Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Case law

This case concerned the freedom of services. Services fall within the Treaty if they are normally provided for remuneration, in so far as they are not governed by the provisions relating to freedom of movement for goods, capital and persons. The provider and the recipient of a service have a right of residence during the period in which the service is provided. The freedom to provide services includes the freedom for the recipients of services to go to another Member State in order to receive medical treatment. (Full text)

This case concerned the right of a migrant worker to have his/her court trial conducted in his/her own language. This right plays an important role in the integration of a migrant worker and his/her family into the host State and consequently in achieving the objective of free movement for workers. This right must be considered as a social advantage within the meaning of Union law. (Full text)

The Court accepted that remuneration can be in other forms than money, for example, services provided by the employer to the employee. In this case activities were performed by members of a religious community, as part of commercial activities of that community. Those activities constitute economic activities within the meaning of the Treaty in so far as the services may be considered as the indirect compensation for genuine and effective work. (Full text)

Union law does not prohibit the adoption of a policy for the protection and promotion of a language of a Member State, which is both the national language and the first official language. The restriction may not be disproportionate to the aim pursued or unnecessarily discriminatory towards other Member State nationals. The principle of non-discrimination precludes the imposition of any requirement that the linguistic knowledge must have been obtained in the national territory. (Full text)

In this case the free movement principles regarding a recently acceded Member State are discussed. In this situation the freedom of movement of workers was limited by the Act of Accession since the transitional period had not ended. The freedom of services is not subject to transitional provisions.
The rules on services are applicable if workers move temporarily to provide services for their employer. These workers return to their country of origin at the end of their employment. They do not gain access to the labour market of the host Member State. Thus, it is the employer’s right to service provision that is exercised, not a worker’s right to free movement. (Full text)

Indistinctly applicable national rules which restrict the freedom guaranteed by the Treaty in the field of services come within the scope of the Treaty. However, the application of such rules to foreign persons providing services is not justified by overriding reasons relating to the public interest or if the requirements embodied in those rules are already satisfied by the rules imposed on those persons in the Member States in which they are established. (Full text)

This case explained the conditions under which limitations to the fundamental freedoms can be justified. The Court confirmed that Member States remain competent to regulate a subject which is not yet harmonised, as in this case the use of a postgraduate academic title obtained in another Member State. However, national law may not be an obstacle to the effective exercise of the fundamental freedoms of movement for persons and the rights of establishment. As a result, these rules have to pursue a legitimate objective and have to be justified by pressing reasons of public interest. (Full text)

This case concerns job-seekers. The Court confirmed that a benefit of a financial nature to facilitate access to employment in the labour market of a Member State falls within the meaning of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The Court pointed out that a Member State may grant a job-seeker’s allowance dependent upon a requirement, if this requirement is based on objective considerations that are independent of nationality and is proportionate to a legitimate aim. In this case the requirement of a genuine link between the person seeking work and the employment market of that State was acceptable. (Full text)

This case concerned the compatibility of national unemployment legislation with the freedom of movement and residence. The Court confirmed that the right of residence is not unconditional; it can be subject to limitations and conditions.
The condition of a residence clause for an unemployment allowance is not prohibited. A condition can be justified by objective considerations of public interest and it has to be proportionate. This residence clause reflects the need to monitor the circumstances of unemployed persons. (Full text)

This case concerned access to non-contributory disability benefits. The Court considered these benefits to be social advantages within the meaning of Union law (Regulation No 1612/68).
The Court held that it is permissible to reserve such a special non-contributory disability benefit, listed in annex IIa of Regulation 1408/71 to persons who reside in the territory of the Member State which provides the benefit. However a condition of residence can be put forward only if it is objectively justified and proportionate to the objective pursued by national legislation. (Full text)

In this case the Court confirmed that the concept of worker is independent from the limited amount of remuneration and the short duration of the professional activity.
Further, it ruled that a job-seeker is entitled to receive any benefit of a financial nature intended to facilitate access to employment. Such a benefit is not social assistance, which Member States may refuse to job-seekers.
To receive a benefit the job-seeker can be required to have established genuine links with the labour market of the Member State, for example by showing that he/she has actually sought work in that Member State for a reasonable period. (Full text)

According to the Court, national legislation, such as that at issue in C-73/08, which limits the number of students not residing in Belgium who may enroll for the first time in medical and paramedical courses in higher education establishments is contrary to Articles 18 and 21 TFEU, unless the referring court finds that such legislation is justified in the light of the objective of protection of public health. (Full text)

According to the Court, Article 45 TFEU obliges national supplementary pension schemes to take into account the years of service completed by a worker for the same employer in establishments of that employer situated in different Member States and pursuant to the same coordinating contract of employment when determining periods for the acquisition of a supplementary pension in that Member State. A worker who has been transferred from an establishment of his employer in one Member State to an establishment of the same employer in another Member State is not regarded as having left the employer of his own free will. (Full text)

National legislation, which lays down that it is the residence criterion which determines whether an employee working on a gas-drilling platform on the continental shelf adjacent to a Member State may benefit from compulsory insurance in that Member State, is contrary to Regulation 1408/71 (now Regulation (EC) No 883/2004). This regulation, together with Article 45 TFEU, must be interpreted as precluding an employee in this situation from being in a position in which he is not compulsorily insured under national statutory employee insurance in that Member State (in casu The Netherlands) solely on the grounds that he is not resident there but in another Member State (in casu Spain). (Full text)

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