Lexploria beta Legal research enhanced by smart algorithms
Menu

Judgment of the Court of 31 January 1991.

Office national de l'emploi v Bahia Kziber.

C-18/90 • ECLI:EU:C:1991:36 • 61990CJ0018

  • Total citations:
  • Citations to paragraphs:
  • Cited paragraphs:

Office national de l'emploi v Bahia Kziber.

Display cited paragraphs only

REPORT FOR THE HEARING

in Case C- 18/90 ( *1 )

I — Facts and procedure

1. The Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Morocco (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Agreement’) was signed on 27 April 1976 at Rabat by the Kingdom of Morocco, on the one hand, and the Member States of the EEC and the Community, on the other hand, and concluded, on behalf of the Community, by Council Regulation No 2211/78 of 26 September 1978 (Official Journal L 264, p. 1).

2. The objective of the Agreement, as stated in Article 1 thereof, is ‘to promote overall cooperation between the Contracting Parties with a view to contributing to the economic and social development of Morocco and helping to strengthen relations between the Parties. To this end provisions and measures will be adopted and implemented in the field of economic, technical and financial cooperation, and in the trade and social fields.’

3. Article 40, which appears in Title HI of the Agreement relating to cooperation in the field of labour, provides: ‘The treatment accorded by each Member State to workers of Moroccan nationality employed in its territory shall be free from any discrimination based on nationality, as regards working conditions or remuneration, in relation to its own nationals. ...’.

4. Article 41(1) provides: ‘Subject to the provisions of the following paragraphs, workers of Moroccan nationality and any members of their families living with them shall enjoy, in the field of social security, treatment free from any discrimination based on nationality in relation to nationals of the Member States in which they are employed.’

5. Articles 44 and 45, which appear in Title IV relating to general and final provisions, provides for the establishment of a Cooperation Council composed, on the one hand, of members of the Council of the European Communities and members of the Commission of the European Communities and, on the other hand, of members of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco. For the purpose of achieving the objectives set by the Agreement and in the cases provided by the Agreement, this Council is vested with decision-making powers. The decisions taken are binding on the Contracting Parties who are required to adopt measures necessary for their implementation.

6. Article 42(1) provides: ‘Before the end of the first year following entry into force of this Agreement, the Cooperation Council shall adopt provisions to implement the principles set out in Article 41.’

7. Notwithstanding the proposals for a decision submitted by the delegation of the Community no decision has been adopted by the Cooperation Council in the field of social security.

8. In Belgium the Royal Decree of 20 December 1963 relating to employment and unemployment (Moniteur belge of 18.1.1964, p. 506) provides, in Article 124, for the grant of unemployment allowances, under certain conditions, for the benefit of young workers who have completed either vocational studies or an apprenticeship. As regards foreign and stateless workers, Article 125 of the Royal Decree provides that they are not to be entitled to unemployment allowances except within the limits of an international convention.

9. Bahia Kziber, of Moroccan nationality, the daughter of a Moroccan national, who is now a pensioner in Belgium where he had worked as a wage-earner, was refused by the Office national de l'emploi (hereinafter referred to as ‘Onem’) entitlement to the unemployment allowances on the ground of her nationality.

10. Ms Kziber brought an action against that decision of refusal before the labour courts. Whereas before the Tribunal du travail (Labour Tribunal) she relied on the general social security Convention between Belgium and Morocco, before the Cour du travail (Labour Court) she relied on the provisions of Anicie 41(1) of the Agreement.

11. Since it considered that the dispute involved an interpretation of the Agreement, the Cour du travail, Liège, by judgment of 16 January 1990, stayed the proceedings until the Court of Justice had given a preliminary ruling on the following question: ‘May a Member State refuse to grant, on the grounds of nationality, a social advantage within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68 to the dependent children of a worker who is a national of a non-member country (Morocco), with which the European Economic Community has concluded a cooperation agreement containing, in the field of social security, a clause providing for the equal treatment of migrant workers from that country employed in the Community and of members of their family living with them?’

12. In the grounds of the judgment making the reference the Cour du travail, Liège, states that the Agreement forms part of the Community legal order and that the non-discrimination clause contained in Article 41(1) is by its very nature perfectly capable of producing direct effects. According to the Cour du travail Miss Kziber cannot claim the status of worker employed in the territory of one of the States of the Community within the meaning of Article 41(1) of the Agreement; similarly, the Court of Justice had held in its judgment in Case 94/84 Deak [1985] ECR 1881 that the Belgian allocation d'attente (special unemployment allowance for young workers who have completed certain vocational studies or apprenticeships) did not constitute a derived right on which the holder could rely in his capacity as a descendant of a migrant worker; the Court of Justice did however hold that the allocation d'attente constituted a social advantage within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68 of the Council on freedom of movement for workers within the Community, establishing the principle of equal treatment in the matter of social advantages as between national workers and workers who are national to the Member State (Official Journal, English Special Edition 1968 (II), p. 475). The question before the Cour du travail was whether the benefit of that provision was reserved exclusively to the dependent children of a worker who is a national of a Member State or whether it might also be accorded to the child of a worker who is a national of a non-member country with which the European Economic Community had concluded a cooperation agreement, on the basis of a non-discrimination clause of the type contained in Article 41(1) of the Agreement.

13. The order of the Cour du travail, Liège, was registered at the Registry of the Court of Justice on 22 January 1990.

14. In accordance with Article 20 of the Protocol on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the EEC written observations were submitted on 1 April 1990 by the Commission, represented by its Legal Adviser, Jean-Claude Séché, acting as Agent, on 3 April 1990 by Bahia Kziber, appellant in the main proceedings, represented by Michèle Baiwir and René Jamar, trade union representatives, on 6 and 9 April 1990 by Onem, respondent in the main proceedings, represented by C. Derwael, of the Brussels Bar, on 17 April 1990 by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by Ernst Roder arid Joachim Karl, officials of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, and on 8 April by the French Republic, represented by Philippe Pouzoulet, Deputy Director, and Claude Chavance, Attaché Principal, in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

15. Upon hearing the Report of the Judge-Rapporteur and the views of the Advocate General the Court decided to open the oral procedure without any preliminary enquiry.

II — Written observations submitted to the Court

1. According to Bahia Kziber Article 41(1), which embodies the principle of non-discrimination, is sufficiently precise and specific to be directly applicable, notwithstanding the absence of provisions adopted, pursuant to Article 42, by the Cooperation Council. In considering whether she has the status of a worker, it is necessary to go beyond the strict interpretation of that concept. It is not solely an unemployed person in receipt of unemployment allowances after a certain period of employment who must be considered as a worker but also a person registered as a person in search of employment and entitled under Belgian legislation to unemployment allowances. Even if the Court were not to accept this assimilation, Miss Kziber must be entitled to rely on the non-discrimination rule in her capacity as a member of the family of a worker. In its judgment in Deak (cited above) the Court held that the allocation d'attente constituted a social advantage within the meaning of Regulation No 1612/68. It accepted that a worker who is a national of a Member State may pursuant to Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68, which provides for equality of treatment in the matter of social advantages, claim the grant of the allocation d'attente to his child, even if the latter is not a national of a Member State. Article 41(1) of the Agreement provides a guarantee of non-discrimination between Moroccan workers and workers of the Member States ‘in the field’ of social security. This formulation would appear to be wider than the non-discrimination in relation to the worker's rights to social security benefits by virtue of their own situation. In these circumstances Moroccan workers may, by virtue of Article 41(1) of the Agreement, rely on Article 7 of Regulation No 1612/68 which, according to the Court, prohibits nationality clauses affecting the children of workers who are nationals of a Member State, even if the child does not possess the nationality of a Member State, at least in so far as it concerns social security rights and not ‘social advantages’ in the broad sense. Miss Kziber therefore proposes that the question should be answered as follows: ‘By virtue of Article 41(1) of the Cooperation Agreement the Member States may not set up as against Moroccan nationals nationality requirements laid down by national legislation for the grant of unemployment insurance benefits. In the alternative, Moroccan workers may, by virtue of Article 41(1) of the Cooperation Agreement, claim for their children the benefit of Article 7 of Regulation No 1612/68 with a view to the grant of unemployment insurance benefits.’

2. Onem points out that in its judgment in Leak the Court held that the Belgian allocation d'attente was a right granted to young persons in search of employment on the basis of their own situation and not a right derived from their situation as a member of the family of a worker. The fact that the Court held that the principle of equal treatment laid down in Article 7 of Regulation No 1612/68 applied to the grant of the allocation d'attente to children of workers who are nationals of the Member State may be explained in the light of the purpose of the EEC Treaty which is, in the perspective of freedom of movement, to ensure the best possible social conditions for workers who are nationals of the Member States. The application of Article 7(2) should not be extended to workers who are nationals of a non-member country even if that country has concluded with the Community a cooperation agreement. Moreover, the agreement in question is manifestly of a limited scope and does not grant allocations d'attente to children of Moroccan workers on the basis of their own situation. Furthermore, in the absence of provisions adopted by the Cooperation Council pursuant to Article 42 of the Agreement, the principle of non-discrimination laid down in Article 41(1) of that Agreement cannot apply-Even supposing — even if it were at all possible — that Article 41(1) applies, the person concerned does not have the status of worker within the meaning of that provision.

3. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany considers that the question submitted by the Cour du travail, Liège, should be answered in the affirmative. Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68 lays down the principle of equal treatment in the matter of social advantages only for the benefit of workers who are nationals of a Member State. Unlike the case decided by the Court in its judgment in Deak, the appellant in the main proceedings is not the descendant of a Community migrant worker. Article 41(1) is not applicable in this case because the person concerned does not have the status of worker. Nor may she claim entitlement to rights as a member of the family of a worker, since her father is in retirement. Articles 40(1) and 41(1) provide for equality of treatment only for the benefit of Moroccan workers employed in the territory of a Member State. In these circumstances, the appellant's father himself could not claim the rights under the Agreement. Even supposing that the father could rely on Article 41(1) of the Agreement, the right to equal treatment for the purposes of benefiting from a social advantage within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68 is precluded. That regulation was adopted on the basis of Article 48 et seq. of the EEC Treaty and is intended to guarantee a right of free movement for Community workers, an objective which is different from that of the Agreement. In these circumstances the question whether the allocation d'attente qualifies as a social advantage may be left undetermined.

4. The Government of the French Republic states at the outset that the appellant in the main proceedings may not, under Community law, claim entitlement, on the basis of her own nationality and that of her father, either a right to social security benefits on the basis of her own situation or a derived right to such benefit. The Agreement, which is the sole instrument on which the appellant in the main proceedings can rely, lays down, in Article 40, a reciprocal principle of non-discrimination, reiterated in Article 41(1) for the benefit of workers of Moroccan nationality, a principle whose implementation, however, is a matter, according to Article 42, for the Cooperation Council. In its judgment in Case 12/86 Demirel [1987] ECR 3719 the Court clearly stated that, for a provision of an agreement concluded by the Community with non-member countries to be capable of being directly applicable, it must, regard being had to its wording and to the purpose and nature of the agreement, contain a clear and precise obligation which is not subject, in its implementation or effects, to the adoption of any subsequent measure. In the present case the general principle laid down in Article 41 requires implementation by the Cooperation Council. Notwithstanding proposals to that end from the Community delegation, no implementing decision has been adopted by the Cooperation Council. The French Government observes moreover that the unemployment allowances at issue in the main proceedings do not rank amongst the benefits listed in Article 41 of the Agreement. While the Court did classify such allowances as a social advantage within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68, that classification applies only to the persons who benefit under the regulation and who do not include workers who are nationals of non-member countries. In the case of Moroccan workers such a classification for the purposes of Article 41 of the Agreement could only result from a formal measure adopted by the Cooperation Council. The Government of the French Republic therefore considers that the question should be answered as follows: ‘The provisions of Article 41 of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Morocco signed at Rabat on 27 April 1976 and concluded on behalf of the Community by Council Regulation of 26 September 1978 do not constitute rules of Community law which are directly applicable in the internal legal order of the Member States. As a result, the child of a Moroccan national who is employed or in receipt of a pension in a Member State may not, on the basis of Community law, claim the benefit of an unemployment allowance. In any event, it is for the Cooperation Council, by virtue of the powers conferred on it by Article 42 of the Agreement, to determine whether the grant of such an allowance to the children of Moroccan workers residing in a Member State comes within the field of application of Article 41 of that Agreement.’

5. The Commission points out that in its judgment in Deak the Court held that the Belgian allocation d'attente in question constituted a social advantage within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68 which must be accorded to a migrant worker who is a national of a Member State, irrespective of the nationality of his child. As regards the question of the direct effect of the provision included in an agreement concluded by the Community with a non-member country, the Commission recalls the criteria laid down by the Court in its case-law and, in particular and most recently, in its judgment in Demirel. The object of the Agreement is to promote overall cooperation between the Contracting Parties with the view to contributing to the economic and social development of Morocco and helping to strengthen relations between the Parties. Article 51(1) of the Agreement which provides that the Contracting Parties are to take any general or specific measures required to fulfil their obligations under the Agreement merely underlines the binding character of the Agreement without prejudging the question of the direct effect which might come to be attached to certain of its provisions. Such direct effect must be accorded to Article 40 of the Agreement which prohibits all discrimination as regards working conditions or remuneration. These are sufficiently precise concepts and no further measure is required for the application, in regard to them, of the principle of non-discrimination. The concepts of working conditions and remuneration does not include however the allocation d'attente at issue in the main proceedings. Article 40 cannot be construed as covering social advantages within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68, a provision which applies only to Community nationals. Even if the Agreement mentions social advantages, that concept would not have the same scope as that accorded to it in Regulation No 1612/68 in view of the particular purposes of the EEC Treaty in the matter of freedom of movement. Finally, Article 40 refers exclusively to workers and not to the members of their families. The allocation d'attente does however constitute a social security benefit within the meaning of Article 41(1) of the Agreement which, unlike Article 40, expressly mentions the members of the family. These provisions may not however be regarded as having direct effect. The application of the principles laid down in Article 41 is made subject, by virtue of Article 42, to action on the part of the Cooperation Council. The Community's delegation within the Cooperation Council has been unable to obtain the agreement of Morocco for the purpose of adopting implementing decisions. The Commission therefore proposes that the question should be answered as follows: ‘The provisions of Article 41 of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Morocco signed at Rabat on 27 April 1976 and concluded on behalf of the European Economic Community by Council Regulation No 2211/78 of 26 September 1978 do not constitute rules of Community law which are directly applicable in the internal legal orders of the Member States.’

F. A. Schockweiler

Judge-Rapporteur

( *1 ) Language of the case: French.

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

31 January 1991 ( *1 )

In Case C-18/90,

REFERENCE to the Court under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty by the Cour du travail, Liège, for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings pending before that court between

Office national de l'emploi (Onem)

and

Bahia Kziber

on the interpretation of certain provisions of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and Kingdom of Morocco,

THE COURT

composed of: O. Due, President, G. F. Mancini, G. C. Rodríguez Iglesias and M. Díez de Velasco (Presidents of Chambers), Sir Gordon Slynn, C. N. Kakouris, R. Joliet, F. A. Schockweiler and P. J. G. Kapteyn, Judges,

Advocate General: W. Van Gerven

Registrar: J. A. Pompe, Deputy Registrar

after considering the observations submitted on behalf of

  Onem, by C. Derwael, of the Brussels Bar,

  Bahia Kziber, by Michèle Baiwir and René Jamar, trade union representatives,

  the German Government, by Ernst Roder and Joachim Karl, officials in the Federal Ministry of the Economy, acting as Agents,

  the French Government, by Philippe Pouzoulet, Deputy Director, and Claude Chavance, Attaché Principal, in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acting as Agents,

  the Commission of the European Communities, by Jean-Claude Séché, Legal Adviser, acting as Agent,

having regard to the Report for the Hearing,

after hearing the oral argument presented by Onem, Miss Kziber, the French Government and the Commission at the hearing on 6 November 1990,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 6 December 1990,

gives the following

Judgment

1 By judgment of 16 January 1990 which was received at the Court on 22 January 1990 the Cour du travail (Labour Court), Liège (Belgium), referred a question to the Court of Justice under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Morocco signed in Rabat on 27 April 1976 and concluded on behalf of the Community by Council Regulation No 2211/78 of 26 September 1978 (Official Journal L 264, p. 1, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Agreement’).

2 That question was raised in proceedings between Bahia Kziber, a Moroccan national, and the Belgian Office national de l'emploi concerning a refusal to grant unemployment allowances.

3 It is apparent from the file in the main proceedings that Miss Kziber lives with her father, a Moroccan national, who is a pensioner in Belgium where he had worked as a wage-earner.

4 The Belgian Royal Decree of 20 December 1963 relating to employment and unemployment (Moniteur belge of 18.1.1964, p. 506) provides, in Article 124 thereof, for the grant of unemployment allowances for the benefit of young workers who have completed vocational studies or apprenticeships. As regards foreign and stateless workers, Article 125 of the Royal Decree provides that they are not to be entitled to unemployment allowances except within the limits of an international convention.

5 The Office national de l'emploi refused to grant the unemployment allowance to Miss Kziber on the ground of her nationality. She brought proceedings against that decision before the Belgian labour courts.

6 The Cour du travail (Labour Court), Liège, before which the matter had been brought on appeal, decided to stay the proceedings until the Court of Justice had given a preliminary ruling on the following question : ‘May a Member State refuse to grant, on the grounds of nationality, social advantage within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68 to the dependent children of the worker who is the national of a non-member country (Morocco), with which the European Economic Community has concluded a cooperation agreement containing, in the field of social security, a clause providing for the equal treatment of migrant workers from that country employed in the Community and of members of their families living with them?’

7 Reference is made to the Report for the Hearing for a fuller account of the facts of the case in the main proceedings, the course of the procedure and the written observations submitted to the Court, which are mentioned or discussed hereinafter only in so far as is necessary for the reasoning of the Court.

8 In order to define the purpose of the question submitted by the Cour du travail, Liège, it is necessary to recall to mind the objectives and the relevant provisions of the Agreement.

9 The objective of the Agreement is, according to Article 1 thereof, to promote overall cooperation between the Contracting Parties with the view to contributing to the economic and social development of Morocco and helping to strengthen relations between the Parties. That cooperation is instituted, under Title I, in the economic technical and financial fields, under Title II, in the field of trade cooperation, and, under Title III, in the field of labour.

10 Article 40, which forms part of Title III relating to cooperation in the field of labour, provides that each Member State is to grant to workers of Moroccan nationality employed in its territory treatment free from any discrimination based on nationality, as regards working conditions or remuneration.

11 Article 41, which forms part of the same Title III provides, in paragraph 1, that subject to the provisions of the following paragraphs, workers of Moroccan nationality and any members of the family living with them are to enjoy, in the field of social security, treatment free from any discrimination based on nationality in relation to nationals of the Member States in which they are employed. Paragraph 2 of that article grants to Moroccan worker the benefit of the aggregation of periods of insurance, employment or residence completed by such workers in the various Member States in respect of certain benefits; paragraph 3 grants them the benefit of family allowances for members of their families who are resident in the Community; paragraph 4 allows them to transfer freely to Morocco pensions or annuities. Article 41(5) establishes the principle of reciprocity in favour of workers who are nationals of the Member States as regards the treatment specified in paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 of that article.

12 Article 42 of the Agreement entrusts the Cooperation Council with the task of adopting provisions to implement the principles set out in Article 41.

13 Analysed in the light of those provisions of the Agreement, the question referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling must be understood as seeking, in substance, to ascertain whether Article 41(1) of the Agreement precludes a Member State from refusing to grant an allocation d'attente provided by its legislation for young persons in search of employment to a member of a family of a worker of Moroccan nationality living with him, on the ground that the person in search of employment is of Moroccan nationality.

14 In order to give a helpful answer to that question it is first necessary to determine whether Article 41(1) of the Agreement may be relied on before the national court and, secondly, whether that provision covers the situation of a member of the family of a migrant Moroccan worker who applies for an allowance of the type at issue in the main proceedings.

The direct effect of Article 41(1) of the Agreement

15 As the Court has consistently held (see judgment in Case 12/86 Demirel [1987] ECR 3719), a provision of an agreement concluded by the Community with non-member countries must be regarded as being directly applicable when, regard being had to its wording and to the purpose and nature of the agreement itself, the provision contains a clear and precise obligation which is not subject, in its implementation or effects, to the adoption of any subsequent measure.

16 In order to determine whether Article 41(1) of the Agreement satisfies those criteria, it is necessary in the first place to examine the terms of that provision.

17 In that respect, it must be held that Article 41(1) lays down in clear, precise and unconditional terms a prohibition of discrimination, based on nationality, against workers of Moroccan nationality and the members of their families living with them in the field of social security.

18 The fact that Article 41(1) states that that prohibition of discrimination applies only subject to the provisions of the following paragraphs means that, as regards the aggregation of periods, the grant of family benefits and the transfer to Morocco of pensions and annuities, that prohibition of discrimination is guaranteed only within the limits of the conditions laid down in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Article 41. That reservation may not, however, be interpreted as divesting the prohibition of discrimination of its unconditional character in respect of any other question which arises in the field of social security.

19 Similarly, the fact that Article 42(1) provides for the implementation of the principles set out in Article 41 by the Cooperation Council may not be construed as calling in question the direct applicability of a provision which is not subject, in its implementation or effects, to the adoption of any subsequent measure. The role assigned to the Cooperation Council by Article 42(1) consists, as the Advocate General has pointed out in section 12 of his Opinion, in facilitating compliance with the prohibition of discrimination and, if necessary, in adopting the measures required for the implementation of the principle of aggregation embodied in paragraph 2 of Article 41 but it may not be regarded as rendering conditional the immediate application of the principle of non-discrimination.

20 The finding that the principle of non-discrimination embodied in Article 41(1) is capable of directly governing the situation of a Moroccan worker and of the members of his family living with him in the Member States of the Community is not, moreover, contradicted by a consideration of the purpose and the nature of the Agreement of which that provision forms part.

21 The object of the Agreement, as has already been stated, is to promote overall cooperation between the Contracting Parties, in particular in the field of labour. The fact that the Agreement is intended essentially to promote the economic development of Morocco and that it confines itself to instituting cooperation between the Parties without referring to Morocco's association with or future accession to the Communities is not such as to prevent certain of its provisions from being directly applicable.

22 That finding applies in particular in the case of Articles 40 and 41 which form part of Title III relating to cooperation in the field of labour and which, far from being purely programmatic in nature, establishes, in the field of working conditions and remuneration and in that of social security, a principle capable of governing the legal situation of individuals.

23 In those circumstances, it must be held that it follows from the terms of Article 41(1), as well as from the purpose and nature of the Agreement of which that article forms part, that that provision is capable of being applied directly.

The scope of Article 41(1) of the Agreement

24 In order to determine the scope of the principle of non-discrimination laid down in Article 41(1) of the Agreement, it is necessary to define in the first place the concept of social security as it appears in that provision and then to analyse the concept of ‘worker’ in the meaning of that provision before specifying the conditions under which the members of the family of a Moroccan worker may claim entitlement to social security benefits.

25 The concept of social security in Article 41(1) of the Agreement must be understood by means of an analogy with the identical concept in Regulation No 1408/71 of the Council of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community (codified version, Official Journal 1980, C 138, p. 1). Article 4 of that regulation, relating to the matters covered by it, lists, in paragraph 1, among the branches of social security, unemployment benefits of which the allocation d'attente at issue in the main proceedings merely constitute a specific form.

26 The fact that Article 41(2) of the Agreement, unlike Regulation No 1408/71, does not mention unemployment benefits among the schemes to which the aggregation of insurance periods applies is of importance solely as regards the question of aggregation but it cannot, in itself, in the absence of any clearly manifested intention on the part of the Contracting Parties, warrant the conclusion that those parties intended to exclude unemployment benefits, which are traditionally regarded as a branch of social security, from the concept of social security within the meaning of the Agreement.

27 As regards the concept of ‘worker’ in Article 41(1) of the Agreement, it encompasses both active workers and those who have left the labour market after reaching the age required for receipt of an old-age pension or after becoming the victims of the materialization of one of the risks creating entitlement to allowances falling under other branches of social security. Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 41 make express reference, as regards the benefit of aggregation and the possibility of transferring benefits to Morocco, to matters such as the old-age or invalidity pensions and annuities enjoyed by retired workers.

28 As regards, finally, the scope of the rights of a member of the family of a Moroccan worker living with him, the principle of freedom from all discrimination, based on nationality, in the field of social security, which is laid down in Article 41(1), means that such a person, who satisfies all the conditions laid down by national legislation for the purposes of entitlement to the unemployment allowances provided for the benefit of young persons in search of employment, may not be refused those benefits on the ground of his nationality.

29 It follows from the foregoing that the answer to be given to the Cour du travail, Liège, must be that Article 41(1) of the Agreement is to be interpreted as meaning that it precludes a Member State from refusing to grant an allocation d'attente provided by its legislation in favour of young persons in search of employment, to a member of the family of a worker of Moroccan nationality living with him, on the ground that the person in search of employment is of Moroccan nationality.

Costs

30 The costs incurred by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Government of the French Republic and the Commission of the European Communities, which have submitted observations to the Court, are not recoverable. Since these proceedings are, in so far as the parties to the main proceedings are concerned, in the nature of a step in the proceedings before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court.

  On those grounds, THE COURT, in answer to the question submitted to it by the Cour du travail, Liège, by judgment of 16 January 1990, hereby rules:

  Article 41(1) of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and the Kingdom of Morocco signed on 27 April 1976 in Rabat and concluded on behalf of the Community by Council Regulation No 2211/78 of 26 September 1978 must be interpreted as meaning that it precludes a Member State from refusing to grant an allocation d'attente, provided by its legislation for young persons in search of employment, to a member of the family of a worker of Moroccan nationality living with him, on the ground that the person in search of employment is of Moroccan nationality.

  Due Mancini Rodríguez Iglesias Díez de Velasco Slynn Kakouris Joliet Schockweiler Kapteyn Delivered in open court in Luxembourg on 31 January 1991. J.-G. Giraud Registrar O. Due President

( *1 ) Language of the case: French.

© European Union, https://eur-lex.europa.eu, 1998 - 2022
Active Products: EUCJ Data Package + Citation Analytics • Documents in DB: 231234 • Paragraphs parsed: 8142129 • Citations processed 86785