Language of document : ECLI:EU:C:2014:97

Case C‑656/11

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

v

Council of the European Union

(Coordination of social security systems — Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the free movement of persons — Council decision — Choice of legal basis — Article 48 TFEU — Article 79(2)(b) TFEU)

Summary — Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber), 27 February 2014

Acts of the institutions — Choice of legal basis — Criteria — Decision 2011/863 on the position to be taken by the European Union in the Joint Committee established under the EC­Switzerland Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons as regards the replacement of Annex II to that agreement on the coordination of social security schemes — Adoption on the basis of Article 48 TFEU — Legality

(Art. 48 TFEU; EC­Switzerland Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, Art. 8 and Annex II; Council Decision 2011/863)

In the system of competences of the European Union, the choice of the legal basis for a European Union measure must rest on objective factors amenable to judicial review, which include in particular the aim and content of the measure. In the light of its context and of its content and aim, Decision 2011/863 on the position to be taken by the European Union in the Joint Committee established under the Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the free movement of persons as regards the replacement of Annex II to that Agreement on the coordination of social security schemes could properly be adopted on the basis of Article 48 TFEU.

So far as concerns the coordination of social security systems, Article 8 of the EC­Switzerland Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons reproduces the provisions currently in Article 48(a) and (b) TFEU intended to secure, first, the aggregation, for the purpose of acquiring and retaining the right to benefit and of calculating the amount of benefit, of all periods taken into account under the laws of the several countries and, second, the payment of benefits to persons resident in the territories of Member States. By concluding that agreement, the European Union extended to the Swiss Confederation the application of its legislation concerning coordination of social security systems.

The main aim of the contested decision is, following the entry into force of the new European Union legislation concerning coordination of social security systems, to update also the legislation which has been extended to the Swiss Confederation by the EC-Switzerland Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons and thereby to retain the extension of social rights to the citizens of the States concerned as already intended and given effect to by that agreement.

(see paras 47, 56, 59, 63, 64)