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April 23, 2023

Commission Requires Belgium to Allow EU Jobseekers to Stay in

The Commission of the European Union has called on Belgium to grant jobseekers from the EU the right to stay in the country for a reasonable period of time to look for a job.

According to a recent press release, the Commission required Belgium to allow EU jobseekers to reside in the country for up to six months from the registration as a jobseeker, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“The Court has considered that six months from the registration as a jobseeker in the host Member State is a reasonable period. This should allow them to find a job offer corresponding to their qualifications and to take the necessary steps to start the job,” the statement of the Commission reads.

The Commission has already sent a reasoned opinion to Belgium on the matter as it considers that the country’s current rules are contrary to EU law.

In addition, the Commission stressed that all citizens of the EU have the right to reside in another member country for three months as long as they hold a valid identity document.

It further explained that after three months, the Member States are required to allow EU jobseekers who are looking for a job in their territory to stay for a reasonable time after they register with the employment services.

After that period, it has been noted that the host EU countries have the right to require jobseekers to prove their chances of finding a job if they wish to stay for a longer period.

Belgium’s law, however, required jobseekers from the EU to deliver proof of their chances of finding a job already after the first three months of residence, making it difficult for them to get a job and continue residing in the country.

The EU rules on this matter were clarified by the Court of Justice on December 2020. Back then, the Court considered that the legislation as well as the practice of Belgium was contrary to the regulation on the right of residence in another member state when looking for a job.

The Commission already sent a letter of formal notice to Belgium in July 2022. However, the latter did not take any measures to ensure that the national rules as in line with the law of the EU.

Belgium now has two months to take all necessary measures to permit EU jobseekers to reside in the country for a reasonable period when looking for a job. If not, the Commission may decide for the case to be referred to the Court of Justice.

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