Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber) of 4 June 2009.

Athanasios Vatsouras (C-22/08) and Josif Koupatantze (C-23/08) v Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) Nürnberg 900.

References for a preliminary ruling: Sozialgericht Nürnberg - Germany.

European citizenship - Free movement of persons - Articles 12 EC and 39 EC - Directive 2004/38/EC - Article 24(2) - Assessment of validity - Nationals of a Member State - Professional activity in another Member State - Level of remuneration and duration of the activity - Retention of the status of ‘worker’ - Right to receive benefits in favour of job-seekers.

Joined cases C-22/08 and C-23/08.

Top of the page Documents in the Case
Document Date Name of the parties Subject-matter Curia EUR-Lex
Judgment (OJ)
01/08/2009 Vatsouras and Koupatantze
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Judgment (Summary)
04/06/2009 Vatsouras and Koupatantze
04/06/2009 Vatsouras and Koupatantze
EUR-Lex text EUR-Lex bilingual text
12/03/2009 Vatsouras and Koupatantze
EUR-Lex text EUR-Lex bilingual text
Application (OJ)
26/04/2008 Vatsouras and Koupatantze
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07/04/2008 Vatsouras and Koupatantze
Top of the page Legal analysis of the decision or of the case

Reports of Cases

2009 I-04585


Reference for a preliminary ruling – Sozialgericht Nürnberg – Legality of Article 24(2) of Directive 2004/38 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC (OJ 2004 L 158, p.77) – Interpretation of Article 12 EC and Article 39 EC – Right to social assistance benefits of a national of another Member State who is unemployed and has previously been in minor employment in the Member State concerned – National rules excluding nationals of other Member States from receipt of social assistance where the maximum period of residence referred to in Article 6 of Directive 2004/38/EC has been exceeded and there is no other right of residence

Systematic classification scheme

B European Community (EEC/EC)
  B-04 Free movement of persons and services
    B-04.02 Workers
04 null
  04.01 null
B European Community (EEC/EC)
  B-04 Free movement of persons and services
    B-04.02 Workers
01 null

Citations of case-law or legislation

References in grounds of judgment

Operative part



Date of the lodging of the application initiating proceedings

  • 22/01/2008

Date of the Opinion

  • 12/03/2009

Date of the hearing

Information not available

Date of delivery



Publication in the Official Journal

Application: OJ C 107 from 26.04.2008, p.10

Judgment: OJ C 180 from 01.08.2009, p.14

Name of the parties

Vatsouras and Koupatantze

Notes on Academic Writings

  1. Cavallini, Joël: Recherche d'emploi et accès aux aides sociales, La Semaine Juridique - Social 2009 nº 1325 p.34-36 (FR)
  2. Broussy, Emmanuelle ; Donnat, Francis ; Lambert, Christian: Chronique de jurisprudence communautaire. Citoyenneté européenne - Libre circulation des travailleurs, L'actualité juridique ; droit administratif 2009 p.1538 (FR)
  3. Simon, Denys: Droit aux prestations en faveur des demandeurs d'emploi, Europe 2009 Août-Septembre Comm. nº 306 p.22-23 (FR)
  4. Lhernould, Jean-Philippe: L'actualité de la jurisprudence communautaire et internationale, Revue de jurisprudence sociale 2009 p.738-740 (FR)
  5. Fahey, Elaine: Interpretive legitimacy and the distinction between "social assistance" and "work-seekers' allowance": Comment on Vatsouras, European Law Review 2009 p.933-949 (EN)
  6. Van Eijken, H.: S.E.W. ; Sociaal-economische wetgeving 2009 p.512-513 (NL)
  7. Cortés Martín, José Manuel: Jurisprudencia del TJCE, Mayo-Agosto 2009, Revista de Derecho Comunitario Europeo 2009 p.1109-1178 (ES)
  8. Damjanovic, Dragana: Joined Cases C-22/08 & C-23/08, Athanasios Vatsouras and Josif Koupatantze v. Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) Nürnberg 900, Judgment of the Court of Justice (Third Chamber) of 4 June 2009, Common Market Law Review 2010 Vol. 47 nº 3 p.847-861 (EN)
  9. Raimondi, Luigi: Cittadini dell'Unione europea in cerca di lavoro e principio di non discriminazione: osservazioni in margine alla sentenza Vatsouras, Il diritto dell'Unione Europea 2010 p.443-462 (IT)
  10. Carlier, Jean-Yves: La libre circulation des personnes dans l’Union européenne, Journal de droit européen 2016 nº 1 p.153-159 (FR)
  11. Senčur Peček, Darja: Pojem delavca s primerjalnega in EU vidika, Delavci in Delodajalci 2016 nº 2-3 p.189-216 (SL)

Procedural Analysis Information

Source of the question referred for a preliminary ruling

Sozialgericht Nürnberg - Germany


  • Principles, objectives and tasks of the Treaties
  • Freedom of movement for workers
  • Citizenship of the Union
  • - Right of entry and residence
  • non-discrimination
  • - Non-discrimination on grounds of nationality

Provisions of national law referred to

Sozialgesetzbuch, Zweites Buch (SGB II), Paragraph 7 Abs. 1 Sozialgesetzbuch, Zwölftes Buch (SGB XII), Paragraph 23 Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz (AsylbLG), Paragraph 1

Provisions of international law referred to

Information not available

Procedure and result

  • Reference for a preliminary ruling

Formation of the Court

troisième chambre (Cour)


Cunha Rodrigues

Advocate General

Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer

Language(s) of the Case

  • German

Language(s) of the Opinion

  • Spanish