JUDGMENT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL
13 February 2007
Commission of the European Communities
(Officials – Remuneration – Family allowances – Dependent child allowance – Rule against overlapping allowances applicable to national allowances)
Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mrs Guarneri seeks annulment, first, of the Commission’s decision of 5 August 2005 applying the rule against overlapping allowances laid down in Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations to the deduction of the Belgian orphans’ pension from the dependent child allowance and, secondly, of the appointing authority’s decision of 14 February 2006 rejecting the applicant’s complaint against the contested decision.
Held: The Commission’s decision of 5 August 2005 is annulled in so far as it deducts the amount of the Belgian orphans’ pension received by Mrs Guarneri from the dependent child allowance paid to her. The remainder of the application is dismissed. The Commission is ordered to pay the costs. The Council is ordered to bear its own costs.
Officials – Remuneration – Family allowances – Dependent child allowance
(Staff Regulations, Art. 67(2))
Only allowances which are comparable and have the same purpose are of like nature for the purposes of the rule against overlapping laid down in Article 67(2) of the Staff Regulations concerning family allowances. The decisive criterion in classifying allowances as of like nature is the aim pursued by the allowances in question.
The Belgian orphans’ pension does not have the same aim as the dependent child allowance provided for in Article 67(1)(b) of the Staff Regulations. The Belgian pension is intended to compensate not for the normal costs associated with the maintenance and upbringing of children, but for the specific costs, for the surviving parent, resulting from the death of the other parent who, when alive, contributed to that maintenance and upbringing. The pension thus provides for the specific needs of orphaned children and constitutes financial assistance for the person who is left to bear the family responsibilities alone. The fact which can trigger its award is not the actual maintenance of a child, but a separate circumstance connected with the materialisation of a risk, that of the death of one of the child’s parents.
(see paras 34, 42, 45-46)
106/76 Deboeck v Commission  ECR 1623, para. 16; 14/77 Emer v Commission  ECR 1683, para. 15
T-147/95 Pavan v Parliament  ECR-SC I‑A‑291 and II‑861, para. 41; T‑33/04 Weißenfels v Parliament  ECR-SC I-A-2-1 and II-A-2-1, para. 47