European Court of Justice rules self-employed EU citizens can retain worker rights if unemployed
Following from the case Florea Gusa v Minister for Social Protection, Ireland and Attorney General on 20 December 2017 an EU citizen who, after more than one year, has ceased to work in a self-employed capacity in another Member State because of an absence of work owing to reasons beyond his control retains the status of self-employed person and, consequently, a right to reside in that Member State.
The above-case involved a Romanian plasterer who was self-employed from 2008 – 2012. He then applied for jobseeker’s allowance as he could not find further employment. The Court’s judgment reverses the Court of Appeal’s earlier ruling in Tilianu, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  which found that self-employed EU citizens did not retain their worker rights in the event of unemployment.
The court ruled therefore, that a national of a Member State retains the status of self-employed person for the purposes of the directive where:-
- after having lawfully resided in and worked as a self-employed person in another Member State for approximately four years, that national has ceased that activity because of an absence of work owing to reasons beyond his control.
In the judgment the Court found that it cannot be inferred from the wording of the provision at issue that that provision covers only the situation of persons who have ceased to work as employed persons and excludes those who have ceased to work as self-employed persons.