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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This contribution provides a critical analysis of the free movement of workers in the European Union. It starts by recalling the legal framework, describing the main rights guaranteed to migrant EU workers by the Treaty and secondary legislation, as interpreted by the European Court of Justice. It then focuses on some problematic areas of the law: the notion of ‘genuine activity’, which is both nebulous and random in its application; and the notion of ‘remuneration’ which, at present, risks excluding atypical employment contracts from the protection of the Treaty (such as zero hours contracts and unpaid internships) as well as work provided in the domestic context, even though those activities have an economic value for the recipient. The chapter then turns to a brief analysis of the derogations imposed on workers from acceding countries, to conclude that the free movement of workers risks being undermined by protectionist rhetoric.

Keywords: free movement, workers, migration, Union citizenship, enlargement, family reunification, barriers to movement, equal treatment, workseekers, remuneration

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