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Judgment of the Court of 10 November 1992.

Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Belgium.

Free movement of workers - Social security - Residence requirement.

Case C-326/90.

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Judgment of 10 November 1992, Commission / Belgium (C-326/90, ECR 1992 p. I-5517) ECLI:EU:C:1992:419

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Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Belgium.

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Keywords

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Freedom of movement for persons ° Workers ° Equal treatment ° Social advantages ° Social security benefits ° Grant to nationals of other Member States ° Length of residence requirement ° Not permissible

(Council Regulations No 1612/68, Art. 7(2) and No 1408/71, Art. 3)

Summary

The requirement by a Member State of a prior period of residence on its territory which workers from other Member States subject to its legislation must fulfil in order to qualify for the grant of the allowances for handicapped persons, the guaranteed income for old people and the minimum means of subsistence constitutes a failure to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty and, in particular, Article 7(2) of Regulation No 1612/68 and Article 3 of Regulation No 1408/71, which both lay down, each in the sphere which it governs, the principle of equal treatment as between nationals of the host State and nationals of the other Member States.

Parties

In Case C-326/90,

Commission of the European Communities, represented by M. Patakia, of its Legal Service, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the office of Roberto Hayder, of its Legal Service, Wagner Centre, Kirchberg,

applicant,

v

Kingdom of Belgium, represented by R. Hoebaer, Director of Administration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Development Cooperation, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the Belgian Embassy, 4 Rue des Girondins, Résidence Champagne,

defendant,

APPLICATION for a declaration that, by maintaining the requirement of a period of residence on Belgian territory which workers from other Member States subject to Belgian legislation must fulfil in order to qualify for the grant of the allowances for handicapped persons, the guaranteed income for old people and the minimum means of subsistence (minimex), the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty and, in particular, Article 7(2) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of 15 October 1968 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community (OJ, English Special Edition 1968 (II), p. 475) and Article 3 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 amended and updated by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2001/83 of 2 June 1983 (OJ 1983 L 230, p. 6),

THE COURT,

composed of: O. Due, President, C.N. Kakouris, G.C. Rodríguez Iglesias (Rapporteur) and M. Zuleeg (Presidents of Chambers), R. Joliet, J.C. Moitinho de Almeida and F. Grévisse, Judges,

Advocate General: C. Gulmann,

Registrar: L. Hewlett, Administrator,

having regard to the Report for the Hearing,

after hearing oral argument from the parties at the hearing on 7 October 1992, at which the Commission was represented by D. Gouloussis, Legal Adviser, and the Kingdom of Belgium by J. Devadder, Director of Administration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Development Cooperation, acting as Agents,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 7 October 1992,

gives the following

Judgment

Grounds

1 By application lodged at the Court Registry on 23 October 1990, the Commission of the European Communities brought an action under Article 169 of the EEC Treaty for a declaration that, by maintaining the requirement of a period of residence on Belgian territory which workers from other Member States subject to Belgian legislation must fulfil in order to qualify for the grant of the allowances for handicapped persons, the guaranteed income for old people and the minimum means of subsistence (minimex), the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty and, in particular, Article 7(2) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of 15 October 1968 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community (OJ, English Special Edition 1968 (II), p. 475) and Article 3 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 amended and updated by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2001/83 of 2 June 1983 (OJ 1983 L 230, p. 6).

2 The defendant Government does not deny that, at the end of the period fixed by the reasoned opinion, it had not brought its legislation into conformity with the regulations in question.

3 A declaration of failure to fulfil obligations must therefore be granted in the terms sought by the Commission.

Decision on costs

Costs

4 Under Article 69(2) of the Rules of Procedure, the unsuccessful party is to be ordered to pay the costs. Since the Kingdom of Belgium has been unsuccessful, it must be ordered to pay the costs.

Operative part

On those grounds,

THE COURT

hereby:

1. Declares that, by maintaining the requirement of a period of residence on Belgian territory which workers from other Member States subject to Belgian legislation must fulfil in order to qualify for the grant of the allowances for handicapped persons, the guaranteed income for old people and the minimum means of subsistence (minimex), the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty and, in particular, Article 7(2) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of 15 October 1968 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community and Article 3 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 amended and updated by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2001/83 of 2 June 1983;

2. Orders the Kingdom of Belgium to pay the costs.

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