Dion Kramer

Winner Dissertation Prize 2021

Earning Social Citizenship. Free Movement, National Welfare and the European Court of Justice.

Supervisor: Prof. dr. G.T. Davies
Co-supervisor: Dr. F.J. van Hooren
Nomination: VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Law

Report by the selection committee

This study deftly delves into the role of the European Court of Justice and the effects of its case-law on citizenship on domestic welfare policies. Whereas the push from the Court is for a non-discriminatory approach, the study shows that this has unintended but far-reaching side-effects, reshaping the whole concept of citizenship within states and leading to what the author calls ‘earned social citizenship’. While the book focuses on the Netherlands, its insights are relevant for all member states of the European Union. The author combined sharp legal analysis with a detailed study of politics, policies and media.

The book is the product of an excellent combination of legal and empirical research. The jury particularly applauds the way in which the author reflects explicitly on his positionality as a researcher. The jury was also impressed by the lucid and impassioned style, which brings a topic to life that at first sight will not immediately appeal to many: the welfare state. This project is undertaken in a way that is both compelling and convincing, also for non-specialists. An impressive book with a very important message.