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EU ruling: Danish SU student grants for all EU citizens

A European court has decided that all EU citizens should be granted the full Danish study grant, the SU. As it is now, it is free for all EU citizens to study at Danish universities, but they aren't eligible for the generous SU. Things might change

This could be good news for EU nationals studying in Denmark: According to a new ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), EU citizens are entitled to full SU, as long as they have been, or are currently, working in the country.

The government estimates that the ruling would cost Denmark approximately DKK 200 million per year, and Danish parties from across the political spectrum are voicing their concerns.

The right-wing Danish People’s Party (DF) worries that the estimated amount may grow much larger, and are demanding that the current SU-reform takes the EU ruling into consideration.

EU ruling will be considered

»We have to include a statement on how we intend to handle the matter: it doesn’t make sense to restructure SU if we know that we will face new and complex problems so soon afterwards,« says DF’s Jens Henrik Thulesen Dahl to the Danish politics site

Read more: SU for international students – how to apply

However, the Minister of Science, Innovation, and Higher Education, Morten Østergaard, says that the EU ruling won’t have an effect on the SU reform talks:

»The SU reform is to make sure that the we have an SU system that is geared to a larger number of students, and that will allow us to invest in creating jobs,« Morten Østergaard (R) says to Ritzau. »This ruling is a result of our EU membership, and we – of course – have to support its convictions.«

Agreement to follow

The left-wing party the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) has also stated that the Danish grants system is a national benefit intended specifically for Danish students, and should not involve the EU:

»EU citizenship shouldn’t automatically lead to SU eligibility,,« says Nikolaj Villumsen of the Red-Green Alliance. »It would put an unreasonable strain on the grants system, and the EU is infringing on this boundary.«

Whether or not the EU ruling will be written into the new SU reform still isn’t known. The Danish media expect that an agreement will be reached within the next few weeks.

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