In most universities, PhD students are literally students similar to master students. Fellowships and scholarships only support them financially, but officially they are students.
Some European university advertise PhD open positions like a contract job (similar to research associates or postdoc). It is understandable that these funded PhD students provide some services for the university, but in the first case too, PhD students regularly provide TA and RA services, but they are still students.
Are these two schemes different in action, or difference is only in words on paper?
Do European PhD students (mentioned in the second case) have more rights or flexibility?