Social Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers Through the Exercise of Socio-economic Rights in European Union Law

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. Economic and social rights equal to those of nationals. – III. Cases where discrimination between refugees and nationals, or between those respectively granted refugee status and subsidiary protection status on social and economic grounds, is allowed. – IV. The case of discriminatory residence-related benefits. – V. What room is there for integration measures or affirmative actions established or coordinated at the Union level? – VI. Asylum seekers in a state of limbo – VII. Conclusions.

Abstract: Economic and social rights are key for a successful integration of aliens. Indeed, they represent a considerable part of the content of the international protection status in the Qualification Directive, in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights and other relevant human rights treaties. However, in some cases EU rules allow a differential treatment of beneficiaries of international protection as compared with nationals and, despite the unification of statuses accomplished in the recast Qualification Directive, to some extent a distinctive treatment of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection status is still tolerated in this area. This is even more true for those who are merely asylum seekers: the relevant legal machinery is built around the idea that they should receive differential treatment. A review of the Union’s commitment to social integration of beneficiaries of international protection also extends to its competences concerning affirmative actions and integration programmes.

Keywords: socio-economic rights – beneficiaries of international protection – non-discrimination – affirmative actions – integration programmes – asylum seekers.

European Papers, Vol. 3, 2018, No 2, pp. 781-807
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/255

* Associate Professor of European Union Law, University of Teramo,


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