Language of document :

Notice for the OJ

 

Reference for a preliminary ruling by the Tribunal du Travail de Bruxelles by judgment of that Court of 21 November 2002 in the proceedings between Michel Trojani and Le Centre Public d'Aide Sociale de Bruxelles

    (Case C-456/02)

Reference has been made to the Court of Justice of the European Communities by judgment of the Tribunal du Travail de Bruxelles (Labour Court, Brussels) of 21 November 2002, received at the Court Registry on 18 December 2002, for a preliminary ruling in the proceedings between Michel Trojani and Le Centre Public d'Aide Sociale de Bruxelles on the following questions:

1.Can a citizen of the Union in the factual circumstances described in this order

(who has temporary leave to remain,

does not have sufficient resources,

carries out work for the hostel where he lives to the extent of some 30 hours a week in the context of a personal reinsertion scheme,

and receives in return benefits in kind which cover his living expenses at the hostel itself)

claim a right of residence:

(as a worker within the meaning of Article 39 EC or Article 7(1) of Regulation No 1612/681,

or as a worker pursuing an activity as a self-employed person within the meaning of Article 43 EC,

or as a person providing a service, in view of the tasks he performs at the hostel, or as a person for whom the services are intended, in view of the benefits in kind granted to him by that hostel, within the meaning of Article 49 EC,

or merely because he participates in a scheme with a view to his social rehabilitation and access to employment?

2.Should the answer be in the negative, can he rely directly on Article 18 EC which guarantees the right to freedom of movement and to reside in the territory of another Member State of the Union, merely in his capacity as a European citizen?

What then becomes of the requirements laid down by Directive 90/364/EEC2 and/or the "limitations and conditions" laid down in the EC Treaty, and in particular the minimum resources requirement which, if it were applied on entry to the host country, would deprive him of the substantive right of residence itself?

If, conversely, the right of residence arises automatically on the basis of citizenship of the Union, could the host State subsequently refuse an application for the minimex or for social assistance (that is to say, non-contributory benefits), curtailing his right of residence on the ground that he does not have sufficient resources, when it grants those benefits to nationals of the host country provided they comply with requirements to which Belgian nationals are also subject (proof of their availability for work, proof that they are in need)?

Must the host country comply with any other rules in order to avoid rendering meaningless the right of residence, such as a duty to assess the situation in the light of the fact that the application for the minimex or for social assistance is temporary, or taking into account the principle of proportionality (would the burden on the State in question be unreasonable)?

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1 - Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of the Council of 15 October 1968 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community (OJ L 257 of 19.10.1968, p. 2).

2 - Council Directive 90/364/EEC of 28 June 1990 on the right of residence (OJ L 180 of 13.07.1990, p. 26).