, J and Fries, S, ‘Citizenship of the Union: First Steps in the European Court of Justice’ (1998) 4 European Public Law 533.
70 Para 28 of the AG opinion in Petersen.
72 Para 19 of the AG opinion.
73 E Spaventa (n 71) 37, 38.
76 Dorrego de Carlos, A, ‘La libertad de circulación de personas: del Tratado de Roma al Tratado de la Unión Europea’ in Gil-Robles, JM, Los derechos del europeo (Incipit editores, Madrid, 1993) 30; Mattera, A, ‘La liberté de circulation et de séjour des citoyens européens et l’applicabilité directe de l’article 8 A du traité CE’ in Rodríguez Iglesias, GC et al. ., Mélanges en hommage à Fernand Schockweiler (Baden-Baden, 1999) 413.
77 S O’Leary (n 67). Discussing citizenship and free movement, the author argues inter alia that the provisions on citizenship are difficult to reconcile with reverse discrimination. See also Nic Shuibhne, N, ‘Free Movement of Persons and the Wholly Internal Rule: Time to Move On?’ (2002) 39 Common Market Law Review 748; d’Oliveira, HUJ, ‘Is reverse discrimination still possible under the Single European Act?’ in Forty Years On: The Evolution of Postwar Private International Law in Europe: Symposium in Celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Centre of Foreign Law and Private International Law, University of Amsterdam, on 27 October 1989 (Kluwer, Deventer, 1990) 84; Spaventa, E, ‘From Gebhard to Carpenter: Towards a (non-economic) European Constitution’ (2004) 41 Common Market Law Review 771.
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98 Case C-135/08 Rottmann  ECR I-1449.
99 Para 23 of the AG opinion.
100 Para 32 of the AG opinion.
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107 Para 42 of the judgment.
108 According to the Court, ‘the principles stemming from this judgment with regard to the powers of the Member States in the sphere of nationality, and also their duty to exercise those powers having due regard to European Union law, apply both to the Member State of naturalization and to the Member State of the original nationality’, para 62 of the judgment.
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110 Para 48 of the judgment.
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120 See (n 93).
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