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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 Slovakia to ensure that its pensioners who reside in another Member State can claim a Christmas supplement (vianočný príspevok) to their pension.
Slovakia provides this benefit only to its pensioners living within the Slovak Republic and thus breaches its obligations under EU law (and in particular Article 48 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, as implemented by Regulation (EC) 883/2004).
Under EU rules, the Christmas supplement to a pension constitutes an old-age benefit, which cannot be refused on the account that the beneficiary resides in another Member State than the competent one.
The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. If Slovakia does not notify the Commission within two months of measures to ensure compliance with these obligations under EU law, the Commission may decide to refer Slovakia to the EU's Court of Justice.