In March 2014 the German Minister of Labor, Andrea Nahles (SPD) and the Minister for the Interior, Thomas de Maizière (CDU) presented a paper entitled “Rechtsfragen und Herausforderungen bei der Inanspruchnahme der sozialen Sicherungssysteme durch Angehörige der EU-Mitgliedstaaten” (“Legal questions and challenges regarding the rights of citizens of EU countries to the social security system”). The paper proposed amendments to various laws and acts that regulated the rights of immigrants to obtain social welfare assistance. These proposals were approved by the German government and have been put into law.
This packet of legal changes entails:
1. Rights restriction of EU citizens to live and work wherever they wish within the EU – amendment of the EU citizens’ freedom of movement act (FreizüG).
– New regulations regarding those who come to Germany seeking to work. If within a period of six months a job seeker from another EU country has not found a job, he/she cannot prove that has both being looking for it and has a chance of finding it, she/he can lose the rights to reside in Germany
– Restriction of the right of relatives to join non-German EU workers in Germany to those of direct lineage (i.e. offspring and grandchildren). Previously those more distantly related (cousins etc.) were permitted to join the worker
– Permits allowing long-term residency will require employers to certify that the worker is employed
– Introduction of legal mechanisms to ban EU citizens from reentry into Germany for a period of time in the case of fraud
– Imposition of sanctions if false evidence is presented in seeking long term residency
2. Fighting illegal labor and the concept of economically dependent self-employed worker (false self-employed).
3. Stiffening of administrative procedures for child benefit access (Kindergeld). It becomes mandatory providing the tax identification number and more bureaucratic requirements are set.
4. Financial support to EU funds to communities with higher immigration numbers to cover the necessary needs for education, integration, housing, health, etc.