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Document 61965CJ0044

Presuda Suda od 9. prosinca 1965.
Hessische Knappschaft protiv Maison Singer et fils.
Zahtjev za prethodnu odluku: Cour d'appel de Colmar - Francuska.
Predmet 44-65.

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:1965:122

61965J0044

Judgment of the Court of 9 December 1965. - Hessische Knappschaft v Maison Singer and sons. - Reference for a preliminary ruling: Cour d'appel de Colmar - France. - Case 44-65.

European Court reports
French edition Page 01191
Dutch edition Page 01148
German edition Page 01268
Italian edition Page 00952
English special edition Page 00965
Danish special edition Page 00137
Greek special edition Page 00201
Portuguese special edition Page 00251
Spanish special edition Page 00287


Summary
Parties
Subject of the case
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part

Keywords


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1 . PROCEDURE - PRELIMINARY RULING - PARTIES TO THE MAIN ACTION - RIGHTS

( EEC TREATY, ARTICLE 177 )

2 . FREE MOVEMENT OF PERSONS - WORKERS WITHIN THE MEANING OF REGULATION NO 3 OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EEC - CONCEPT

3 . FREE MOVEMENT OF PERSONS - WORKERS - ACCIDENT INSURANCE - BENEFITS GRANTED UNDER THE LEGISLATION OF A MEMBER STATE - INJURY SUSTAINED IN THE TERRITORY OF ANOTHER MEMBER STATE - INJURY SUSTAINED BEFORE THE ENTRY INTO FORCE OF REGULATION NO 3 OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EEC - INSTITUTIONS LIABLE FOR PAYMENT - RIGHTS WITH REGARD TO A THIRD PARTY LIABLE FOR COMPENSATION - ACTION FOR REIMBURSEMENT - ADMISSIBILITY

( REGULATION NO 3 OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EEC, ARTICLES 52 AND 53(3 ))

Summary


1 . SINCE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE THE QUESTIONS TO BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COURT DEVOLVES UPON THE COURT OR TRIBUNAL OF THE MEMBER STATE ALONE, THE PARTIES MAY NOT CHANGE THEIR TENOR OR HAVE THEM DECLARED TO BE WITHOUT PURPOSE .

2 . THE CONCEPT OF ' WORKER ' UNDER REGULATION NO 3 IS NOT LIMITED SOLELY TO MIGRANT WORKERS STRICTO SENSU OR SOLELY TO WORKERS REQUIRED TO MOVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT .

CF . PARAGRAPH 1, SUMMARY IN CASE 75/63, ( 1964 ) ECR 351 .

3 . ARTICLE 52 OF REGULATION NO 3 EMPOWERS THE SOCIAL SECURITY INSTITUTIONS OF A MEMBER STATE TO BRING AN ACTION, ON CONDITIONS LAID DOWN THEREIN, FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF BENEFITS GRANTED IN CONSEQUENCE OF AN ACCIDENT EVEN IF IT OCCURRED BEFORE 1 JANUARY 1959 .

Parties


IN CASE 44/65

REFERENCE TO THE COURT UNDER ARTICLE 177 OF THE EEC TREATY BY THE PREMIERE CHAMBRE CIVILE ( FIRST CIVIL CHAMBER ) OF THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR, FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING IN THE ACTION PENDING BEFORE THAT COURT BETWEEN :

HESSISCHE KNAPPSCHAFT, WEILBURG/LAHN ( GERMANY ),

PLAINTIFF,

AND

MAISON SINGER ET FILS, ERSTEIN ( FRANCE ),

DEFENDANT,

Subject of the case


ON THE INTERPRETATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF REGULATION NO 3 OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY CONCERNING SOCIAL SECURITY FOR MIGRANT WORKERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF 16 DECEMBER 1958, P.561 ET SEQ .),

Grounds


P.969

I - ON THE FIRST QUESTION

BY THE FIRST QUESTION THE COURT IS ASKED TO RULE WHETHER ARTICLE 52 OF REGULATION NO 3 APPLIES ONLY TO MIGRANT WORKERS WHO HAVE, OR HAD AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, EMPLOYMENT IN ONE OF THE SIX COUNTRIES OF THE COMMUNITY, OR WHETHER IT APPLIES TO ANY WORKER AFFILIATED TO A SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEME OF ONE OF THOSE MEMBER STATES, EVEN IF HE IS NOT A MIGRANT WORKER AND EVEN IF THE ACCIDENT SUFFERED WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE DISBURSEMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS TOOK PLACE NEITHER DURING NOR ARISING OUT OF HIS EMPLOYMENT .

P.970

IN ITS JUDGMENT IN CASE 33/64 OF 11 MARCH 1965 ( REFERENCE FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING BY THE ARRONDISSEMENTSRECHTBANK, ASSEN ( 1965 ) ECR 97 ) THE COURT, IN INTERPRETING THE PROVISIONS OF THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 52, RULED THAT :

' THESE PROVISIONS ARE APPLICABLE WHERE A WORKER WHO, UNDER THE LEGISLATION OF ONE MEMBER STATE, IS IN RECEIPT OF ONE OF THE BENEFITS MENTIONED IN ARTICLE 2 OF REGULATION NO 3 IN RESPECT OF AN INJURY SUSTAINED IN THE TERRITORY OF ANOTHER MEMBER STATE, WHETHER OR NOT SUCH INJURY IS CONNECTED WITH HIS WORK, IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR THAT INJURY FROM A THIRD PARTY IN THE LATTER STATE'S TERRITORY '.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS OF THE PRESENT CASE, IT MUST BE RECALLED THAT ARTICLE 52 APPLIES TO THE CASE OF ANY PERSON WHO IS IN RECEIPT OF BENEFIT UNDER THE LEGISLATION OF ONE MEMBER STATE WHETHER IT BE THE WORKER HIMSELF OR HIS SUCCESSORS .

WHILST THE DEFENDANT IN THE MAIN ACTION ADMITS THAT THIS INTERPRETATION OF REGULATION NO 3 IS WELL FOUNDED, IT CONSIDERS THAT IT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH ARTICLE 51 OF THE EEC TREATY, ESPECIALLY AS UNDER THAT PROVISION THE COUNCIL IS ONLY ENTITLED TO MAKE RULES GOVERNING THE SITUATION OF MIGRANT WORKERS STRICTO SENSU .

CONSEQUENTLY IT CLAIMS BEFORE THE COURT, BY VIRTUE OF ARTICLES 173 AND 185 OF THE SAID TREATY, THAT ARTICLE 52 OF REGULATION NO 3 DOES NOT APPLY, AND CONTENDS THAT THE REQUEST FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING BY THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR, SHOULD BE DECLARED TO BE WITHOUT PURPOSE .

UNDER ARTICLE 177 OF THE TREATY IT IS FOR THE COURT OR TRIBUNAL OF A MEMBER STATE, AND NOT THE PARTIES TO THE MAIN ACTION, TO BRING A MATTER BEFORE THE COURT OF JUSTICE .

SINCE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE THE QUESTIONS TO BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COURT THUS DEVOLVES UPON THE COURT OR TRIBUNAL OF THE MEMBER STATE ALONE, THE PARTIES MAY NOT CHANGE THEIR TENOR OR HAVE THEM DECLARED TO BE WITHOUT PURPOSE . CONSEQUENTLY THE COURT OF JUSTICE CANNOT BE COMPELLED AT THE REQUEST OF A PARTY TO ENTERTAIN A QUESTION WHEN THE INITIATIVE FOR REFERRING IT TO THE COURT PERTAINS NOT TO THE PARTIES BUT TO THE COURT OR TRIBUNAL OF THE MEMBER STATE ITSELF, OR TO ENTERTAIN WITHIN THE PARTICULAR FRAMEWORK OF ARTICLE 177 A CLAIM BASED PRIMARILY ON ARTICLE 184 .

P.971

BESIDES, THE CONTRARY VIEW FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE AUTHORS OF ARTICLE 177 INTENDED TO ESTABLISH DIRECT CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THE COURT OF JUSTICE AND THE COURTS AND TRIBUNALS OF THE MEMBER STATES BY WAY OF A NON-CONTENTIOUS PROCEDURE EXCLUDING ANY INITIATIVE OF THE PARTIES, WHO ARE MERELY INVITED TO BE HEARD IN THE COURSE OF THAT PROCEDURE . THE CLAIM OF MAISON SINGER ET FILS TO HAVE THE COLMAR COURT'S REQUEST FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING DECLARED TO BE WITHOUT PURPOSE MUST THEREFORE BE REJECTED .

MOREOVER, THE ARGUMENT OF THE PLAINTIFF IN THE MAIN ACTION THAT REGULATION NO 3 AND IN PARTICULAR ARTICLE 52 THEREOF ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED BY ARTICLE 51 OF THE TREATY CANNOT BE ACCEPTED .

UNDER ARTICLE 51 OF THE TREATY, THE COUNCIL ' SHALL ... ADOPT SUCH MEASURES IN THE FIELD OF SOCIAL SECURITY AS ARE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR WORKERS '. ARTICLE 51 IS INCLUDED IN THE CHAPTER ENTITLED ' WORKERS ' AND SITUATED IN TITLE III (' FREE MOVEMENT OF PERSONS, SERVICES AND CAPITAL ') IN PART TWO OF THE TREATY (' FOUNDATIONS OF THE COMMUNITY '). THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AS COMPLETE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR WORKERS AS POSSIBLE, WHICH THUS FORMS PART OF THE ' FOUNDATIONS ' OF THE COMMUNITY, THEREFORE CONSTITUTES THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE OF ARTICLE 51 AND THEREBY CONDITIONS THE EXERCISE OF THE POWER WHICH IT CONFERS UPON THE COUNCIL .

IT WOULD NOT BE IN CONFORMITY WITH THAT SPIRIT TO LIMIT THE CONCEPT OF ' WORKER ' SOLELY TO MIGRANT WORKERS STRICTO SENSU OR SOLELY TO WORKERS REQUIRED TO MOVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT . NOTHING IN ARTICLE 51 IMPOSES SUCH DISTINCTIONS, WHICH WOULD IN ANY CASE TEND TO MAKE THE APPLICATION OF THE RULES IN QUESTION IMPRACTICABLE .

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SYSTEM ADOPTED BY REGULATION NO 3, WHICH CONSISTS IN ABOLISHING AS FAR AS POSSIBLE THE TERRITORIAL LIMITATIONS ON THE APPLICATION OF THE DIFFERENT SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEMES, CERTAINLY CORRESPONDS TO THE OBJECTIVES OF ARTICLE 51 OF THE TREATY .

II - ON THE SECOND QUESTION

IN ITS SECOND QUESTION, THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR, ASKS THE COURT TO RULE WHETHER, UNDER ARTICLE 52 OF REGULATION NO 3, THE SOCIAL SECURITY INSTITUTIONS OF A MEMBER STATE ARE ENTITLED TO BRING AN ACTION, ON THE CONDITIONS LAID DOWN THEREIN, FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF BENEFITS GRANTED IN CONSEQUENCE OF AN ACCIDENT OCCURRING BEFORE 1 JANUARY 1959 . UNDER ARTICLE 88(1 ) OF REGULATION NO 4 OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EEC, REGULATION NO 3 ENTERED INTO FORCE ON 1 JANUARY 1959 . THE SAID REGULATION NO 3 WAS INCAPABLE OF GIVING RISE, BEFORE 1 JANUARY 1959, TO THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES REFERRED TO THEREIN . BUT EVENTS OCCURRING BEFORE THAT DATE MAY, ONCE THE REGULATION HAS ENTERED INTO FORCE, GIVE RISE TO THOSE RIGHTS AND DUTIES . IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXPRESS PROVISION TO THE CONTRARY, ITS RULES MUST BE REGARDED AS TAKING EFFECT AS SOON AS THEY ENTER INTO FORCE, INASMUCH AS THEY DETERMINE IN THE PRESENT LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS IN THE PAST . ARTICLE 52 OF REGULATION NO 3 IN NO WAY MODIFIES THE CONDITIONS GOVERNING THE CREATION AND THE LIMITS OF EXTRA-CONTRACTUAL LIABILITY, WHICH REMAINS SUBJECT SOLELY TO NATIONAL LAW . IT IS LIMITED TO SUBSTITUTING THE INSTITUTION LIABLE FOR PAYMENT FOR THE BENEFICIARY IN ANY CLAIMS WHICH HE MAY HAVE AGAINST THE THIRD PARTY LIABLE, IN OTHER WORDS, TO SUBSTITUTING A NEW CLAIMANT FOR THE OLD .

MOREOVER, THE SUBSTITUTION PROVIDED FOR IN ARTICLE 52 IN FAVOUR OF THE NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY INSTITUTIONS CONSTITUTES THE LOGICAL AND FAIR COUNTERPART TO THE EXTENSION OF THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE SAID INSTITUTIONS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY . TO THIS END, ARTICLE 53(3 ) OF REGULATION NO 3 PROVIDES THAT BENEFIT SHALL BE PAYABLE EVEN IF IT RELATES TO AN EVENT OCCURRING BEFORE THE DATE ON WHICH IT ENTERED INTO FORCE . THE SAME EFFECT WITH REGARD TO TIME SHOULD THUS BE ADMITTED IN CONNEXION WITH THE APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 52 .

THE SECOND QUESTION OF THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR, SHOULD THUS BE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE .

Decision on costs


THE COSTS INCURRED BY THE COMMISSION OF THE EEC, WHICH SUBMITTED OBSERVATIONS TO THE COURT, ARE NOT RECOVERABLE, AND AS THESE PROCEEDINGS ARE, IN SO FAR AS THE PARTIES TO THE MAIN ACTION ARE CONCERNED, IN THE NATURE OF A STEP IN THE ACTION PENDING BEFORE THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR, THE DECISION ON COSTS IS A MATTER FOR THAT COURT .

Operative part


THE COURT

IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTIONS REFERRED TO IT BY THE FIRST CIVIL CHAMBER OF THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR, BY A DECISION OF THE SAID CHAMBER OF 1 JUNE 1965, HEREBY RULES :

1 . THE REPLY TO THE FIRST QUESTION OF THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR, FOLLOWS FROM THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF 11 MARCH 1965 IN CASE 33/64;

2 . ARTICLE 52 OF REGULATION NO 3 OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EEC CONCERNING SOCIAL SECURITY FOR MIGRANT WORKERS ENTITLES THE SOCIAL SECURITY INSTITUTIONS OF A MEMBER STATE TO BRING AN ACTION, UNDER THE CONDITIONS LAID DOWN THEREIN, FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF BENEFIT PAID BY THEM IN RESPECT OF AN ACCIDENT OCCURRING BEFORE 1 JANUARY 1959;

3 . THE DECISION ON THE COSTS OF THESE PROCEEDINGS IS A MATTER FOR THE COUR D' APPEL, COLMAR .

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