Notice for the OJ


Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 7 September 2004 in Case C-456/02 (reference for a preliminary ruling from the Tribunal du travail de Bruxelles): Michel Trojani v Centre public d'aide sociale de Bruxelles (CPAS) 1

(Freedom of movement of persons - Citizenship of the European Union - Right of residence - Directive 90/364/EEC - Limitations and conditions - Person working in a hostel in return for benefits in kind - Entitlement to social assistance benefits)

(Language of the case: French)

(Provisional translation; the definitive translation will be published in the European Court Reports)

In Case C-456/02: reference for a preliminary ruling under Article 234 EC from the Tribunal du travail de Bruxelles (Belgium), made by decision of 21 November 2002, received on 18 December 2002, in the proceedings between Michel Trojani and Centre public d'aide sociale de Bruxelles (CPAS) ( the Court (Grand Chamber), composed of: V. Skouris, President, P. Jann, C.W.A. Timmermans, C. Gulmann, J.-P. Puissochet and J.N. Cunha Rodrigues (Rapporteur), Presidents of Chambers, R. Schintgen, F. Macken, N. Colneric, S. von Bahr and K. Lenaerts, Judges; L.A. Geelhoed, Advocate General; M. Múgica Arzamendi, Principal Administrator, for the Registrar, has given a judgment on 7 September 2004, in which it has ruled:

1.    A person in a situation such as that of the claimant in the main proceedings, first, does not come under Articles 43 EC and 49 EC and, second, can claim a right of residence as a worker within the meaning of Article 39 EC only if the paid activity he carries out is real and genuine. It is for the national court to carry out the examinations of fact necessary to determine whether that is so in the case pending before it.

2.    A citizen of the European Union who does not enjoy a right of residence in the host Member State under Articles 39 EC, 43 EC or 49 EC may, simply as a citizen of the Union, enjoy a right of residence there by direct application of Article 18(1) EC. The exercise of that right is subject to the limitations and conditions referred to in that provision, but the competent authorities must ensure that those limitations and conditions are applied in compliance with the general principles of Community law, in particular the principle of proportionality. However, once it is ascertained that a person in a situation such as that of the claimant in the main proceedings is in possession of a residence permit, he may rely on Article 12 EC in order to be granted a social assistance benefit such as the minimex.