By Mike Meade a member of one of the SY2E – Remain in the EU groups.
There is a prevalent notion that an EU country (like Britain) must accept the residency of any other EU national (like Romanians).
This is not the case. Those with serious criminal records anywhere in the EU can be refused settlement rights.
An EU country can refuse the right to settle to any EU citizen (except their own nationals) who don’t work and are unable to support themselves.
All Union citizens have the right of residence on the territory of another Member State for a period of longer than three months if they:
(a) are workers or self-employed persons in the host Member State; or
(b) have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State during their period of residence and have comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the host Member State; or
(c) are enrolled at a private or public establishment, accredited or financed by the host Member State on the basis of its legislation or administrative practice, for the principal purpose of following a course of study
(d) are family members accompanying or joining a Union citizen who satisfies the conditions referred to in points (a), (b) or (c).
So, there is no absolute right to reside in other EU countries but four different ways to gain this right.
Point (a) is for workers, point (c) is for students and point (d) is for family members accompanying another EU citizen who qualifies under (a), (b) or (c) (it’s a derived right).
If an EU citizen doesn’t qualify for either of those, they’re left with point (b) and it comes with a big caveat: they should not “become a burden on the social assistance system”.
In practice, it means they must have resources above the level to qualify for welfare benefits in the host country. That’s the legal basis for France’s treatment of Romas, for the requirements to get residence rights in Spain or Portugal, for Belgium expelling EU citizens, etc.