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Durham Law School

Staff profile

Publication details for Professor Eleanor Spaventa

Dougan, M. & Spaventa, E. (2003). Educating Rudy and the (non-)English Patient: A Double-Bill on Residency Rights under Article 18 EC. European Law Review 28(5): 699-712.

Author(s) from Durham


The judgment in Baumbast represents a significant contribution to the Court's growing caselaw on the legal effects of Union citizenship.1 The Court declared that Article 18(1) EC has direct effect within the national legal orders, and explored the nature of the “limitations and conditions” which (according to the Treaty) regulate exercise of the citizen's right to residency. In particular, emphasis has shifted from whether the claimant fulfils the black letter provisions of the three Residency Directives, towards the question of whether the claimant constitutes an “unreasonable burden” on the public finances of the host state. This article examines the implications of the Court's approach: the variables which may influence the definition of an unreasonable financial burden; and the impact of Community law upon national conceptions of “belonging to” or being “excluded from” the welfare society. It will be argued that the ruling in Baumbast fosters the emergence of new models of social solidarity, whose terms of reference are partly domestic, partly communautaire. In their wake, inevitably, come not only exciting opportunities for the individual, but also the risk of undermining the integrity of welfare systems which remain organised along national boundaries.