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Commission requests Italy to pay family benefits to cross-border workers

26/10/2011 Mother and son cooking together

The European Commission has requested Italy to comply with its obligations under EU law to pay certain family allowances given by the region of Trentino-Alto Adige and the province of Bolzano to people working there but living in Austria.

The current refusal of the Italian authorities to pay these allowances to the workers is based on the fact that the workers do not reside in Trentino – Alto Adige or Bolzano.

According to EU law, cross-border workers (persons who work in one Member State but reside in another to which they return daily or at least once a week) are covered by the social security system of the country where they work and not by the system of the country where they reside. Italy’s current residence conditions for family allowances are therefore an obstacle to the free movement of workers.

The Commission's request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. If Italy does not bring its legislation into line with EU law within two months, the Commission may decide to refer Italy to the EU's Court of Justice.

Photo: © BlueOrange Studio, under license of

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