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Parliamentary questions
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18 October 2010
E-8531/2010
Question for written answer E-8531/2010
to the Commission
Rule 117
Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE)

 Subject: Family allowances and frontier workers in France
 Answer in writing 

The European Union is founded on the principle of the free movement of persons. Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68(1) on freedom of movement for workers within the Community and Directive 2004/38/EC(2) of 29 April 2004 state that ‘citizenship of the Union confers on every citizen of the Union a primary and individual right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States’ and that ‘freedom of movement for workers must be guaranteed’ in the EU and that this goal is to be achieved by banning any discrimination to which workers from Member States might be subject on the grounds of nationality in terms of employment, pay or other working conditions. This includes equal treatment in work-related matters and access to the same tax and social benefits.

Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems in the Member States, French Decree No 2008‑1384 of 19 December 2008 on the calculation and payment of the differential allowance (ADI), an allowance paid to French migrant workers to guarantee them the same level of family allowances as paid to French nationals working in France, stipulates that family allowances paid by the French authorities cannot be combined with child benefits paid under the rules of another Member State. Although the aim of this measure is quite logical, in practice it is extremely unfair to frontier workers, particularly as regards the young child benefit (PAJE), which was previously excluded from ADI calculations and will now be included. This means that frontier workers are no longer eligible for this allowance, whereas workers working in France are. What is more the ADI is paid quarterly, whereas family allowances in France are paid monthly.

In the light of the above, does the Commission consider that the Decree of 19 December 2008 is compatible with EC law and with the principle of the free movement of workers? Is it not at odds with the principles of equal treatment and equal rights for workers and does it not discriminate against frontier workers?

(1)OJ L 257, 19.10.1968, p. 2.
(2)OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77.

Original language of question: FROJ C 249 E, 26/08/2011
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