Op-Ed: “Two Opinions on free movement and unemployment benefits in the EFTA Court: A Bit of a Dog’s Breakfast” by Mads Andenæs
On 30 June 2021 the EFTA Court delivered two Advisory Opinions on free movement and unemployment benefits, Criminal proceedings against P (Case E-15/20 ) and O v the Norwegian Government (Case E-13/20). The facts of the cases differ, but both concerned persons had travelled from Norway and stayed temporarily in other EEA States whilst in receipt of unemployment benefits. Importantly, they had done so without availing themselves of the right to export in the Social Security Coordination Regulation 883/2004.
They were considered to be in breach of a statutory requirement to stay in Norway. They lost their entitlements, were issued with a recovery order with a penalty interest, criminally charged and convicted to a prison sentence.