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According to a study just published by the European Commission in most EU countries, EU citizens from other Member States use welfare benefits no more intensively than the host country's nationals. Mobile EU citizens are less likely to receive disability and unemployment benefits in most countries studied.
The European Commission has requested The Netherlands to ensure that people who qualify for a disabled persons allowance under Dutch social security legislation can obtain it regardless of whether they reside in another Member State.
The Commission considers that the Dutch allowance for disabled persons granted on the basis of the Dutch Law on Indemnity of Chronically III and Disabled Persons (Wet tegemoetkoming chronisch zieken en gehandicapten –WTCG) should be provided to those entitled to it even if they reside outside The Netherlands.
By refusing to provide this allowance to people who live in other Member States, the Netherlands is in breach of its obligations under EU law, in particular Article 48 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, as implemented by Regulation (EC) 883/2004.
The request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. The Netherlands now has two months to notify the Commission of measures to ensure compliance with the obligations under EU law. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer this Member State to the EU's Court of Justice.