Expatica : Belgium expels over 2,000 EU citizens in a year's time
(09/08/2012) This year, the Belgian authorities withdrew the residence permits of 1,224 EU citizens. In a year's time, this number climbed to over 2,000.
The people involved have to leave our country. Under European legislation, a member state can decide to expel a person if they pose a burden to the social security system.
Within the EU, the free movement of persons, asylum and immigration applies. However, it is stipulated that people moving to another country should also have the means to pay for their own living.
Since 2004, EU member countries have the right to refuse certain citizens if these should pose "an unreasonable burden" on the country's social security system.
In Belgium, it goes like this: when an EU citizen has been receiving financial support from the social services of the OCMW for three months, the Immigration Department looks into the situation. If it turns out that the person in question abuses the system, the Belgian state can ask them to leave the country. In a year's time, there have been over 2,000 of these cases. Counting from 1 January, there have been 1,224 new cases so far.
It's mostly immigrants from Romania who are asked to leave the country. The Romanians are followed by citizens from Bulgaria, Spain, Slovakia and the Netherlands.