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EU Court Rules Countries Can Refuse Jobless Benefits to Immigrants

A European Union court says EU countries can refuse unemployment benefits to immigrants who come solely for the benefits and make no effort to find work.

The European Court of Justice Tuesday ruled EU countries "can avoid social benefits tourism without violating the free movement of citizens."

The court's decision upheld a German welfare program's decision denying jobless benefits to a Romanian immigrant.

The Romanian woman who arrived in Germany in 2010 sued a job center for refusing to grant her and her young son benefits intended primarily for the long-term unemployed and their children.

The court said member nations aren't obliged to grant benefits to other EU countries' citizens for the first three months and, if they stay longer and don't work, they must have “sufficient resources of their own” to be entitled to residence, the court noted.

Political analysts said the decision comes amid concern over perceived welfare abuse by migrants from poorer EU countries.