Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
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Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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Irish Left Review >>
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Human Rights in Ireland >>
European migrant workers rights unprotected in Ireland for 1 and 1/2 years.
Monday October 31, 2005 16:58 by Mago
Complaint to the European Commission.
I find European Commission working too slow in this issue; anti-discrimination groups and unions don't seem to me to be taking it seriously enough, the general public is uninformed. At best, people show not much interest.
This is part of a complaint about the implementation of the Habitual Residence Condition by the Irish Government. Let me know what you think.
9. As far as possible, specify the provisions of Community law (treaties, regulations, directives, decisions, etc.) which the complainant considers to have been infringed by the Member State concerned:
· Non-discrimination in comparison to nationals.
"As the Court of Justice of the European Communities has decided, this applies not only to forms of "direct" discrimination but also to all forms of hidden ("indirect") discrimination where, in theory, a provision of national legislation applies equally to nationals and foreigners, but, in practice, is found to be disadvantageous for foreigners."
The advantage is for their own nationals and UK nationals too. Rules are clearly designed to stop other than these nationals claims. And the actual application is pushing it to exceptional degrees.
"Minister Mary Coughlan is committed to ensuring that no person whose circumstances are appropriate to the Irish social welfare system is disadvantaged by the introduction of the new condition. " Refering to Irish and British people.
"Every effort is made to find grounds for making a positive decision when cases are being considered." Refering to the design of the rules to make them disadvantageous only for certain nationalities.
"It is difficult to envisage circumstances where a returning Irish national would not meet this condition." Refering to the grievance for non-nationals.
The ministers stress the point that this is not based on nationality but in reality :
- How many Irish are turned down/allowed with short periods ?
- How many years are "foreigners" required to be allowed ?
· Collins -v- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
European Court of Justice ruled that the “habitual residence” test in the UK « discriminates on the grounds of nationality against non-UK nationals of the European Community who come to the UK looking for work, and is thus contrary to the freedom of movement principle enshrined in the EC Treaty unless the UK Government can show that a period of residence is fundamentally important to establishing entitlement to jobseeker’s allowance ».
while specifying that it « must not exceed what is necessary in order to be satisfied that the person concerned is in fact genuinely seeking employment in the member state in question ».
--> I don’t understand the arguments that prove that a period of residence is fundamental for this kind of allowance in the UK, or how the same could apply in Ireland.
--> Although not specified, it is implied that this period must not be more than a few months but in some cases periods of up to 3, 4 years are not sufficient.
--> ?why does this period applies only to so-called ‘people from abroad’, as Irish or British nationals don’t require any period if the "Irish" Deciding Officer decides so.
--> If a European citizen came from EU market - as opposed to Mr. Collins case - they are connected to the ‘single market’. Therefore to the market of the member state.