CJEU Case C-356/15 / Judgment

European Commission v Kingdom of Belgium
Policy area
Employment and social policy
Deciding body type
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding body
Court (Fifth Chamber)
Decision date
ECLI (European case law identifier)
  • CJEU Case C-356/15 / Judgment

    Key facts of the case:

    Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations — Social security — Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 — Articles 11 and 12 and Article 76(6) — Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 — Article 5 — Posting of workers — Affiliation to a social security scheme — Combating fraud — A 1 Certificate — Refusal of recognition by the Member State where the professional activity is carried out in the event of fraud or abuse.

    Outcome of the case:

    On those grounds, the Court (Fifth Chamber) hereby:

    1. Declares that, by adopting Articles 23 and 24 of the Programme Law of 27 December 2012, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 11(1), Article 12(1) and Article 76(6) of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems, as amended by Regulation (EU) No 465/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012, and under Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation No 883/2004;
    2. Dismisses the action as to the remainder;
    3. Orders the Kingdom of Belgium to pay the costs.
  • Paragraphs referring to EU Charter

    68) With regard to a potential breach of the principle that the persons to whom Regulation No 883/2004 applies are subject to the legislation of a single Member State only, the Kingdom of Belgium maintains that it may be the case, in the event of fraud, that the institution that is allegedly competent never issued the A1 certificate, that the worker is not subject to the legislation of that Member State and that he or she, in fact, receives no protection in terms of social security. In such a scenario, there is no serious breach of the principle in question. In addition, according to the Kingdom of Belgium, fraudulent arrangements lead to unlawful competition and social dumping. The application of Articles 23 and 24 of the Programme Law thus guarantees ‘[the entitlement] to social security benefits and social advantages’ within the meaning of Article 34(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.