A Blurred Piece of Jigsaw: On the Status of Jobseekers within the Framework of Directive 2004/38

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
Dr Rufat Babayev Lecturer in EU Law, Leicester Law School, University of Leicester Leicester UK

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This article explores the status of jobseeker in Directive 2004/38 that is aimed to simplify and strengthen the right of free movement and residence of all Union citizens. Unlike the categories of economically active and inactive persons, Directive 2004/38 employs a somewhat piecemeal approach towards setting out the status of jobseekers. It is submitted that this leads to much uncertainty over their residence rights and raises the prospect of divergent national implementation measures, leaving much leeway for the adoption of stringent approaches. While this is manifested itself, for instance, in the UK’s policy towards Union jobseekers, it is also particularly salient within the framework of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement that authorises a constitutive approach to post-Brexit residence status, which is shown to carry a greater risk for UK nationals residing in EU Member States. Both instances are argued to further substantiate the need for a more systematic approach towards the outline of the status of jobseeker in Directive 2004/38, though the introduction of any legislative change may not currently be politically viable.

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