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Athanasios Vatsouras and Josif Koupatantze v. Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) Nürnberg 900, Cases C-22/08 and C-23/08, CJEU (Third Chamber), 4 June 2009

Type Judgment
Case number C-22/08, C-23/08


Provisions of financial benefits granted by a Member State intended to facilitate access to the labor market. Discrimination on the basis of nationality.

Normative references

Directive 2004/38 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.


1. Citizens of Member States looking for a job in another Member State, who have real links with the latter's labor market, can benefit from a financial benefit intended to facilitate access to the labor market. However, it is up to the national authorities not only to ascertain the existence of a real link with the labor market but also to examine the constituent elements of the service, and in particular the objectives and conditions for granting it. Therefore, the objective of the service must be examined with regard to its results and not only the formal structure. Therefore, they cannot be considered "social assistance benefits", pursuant to art. 24 of Directive 2004/38, financial benefits that, regardless of the qualification given by national legislation, are intended to facilitate access to the labor market.

2. Art. 12 EC does not preclude national legislation which excludes nationals of Member States from the possibility of benefiting from social assistance benefits granted to nationals of third countries. In fact, art. 12 EC prohibits, within the scope of the Treaty, any discrimination based on nationality. This provision concerns situations, falling within the scope of Community law, in which a citizen of a Member State suffers discriminatory treatment vis-à-vis nationals of another Member State on the sole ground of his of any difference in treatment between nationals of Member States and those of third States.