Key facts of the case:
Mr ..., a student residing in Belgium, applied for financial aid for students in higher education in Luxembourg, which was refused to him by the Minister of Higher Education and Research (Ministre de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, MESR). This refusal was justified by the fact that Mr ... was not a child of an employee working in Luxembourg, as required by the Act of 22 June 2000 (condition for the financial aid to be granted). Mr ... brought an action against the Minister’s decision. He alleged that his stepfather, an employee in Luxembourg, should be considered as a family member for the purpose of the application of the legislation considering the grant. Mr ...’s father had died and Mr ...’s mother had remarried. According to Mr ..., his stepfather had replaced his father for what concerns the contribution for the costs with studies. The Adinistrative Tribunal dismissed the action as unfounded and Mr ... appealed to the Administrative Court.
Outcome of the case:
The Administrative Court addressed a question for preliminary ruling to the CJEU.
1. The application of the Charter stems from the origin of Article 2bis of the Act of 22 June 2000, as amended by the Act of 19 July 2013, on the conclusions in the reference ECJ ruling of 20 June 2013, where the ECJ found that financial aid for higher education was analysed as a social advantage within the meaning of Article 7, paragraph 2 of the EU Regulation 492/2011. Therefore, with a view to non-discrimination, the provisions of this EU regulation impose in relation to those of the national law and theCharters is in principle applicable. According to Article 7 of the Charter, "everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications", while Article 33 provides in paragraph 1 that "the family shall enjoy legal, economic and social protection".
2. It follows from the foregoing that since, both in terms of requirements of non-discrimination and actual degree of connection in relation to Luxembourg's society and to the labour market, the respective reference notions of "child” in the context of non-residing student, applicant for financial aid, and “parent” in the context of cross-border worker are to be defined and become concrete relying on the provisions of Article 7, paragraph 2, of EU Regulation 492/2011, which is based on the provisions of Article 45, paragraph 2, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), against the background of Article 33, paragraph 1, of the Charter, together, the case being, with its Article 7, Article 2bis of the Act of 22 June 2000, as amended by the Act of 19 July 2013 having been itself drafted by the legislator based in the findings of the CJEU in the reference case of 20 June 2013, it becomes clear that in the specific given conditions, the Court does not have all the necessary elements to usefully identify itself, relying on the principles governing the Law of the European Union and the application that is already done by reference to the reference case of 20 June 2013, the solution concerning the question of definition of the term “child” of a cross-border worker and the corresponding term “parent”.
3. ... in substance, before further progress involved, shall submit to the Court of Justice of the European Union the following question: “In order to properly meet the requirements of non-discrimination under Article 7(2) of Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 (...) on freedom of movement for workers within the Union, together with Article 45(2) TFEU, against the background of Article 33(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, together, as necessary, with Article 7 thereof, when taking into account the actual degree of attachment of a non-resident student, who has applied for financial aid for higher-education studies, with the society and with the labour market of Luxembourg, being the Member State in which a frontier worker has been employed or has carried out his activity in the conditions referred to in Article 2 bis of the Law of 22 June 2000 on State financial aid for higher-education studies, as added by the Law of 19 July 2013 in direct consequence of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 20 June 2013 (Case C-20/12), ...