Case 292/89 Antonissen [1991] ECR I-745

Key point
  • Under Article 45 TFEU, an EU national must be allowed to enter into another Member State to find work, even without securing an offer of employment beforehand, and must be allowed to stay for a reasonable minimum period, such as six months, before being ordered to leave
Facts
  • Antonissen migrated to the UK to find work but did not do so successfully after three years
  • He was caught for dealing drugs and was subject to a deportation order
  • He argued that deportation would breach his right to free movement¬† under Article 45 TFEU (then Article 48 EEC Treaty)
  • Under a UK provision, a person would no longer be a ‘worker’ within the meaning of Article 45 TFEU if he has failed to find employment six months after entry
Held
  • The UK provision was compatible with Article 45 TFEU
Judgment
  • ‘it has been argued that, according to the strict wording of Article [45] of the Treaty, Community nationals are given the right of move freely within the territory of the Member States for the purpose only of accepting offers of employment actually made (Article [45](3)(a) and (b)) whilst the right to stay in the territory of a Member State is stated to be for the purpose of employment (Article [45](3)(c)) … Such an interpretation would exclude the right of a national of a Member State to move freely and to stay in the territory of the other Member States in order to seek employment there, and cannot be upheld’: [9] – [10]
  • ‘the effectiveness of Article [45] is secured in so far as Community legislation or, in its absence, the legislation of a Member State gives persons concerned a reasonable time in which to apprise themselves, in the territory of the Member State concerned, of offers of employment’:¬† [16]
  • Requiring a person to leave after failing to find employment for six months is compatible with Article [45], unless the person provides evidence that he is continuing to seek employment and that he has genuine chances of being engaged: [21] – [22]
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