Summaries of judgments: Comune di Copertino – Vitality Save

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

 

Judgment of the Court docket (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 Elementary Rights of the European Union – Allowance in lieu of days of depart 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

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BU was employed by the Municipality of Copertino (Italy), from 1 February 1992 to 1 October 2016, till his voluntary resignation, in an effort to take early retirement. Taking the view that he was entitled to an allowance in lieu of 79 days’ paid annual depart accrued through the interval between 2013 and 2016, BU introduced an motion earlier than the Tribunale di Lecce (District Court docket, Lecce, Italy) looking for monetary compensation for these days of depart 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 depart. In response to the Municipality of Copertino, the truth that BU had taken depart throughout 2016 confirmed that he was conscious of his obligation, in accordance with that provision, to take the times of depart that he had accrued earlier than the top 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 facets of the organisation of working time, learn in gentle of Article 31(2) CFREU.

Findings of the Court docket

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

However, Article 7(1) of Directive 2003/88 doesn’t, in precept, preclude nationwide laws which lays down circumstances for the train of the appropriate to paid annual depart, together with even the lack of that proper on the finish of a depart 12 months or of a carry-over interval, offered, nonetheless, that the employee who has misplaced his or her proper to paid annual depart has really had the chance to train the appropriate 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, below the nationwide provision at subject in the principle proceedings, as interpreted by the Corte costituzionale (Constitutional Court docket), BU just isn’t entitled to the allowance in lieu of all these days of depart not taken solely as a result of he voluntarily terminated the employment relationship by taking early retirement, which he would have been capable of foresee prematurely. As that nationwide provision limits the train of one of many facets of the appropriate to paid annual depart, as enshrined in Article 31(2) CFREU, the circumstances laid down in Article 52(1) of the Constitution should be complied with.

As regards the goals pursued by the nationwide legislature, which the referring courtroom questions particularly, the ECJ notes, relating to the target of controlling public spending, that. in response to recital 4 of Directive 2003/88, the efficient safety of the protection and well being of employees shouldn’t be subordinated to purely financial concerns. The ECJ observes, nonetheless, that the target linked to the organisational wants of the general public employer is aimed, particularly, at rational planning of the depart 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 response to the Corte costituzionale case-law, the nationwide provision at subject in the principle proceedings is meant to place an finish to the uncontrolled use of ‘monetary compensation’ for depart not taken and, thus, to make sure that the precise taking of depart 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 employees 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 depart 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 depart remains to be able to procuring for the individual involved the remaining and leisure to which it’s presupposed to contribute, that, if she or he doesn’t take it, will probably be misplaced on the finish of the reference interval or authorised carry-over interval or can not get replaced by an allowance in lieu.” Ought to the employer not be capable to present that it has exercised all due diligence in an effort to allow the employee really to take the paid annual depart to which she or he is entitled, the lack of the appropriate to such depart 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 depart 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. Nevertheless, “the place the employee has kept away from taking his or her paid annual depart intentionally and in full data of the following penalties, after having been given the chance really 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 depart not taken, with out the employer being required to power that employee to really train that proper.”

Judgment of the Court docket (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 Elementary Rights of the European Union – Directive 2004/38/EC – Article 4 – Issuance of an id card – Requirement of domicile within the Member State issuing the doc – Refusal by the authorities of that Member State to subject an id card to one in all its nationals domiciled in one other Member State – Equal remedy – Restrictions – Justification

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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 id card, which should be renewed yearly. That non permanent id card doesn’t represent a journey doc and is issued to Romanian nationals domiciled in one other Member State who’re quickly resident in Romania. In 2017, WA utilized to the Romanian authorities to be issued with an id 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 (Court docket of Attraction, Bucharest, Romania) dismissed the enchantment lodged by WA as unfounded, on the bottom that, below Romanian legislation, id playing cards are to be issued solely to Romanian nationals domiciled in Romania. On enchantment, the Înalta Curte de Casaţie şi Justiţie (Excessive Court docket of Cassation and Justice, Romania) had doubts as to the conformity with EU legislation of the refusal to subject an id card to WA within the circumstances of the case.

Findings of the Court docket

The ECJ interprets Article 21 TFEU and Article 45(1) CFREU, learn along with Article 4(3) of Directive 2004/38, on the appropriate of residents of the Union and their members of the family to maneuver and reside freely throughout the territory of the Member States, as “precluding laws of a Member State below 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 id card which will function a journey doc throughout the European Union, on the only real 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 remedy 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, specifically an id 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, specifically an id card or a passport, which they’re obliged to subject to their very own nationals in an effort to allow them to train the appropriate to maneuver and reside freely throughout the territory of the Member States. Nevertheless, the ECJ clarifies, “that provision, learn within the gentle of Article 21 TFEU, can not (…) permit Member States to make that selection 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 limiting 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 subject in the principle proceedings is liable to discourage Romanian nationals in a state of affairs akin 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. Really, in the principle proceedings, for a interval of 12 days, WA was unable to journey to France since he didn’t have an id 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 may have travelled to a different Member State utilizing his or her id card. It follows that the laws at subject in the principle proceedings constitutes a restriction on the appropriate to maneuver and reside freely offered for in Article 21(1) TFEU.

The Romanian Authorities argued that the refusal to subject a nationwide id 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 id 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 principles of EU legislation, particularly the place the derogation in query quantities to limiting, 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 akin to that at subject in the principle proceedings.”

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