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France / Court of cassation / 15-18958

M. X. v la Caisse des dépôts et consignations

Policy area:
Employment and social policy
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Court of cassation
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
04/05/2016

Key facts of the case:

Ms. X. of Kosovan nationality entered France on 16 December 2010. On 26 March 2013, she obtained a temporary residence permit for a renewable one year duration, authorizing work. On 27 November 2012, she requested the allowance of solidarity for the elderly (allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées) from Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC). The CDC having refused her application on the grounds that she had not held a residence permit authorizing work for at least ten years, Ms. X referred an appeal to a social security court.

According to Article L. 816-1, 1 of the Social security code in its drafting resulting from law No. 2011-1906 of 21 December 2011, foreign nationals other than those mentioned in paragraphs 2 (refugees, stateless people, having fought for France) and 3 of the same law (nationals of a Member State of the European Union, of another State party to the agreement on the European economic Area or the Swiss Confederation), can claim the allowance of solidarity for the elderly if they have held a residence permit authorizing work for at least ten years.

Outcome of the case:

The ruling of the Court of Appeal of Lyon held that the interested party, born in 1947, meets the conditions defined by the Social security code to claim the allowance of solidarity for the elderly, that is to say, the conditions of age, of residence in France, resources and holding a residence permit authorizing work; that only the condition of the duration of residence of ten years is lacking. The Court of Appeal of Lyon considered that the allowance, intended to meet the vital needs of the elderly not being able to claim any pension, constitutes for these people, who do not have any other income, a vital minimum; that although the condition of residence is founded on an objective justification, consisting in reserving the allowance, which, not being contributory, is based on national solidarity, only for people residing in an effective and long term manner in the country, the means employed, namely to require residence of ten years of a person of foreign nationality, whose stay in the country led to the issuing of a permit, may become disproportionate, in that it is likely to completely exclude her from the benefit of the provision taking into consideration her age at the time of her request; that to impose this condition on Ms. Y. leads to depriving her of any living minimum income before the age of 75, and consequently does not allow her to lead a dignified and independent life, as required by the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The Court of cassation overturned the ruling of the Court of Appeal for violation of the law (the Court of Appeal violated Article L 816-1-1 of the Social security code, by recognising the right to the allowance of solidarity for the elderly for a person not meeting the legal criterion of having held a residence permit authorizing work for at least ten years) and dismissed Ms. Y's request for the allowance of solidarity for the elderly. In the view of the Court of cassation, the condition of the duration of residence in France of ten years established by French law is not contrary to the human rights recognised by Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, or Article 1 of Additional Protocol No. 12 to this Convention or Articles 1 and 25 of the Charter : 'Considering Articles L. 815-1, subparagraph 1, and L. 816-1-1 of the Social security code in its drafting resulting from law No. 2011-1906 of 21 December 2011 applicable to the litigation; Given that, according to the second of these laws, foreign nationals other than those mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the same law can claim the allowance of solidarity for the elderly if they have held a residence permit authorizing work for at least ten years; that applicable to the attribution of a service of social welfare based on national solidarity, which is subordinated by the first law, for all recipients, to justification of stable and regular residence on the mainland or in a Department mentioned in Article L. 751-1 of the Social security code, these provisions do not ignore the requirements of Articles 14 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms or the 1st paragraph of additional protocol No. 12 of the Convention, nor those of the Articles 1 and 25 of the European Charter for fundamental rights[…]'