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Judgment of the Court of 16 May 1991.

Jan van Noorden v Association pour l'Emploi dans l'Industrie et le Commerce (Assedic) de l'Ardèche et de la Drôme.

Reference for a preliminary ruling: Tribunal de grande instance de Valence - France.

Social security - Unemployment benefits.

Case C-272/90.

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Judgment of 16 May 1991, Van Noorden / ASSEDIC (C-272/90, ECR 1991 p. I-2543) ECLI:EU:C:1991:219

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Jan van Noorden v Association pour l'Emploi dans l'Industrie et le Commerce (Assedic) de l'Ardèche et de la Drôme.

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Keywords

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Social security for migrant workers - Unemployed person going to another Member State - Maintenance of entitlement to benefits - Limits - Unemployed person not subject lastly to the legislation of the Member State of residence - Refusal to pay unemployment benefits for more than three months - Permissible

(Council Regulation No 1408/71, Arts 67(3), 69 and 70)

Summary

The Community legislation applicable to the grant of unemployment benefits to unemployed persons residing in a Member State other than the competent Member State, in particular Articles 67(3), 69 and 70 of Regulation No 1408/71, does not preclude a Member State from refusing to grant a worker unemployment benefit for more than the maximum period of three months laid down in Article 69 of that regulation when the worker has not completed lastly periods of insurance or employment in that Member State.

Parties

In Case C-272/90,

REFERENCE to the Court under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty by the Tribunal de Grande Instance [Regional Court], Valence (France), for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings pending before that court between

Jan van Noorden

and

Association pour l' Emploi dans l' Industrie et le Commerce ("ASSEDIC") for Ardèche and Drôme

on the interpretation of Articles 7 and 58 to 66 of the EEC Treaty and Article 67 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community (as codified by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2001/83 of 2 June 1983, Official Journal 1983 No L 230, p. 6),

THE COURT,

composed of: O. Due, President, J.C. Moitinho de Almeida and M. Díez de Velasco (Presidents of Chambers), C.N. Kakouris, F.A. Schockweiler, F. Grévisse and P.J.G. Kapteyn, Judges,

Advocate General: G. Tesauro,

Registrar: D. Louterman, Principal Administrator,

after considering the written observations submitted on behalf of

the French Government, by Edwige Belliard, Assistant Director in the Directorate for Legal Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Claude Chavance, Principal Attaché for Central Administration in the same Ministry, acting as Agents,

the Commission of the European Communities, by Dimitrios Gouloussis, Legal Adviser, acting as Agent,

having regard to the Report for the Hearing,

after hearing oral argument presented by ASSEDIC, represented by Mr Balsan, of the Valence Bar, and Philippe Lafarge, Bâtonnier, by the French Government, represented by Mr Chavance and Mr Pouzoulet, Assistant Director in the Directorate for Legal Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, acting as Agent, and by the Commission of the European Communities, at the sitting on 18 April 1991,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General delivered at the sitting on the same day,

gives the following

Judgment

Grounds

1 By judgment of 4 September 1990, which was received at the Court on 10 September 1990, the Tribunal de Grande Instance (Regional Court), Valence, referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling under Article 177 of the EEC Treaty a question on the interpretation of Articles 7 and 58 to 66 of the EEC Treaty and Article 67 of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of the Council of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community (as codified by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2001/83 of 2 June 1983 (Official Journal L 230, p. 6) ("the regulation").

2 The question was raised in proceedings between Jan Van Noorden, a Netherlands national, residing in France, and the Association pour l' Emploi dans l' Industrie et le Commerce ("ASSEDIC") for Ardèche and Drôme concerning the latter' s refusal to continue to pay unemployment benefits to him.

3 Having worked since 1947 successively in the Netherlands, Belgium and, finally, the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Van Noorden became unemployed on 30 June 1985 in the last-mentioned Member State, where he received unemployment benefits. On 27 May 1986, he transferred his residence to France where he registered as available for employment.

4 In response to an application lodged with the ASSEDIC for unemployment benefits under French legislation, Mr Van Noorden was informed that he was entitled to such benefits for a period of twenty-seven months. However, benefits were paid to him only for the period from 28 May to 27 August 1986.

5 The ASSEDIC' s change in position was prompted by Circular No 86-19 issued by the Union Nationale Interprofessionnelle pour l' Emploi dans l' Industrie et le Commerce ("UNEDIC"), which coordinates the activities of the various ASSEDICs. By virtue of that circular, as from 1 July 1986, a Community worker is entitled to unemployment benefits only if the most recent employment period completed by him was completed in France.

6 Following the ASSEDIC' s rejection of his request for the payment of unemployment benefits after 27 August 1986, Mr Van Noorden appealed to the Tribunale de Grande Instance, Valence. The Tribunale de Grande Instance referred the following question to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

"Does Community law in general, and do Articles 7 and 58 to 66 of the EEC Treaty and Article 67 of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 in particular, authorize a Member State to preclude a Community worker who, after working for 37 years, from 1947 to 1985, in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Federal Republic of Germany, decides to settle in France from receiving ASSEDIC allowances on the sole ground that he has not completed lastly a period of employment in France?"

7 Reference is made to the Report for the Hearing for a fuller account of the facts of the case, 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 It must first be stated that the provisions of Article 67(1) and (2) of Regulation No 1408/71 require that, for the acquisition, retention or recovery of the right to unemployment benefits, account should be taken, to the extent necessary, of periods of insurance or employment completed under the legislation of any other Member State. However, by virtue of Article 67(3), the grant of unemployment benefits is conditional upon the person concerned having completed lastly periods of insurance or of employment in accordance with the provisions of the legislation under which the benefits are claimed.

9 It must also be pointed out that, in laying down the conditions for the continuing entitlement to unemployment benefits of a worker who goes to a Member State other than the Member State responsible for the payment of such benefits, that is to say to a Member State other than that where he was last employed, Article 69(1)(c) of the regulation limits such continuing entitlement to a maximum period of three months, as from the date on which the person concerned ceased to be available to the employment services of the State which he left. In those circumstances, by virtue of Article 70 of the regulation the benefits are paid by the competent institution in the Member State where the unemployed person is seeking employment.

10 It follows from those provisions that a person seeking employment who has never been subject to the social security legislation of the Member State in which he claims unemployment benefits and thus has not completed, lastly, periods of insurance or of employment in accordance with the provisions of the legislation of that Member State, cannot be entitled to unemployment benefits under Article 67 of Regulation No 1408/71 but only by virtue of Article 69 of the same regulation.

11 The other Community law provisions, in particular Articles 7 and 58 to 66 of the Treaty, mentioned by the national court contain nothing to change that conclusion.

12 It must therefore be stated in reply to the question submitted by the national court that the relevant Community legislation, in particular Articles 67(3), 69 and 70 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community, does not preclude a Member State from refusing to grant a worker unemployment benefit for more than the maximum period of three months laid down in Article 69 of that regulation when the worker has not completed lastly periods of insurance or employment in that Member State.

Decision on costs

Costs

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

Operative part

On those grounds,

THE COURT,

in reply to the question submitted to it by the Tribunal de Grande Instance, Valence, by judgment of 4 September 1990, hereby rules:

The relevant Community legislation, in particular Articles 67(3), 69 and 70 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community, does not preclude a Member State from refusing to grant a worker unemployment benefit for more than the maximum period of three months laid down in Article 69 of that regulation when the worker has not completed lastly periods of insurance or employment in that Member State.

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