Updated: Apr 25
The European Union Commission has urged Belgium to allow EU job seekers to stay in the nation for a reasonable period of time in order to look for work.
According to a recent press release, the Commission ordered Belgium to enable EU job seekers to stay in the nation for up to six months after registering as a job seeker.
"The Court determined that a reasonable period is six months from the date of registration as a jobseeker in the host Member State." This should enable individuals to discover a job offer that matches their credentials and take the appropriate measures to begin working," according to the Commission's statement.
The Commission has already provided Belgium a reasoned opinion on the subject, believing that the country's current policies violate EU law.
Furthermore, the Commission emphasised that all EU nationals have the right to reside in another EU member country for three months as long as they have a valid identity card.
It goes on to say that after three months, Member States must allow EU jobseekers looking for work in their territory to stay for a fair period of time after registering with employment services.
Following that period, it has been emphasised that host EU nations have the right to compel jobseekers to demonstrate their possibilities of obtaining work if they wish to stay for an extended period of time.
However, Belgian law requires jobseekers from the EU to provide documentation of their possibilities of finding work after the first three months of stay, making it difficult for them to find work and remain in the nation.
The Court of Justice clarified the EU rules on this subject in December 2020. The Court held at the time that Belgium's legislation and practise violated the regulation on the right to residency in another member state when looking for work.
In July 2022, the Commission gave Belgium a letter of formal notice. However, the latter did not take any steps to guarantee that the national rules were in accordance with EU legislation.
Belgium now has two months to complete all required steps to allow EU job searchers to stay in the country for an extended amount of time while seeking for work. If not, the Commission may opt to refer the case to the Court of Justice.
By fLEXI tEAM