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Netherlands / Administrative High Court / CRVB:2020:1920

Appellant v the Board of Directors of the Social Security Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank, Svb)

Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Administrative High Court
Decision date:
Key facts of the case:
The appellant did not receive a full old age pension when he retired in the Netherlands, because he lived from 18 August 1969 up to and including 15 January 1974 in Surinam, and not in the European part of the Netherlands. He claims that Surinam was part of the Netherlands, but the Social Security Bank holds that Surinam was responsible for its own social security system before it became independent, and that it was not regarded as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in this sense. The appellant claims that he has been discriminated on the basis of his place of residence and that this is prohibited on the basis of Article 21 of the Charter.
Key legal question raised by the Court:
Is Union law, including Article 21 of the Charter, applicable to a resident of Surinam, which is not part of the European Kingdom of the Netherlands?
Outcome of the case:
The Court holds that Article 51 of the Charter states that the provisions of the Charter are addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. In this case, no provision of Union law is applicable, so the provisions of the Charter, including Article 21, do not apply. The applicant is not entitled to a full old age pension.