Summaries of judgments: Comune di Copertino – Fin Serve

Summaries of judgments made in collaboration with the Portuguese choose and référendaire of the CJEU (Nuno Piçarra and Sophie Perez)

 

Judgment of the Courtroom (First Chamber) of 18 January 2024, Comune di Copertino, Case C-218/22,  EU:C:2024:51

Reference for a preliminary ruling – Social coverage – Directive 2003/88/EC – Article 7 – Article 31(2) of the Constitution of Basic Rights of the European Union – Allowance in lieu of days of go away not taken on the finish of the employment relationship – Nationwide laws prohibiting cost of that allowance within the occasion of the voluntary resignation of a public servant – Management of public expenditure – Organisational wants of the general public employer

Information

BU was employed by the Municipality of Copertino (Italy), from 1 February 1992 to 1 October 2016, till his voluntary resignation, as a way to take early retirement. Taking the view that he was entitled to an allowance in lieu of 79 days’ paid annual go away accrued throughout the interval between 2013 and 2016, BU introduced an motion earlier than the Tribunale di Lecce (District Courtroom, Lecce, Italy) searching for monetary compensation for these days of go away not taken. The Municipality of Copertino opposed that request invoking a nationwide provision which gives, topic to sure exceptions, that no monetary compensation could also be paid for untaken paid go away. In accordance with the Municipality of Copertino, the truth that BU had taken go away throughout 2016 confirmed that he was conscious of his obligation, in accordance with that provision, to take the times of go away that he had accrued earlier than the tip of the employment relationship.

The Tribunale di Lecce had doubts as to the compatibility of that nationwide provision with Article 7 of Directive 2003/88, regarding sure points of the organisation of working time, learn in mild of Article 31(2) CFREU.

Findings of the Courtroom

The ECJ recollects that the fitting to paid annual go away, as enshrined in Article 31(2) CFREU and  Article 7(1) of Directive 2003/88, have to be considered a very essential precept of EU social regulation from which there could also be no derogations and whose implementation by the competent nationwide authorities have to be confined throughout the limits expressly laid down by Directive 2003/88. That basic proper additionally contains the fitting to an allowance in lieu of annual go away not taken upon termination of the employment relationship, as supplied for by Article 7(2) of Directive 2003/88.

Nonetheless, Article 7(1) of Directive 2003/88 doesn’t, in precept, preclude nationwide laws which lays down circumstances for the train of the fitting to paid annual go away, together with even the lack of that proper on the finish of a go away 12 months or of a carry-over interval, supplied, nevertheless, that the employee who has misplaced his or her proper to paid annual go away has truly had the chance to train the fitting conferred on her or him by the directive.

Within the case at hand, the ECJ considers obvious from the data within the request for a preliminary ruling that, underneath the nationwide provision at challenge in the primary proceedings, as interpreted by the Corte costituzionale (Constitutional Courtroom), BU will not be entitled to the allowance in lieu of all these days of go away not taken solely as a result of he voluntarily terminated the employment relationship by taking early retirement, which he would have been in a position to foresee prematurely. As that nationwide provision limits the train of one of many points of the fitting to paid annual go away, as enshrined in Article 31(2) CFREU, the circumstances laid down in Article 52(1) of the Constitution have to be complied with.

As regards the targets pursued by the nationwide legislature, which the referring court docket questions particularly, the ECJ notes, concerning the target of controlling public spending, that. in line with recital 4 of Directive 2003/88, the efficient safety of the protection and well being of staff shouldn’t be subordinated to purely financial concerns. The ECJ observes, nevertheless, that the target linked to the organisational wants of the general public employer is aimed, particularly, at rational planning of the go away interval and inspiring the adoption of acceptable behaviour on the a part of the events to the employment relationship. The ECJ additionally acknowledges that, in line with the Corte costituzionale case-law, the nationwide provision at challenge in the primary proceedings is meant to place an finish to the uncontrolled use of ‘monetary compensation’ for go away not taken and, thus, to make sure that the precise taking of go away is prioritised over the cost of an allowance in lieu. The latter goal corresponds to that pursued by Article 7(2) of Directive 2003/88, which seeks particularly to make sure that staff are entitled to precise relaxation, with a view to making sure efficient safety of their well being and security.

It follows that the employer is required “to make sure, particularly and transparently, that the employee is definitely given the chance to take the paid annual go away to which she or he is entitled, by encouraging her or him, formally if want be, to take action, whereas informing her or him, precisely and in good time in order to make sure that that go away remains to be able to procuring for the particular person involved the remainder and rest to which it’s presupposed to contribute, that, if she or he doesn’t take it, it is going to be misplaced on the finish of the reference interval or authorised carry-over interval or can now not get replaced by an allowance in lieu.” Ought to the employer not be capable of present that it has exercised all due diligence as a way to allow the employee truly to take the paid annual go away to which she or he is entitled, the lack of the fitting to such go away on the finish of the reference interval or the authorised carry-over interval, and, within the occasion of the termination of the employment relationship, the corresponding absence of a cost of an allowance in lieu of annual go away not taken constitutes a failure to have regard, respectively, to Article 7(1) and Article 7(2) of Directive 2003/88 and Article 31(2) CFREU. Nonetheless, “the place the employee has avoided taking his or her paid annual go away intentionally and in full information of the following penalties, after having been given the chance truly to train his or her proper thereto, Article 31(2) of the Constitution doesn’t preclude the lack of that proper or, within the occasion of the termination of the employment relationship, the corresponding absence of an allowance in lieu of paid annual go away not taken, with out the employer being required to drive that employee to really train that proper.”

Judgment of the Courtroom (First Chamber) of twenty-two February 2024, Direcţia pentru Evidenţa Persoanelor şi Administrarea Bazelor de Date, Case C-491/21, EU:C:2024:143

Reference for a preliminary ruling – Citizenship of the Union – Article 21(1) TFEU – Proper to maneuver and reside freely throughout the territory of the Member States – Article 45 of the Constitution of Basic Rights of the European Union – Directive 2004/38/EC – Article 4 – Issuance of an identification card – Requirement of domicile within the Member State issuing the doc – Refusal by the authorities of that Member State to challenge an identification card to one in all its nationals domiciled in one other Member State – Equal therapy – Restrictions – Justification

Information

WA is a lawyer of Romanian nationality who carries out his skilled actions in each France and Romania and resides in France since 2014. The Romanian authorities issued an digital easy passport to him, stating that he’s domiciled in France, and a brief identification card, which have to be renewed yearly. That short-term identification card doesn’t represent a journey doc and is issued to Romanian nationals domiciled in one other Member State who’re briefly resident in Romania. In 2017, WA utilized to the Romanian authorities to be issued with an identification card, whether or not easy or digital, constituting a journey doc which might allow him to journey to France. His utility was rejected on the bottom that he had not established his domicile in Romania.

The Curtea de Apel București (Courtroom of Enchantment, Bucharest, Romania) dismissed the enchantment lodged by WA as unfounded, on the bottom that, underneath Romanian regulation, identification playing cards are to be issued solely to Romanian nationals domiciled in Romania. On enchantment, the Înalta Curte de Casaţie şi Justiţie (Excessive Courtroom of Cassation and Justice, Romania) had doubts as to the conformity with EU regulation of the refusal to challenge an identification card to WA within the circumstances of the case.

Findings of the Courtroom

The ECJ interprets Article 21 TFEU and Article 45(1) CFREU, learn along with Article 4(3) of Directive 2004/38, on the fitting of residents of the Union and their relations to maneuver and reside freely throughout the territory of the Member States, as “precluding laws of a Member State underneath which a citizen of the European Union, a nationwide of that Member State who has exercised his or her proper to freedom of motion and freedom to reside in one other Member State, is refused an identification card which will function a journey doc throughout the European Union, on the only floor that she or he has established his or her domicile throughout the territory of that different Member State.”

The ECJ holds that the Romanian laws on the issuance of journey paperwork establishes a distinction in therapy between Romanian residents domiciled overseas, together with in one other Member State, and those that are domiciled in Romania. The latter could also be issued with one or two journey paperwork enabling them to journey throughout the European Union, particularly an identification card and a passport. The previous could also be issued solely with a passport as a journey doc.

On this regard, Article 4(3) of Directive 2004/38 leaves to the Member States the selection of the kind of journey doc, particularly an identification card or a passport, which they’re obliged to challenge to their very own nationals as a way to allow them to train the fitting to maneuver and reside freely throughout the territory of the Member States. Nonetheless, the ECJ clarifies, “that provision, learn within the mild of Article 21 TFEU, can not (…) permit Member States to make that alternative by treating much less favourably these of their nationals who’ve exercised their proper to freedom of motion and residence throughout the European Union, and by proscribing that proper, with out justification primarily based on goal concerns of public curiosity.”

Within the case at hand, the ECJ considers that the laws at challenge in the primary proceedings is liable to discourage Romanian nationals in a state of affairs comparable to that of WA from exercising their proper to maneuver and reside freely throughout the European Union. Even when Romanian nationals domiciled in one other Member State maintain a passport, the train of their proper to freedom of motion is liable to be impeded by that laws. Truly, in the primary proceedings, for a interval of 12 days, WA was unable to journey to France since he didn’t have an identification card which will function a journey doc and his passport was on the embassy of a 3rd State in Bucharest (Romania) for the aim of acquiring a visa. In such circumstances, a Romanian nationwide domiciled in Romania might have travelled to a different Member State utilizing his or her identification card. It follows that the laws at challenge in the primary proceedings constitutes a restriction on the fitting to maneuver and reside freely supplied for in Article 21(1) TFEU.

The Romanian Authorities argued that the refusal to challenge a nationwide identification card which will function a journey doc to Romanian nationals domiciled in one other Member State is justified, inter alia, by the truth that it’s unattainable to document on the identification card the deal with of the domicile of these nationals exterior Romania. The ECJ doesn’t settle for that reasoning and recollects that “concerns of an administrative nature can not justify derogation by a Member State from the foundations of EU regulation, particularly the place the derogation in query quantities to proscribing, and even stopping, the train of one of many basic freedoms assured by the Treaty”. Due to this fact, “the effectiveness of the identification and checking of the deal with of domicile of Romanian nationals domiciled in one other Member State likewise doesn’t represent an goal consideration of public curiosity able to justifying laws comparable to that at challenge in the primary proceedings.”

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