Gerardo Ruiz Zambrano v Office national de l’emploi (ONEm).

JurisdictionEuropean Union
CourtCourt of Justice (European Union)
Writing for the CourtCunha Rodrigues
ECLIECLI:EU:C:2011:124
Celex Number62009CJ0034
Procedure TypeReference for a preliminary ruling
Date08 March 2011
Docket NumberC-34/09

Case C-34/09

Gerardo Ruiz Zambrano

v

Office national de l’emploi (ONEm)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling from the tribunal du travail de Bruxelles)

(Citizenship of the Union – Article 20 TFEU – Grant of right of residence under European Union law to a minor child on the territory of the Member State of which that child is a national, irrespective of the previous exercise by him of his right of free movement in the territory of the Member States – Grant, in the same circumstances, of a derived right of residence, to an ascendant relative, a third country national, upon whom the minor child is dependent – Consequences of the right of residence of the minor child on the employment law requirements to be fulfilled by the third-country national ascendant relative of that minor)

Summary of the Judgment

Citizens of the European Union – Provisions of the FEU Treaty – Scope ratione personae – Minor child national of a Member State never having exercised his right of free movement – Included

(Art. 20 TFEU)

Article 20 TFEU is to be interpreted as meaning that it precludes a Member State from refusing a third country national upon whom his minor children, who are European Union citizens, are dependent, a right of residence in the Member State of residence and nationality of those children, and from refusing to grant a work permit to that third country national, in so far as such decisions deprive those children of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of the rights attaching to the status of European Union citizen.

Citizenship of the Union is intended to be the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States. Such a refusal would lead to a situation in which those children, citizens of the Union, would have to leave the territory of the Union in order to accompany their parents. Similarly, if a work permit were not granted to such a person, he would risk not having sufficient resources to provide for himself and his family, which would also result in the children, citizens of the Union, having to leave the territory of the Union. In those circumstances, those citizens of the Union would, in fact, be unable to exercise the substance of the rights conferred on them by virtue of their status as citizens of the Union.

(see paras 41, 44-45, operative part)







JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Grand Chamber)

8 March 2011 (*)

(Citizenship of the Union – Article 20 TFEU – Grant of right of residence under European Union law to a minor child on the territory of the Member State of which that child is a national, irrespective of the previous exercise by him of his right of free movement in the territory of the Member States – Grant, in the same circumstances, of a derived right of residence, to an ascendant relative, a third country national, upon whom the minor child is dependent – Consequences of the right of residence of the minor child on the employment law requirements to be fulfilled by the third-country national ascendant relative of that minor)

In Case C‑34/09,

REFERENCE for a preliminary ruling under Article 234 EC from the Tribunal du travail de Bruxelles (Belgium), made by decision of 19 December 2008, received at the Court on 26 January 2009, in the proceedings

Gerardo Ruiz Zambrano,

v

Office national de l’emploi (ONEm),

THE COURT (Grand Chamber),

composed of V. Skouris, President, A. Tizzano, J.N. Cunha Rodrigues (Rapporteur), K. Lenaerts, J.-C. Bonichot, Presidents of Chamber, A. Rosas, M. Ilešič, J. Malenovský, U. Lõhmus, E. Levits, A. Ó Caoimh, L. Bay Larsen and M. Berger, Judges,

Advocate General: E. Sharpston,

Registrar: A. Calot Escobar,

having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 26 January 2010,

after considering the observations submitted on behalf of:

– Mr Ruiz Zambrano, by P. Robert, avocat,

– the Belgian Government, by C. Pochet, acting as Agent, assisted by F. Motulsky and K. de Haes, avocats,

– the Danish Government, by B. Weis Fogh, acting as Agent,

– the German Government, by M. Lumma and N. Graf Vitzthum, acting as Agents,

– Ireland, by D. O’Hagan, acting as Agent, assisted by D. Conlan Smyth, Barrister,

– the Greek Government, by S. Vodina, T. Papadopoulou and M. Michelogiannaki, acting as Agents,

– the Netherlands Government, by C. Wissels, M. de Grave and J. Langer, acting as Agents,

– the Austrian Government, by E. Riedl, acting as Agent,

– the Polish Government, by M. Dowgielewicz, and subsequently by M. Szpunar, acting as Agents,

– the European Commission, by D. Maidani and M. Wilderspin, acting as Agents,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 30 September 2010,

gives the following

Judgment

1 The reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Articles 12 EC, 17 EC and 18 EC, and also Articles 21, 24 and 34 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter of Fundamental Rights’).

2 That reference was made in the context of proceedings between Mr Ruiz Zambrano, a Columbian national, and the Office national de l’emploi (National Employment Office) (‘ONEm’) concerning the refusal by the latter to grant him unemployment benefits under Belgian legislation.

Legal context

European Union law

3 Article 3(1) of Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC (OJ 2004 L 158, p. 77, and corrigenda OJ 2004 L 229, p. 35, and OJ 2005 L 197, p. 34), provides:

‘This Directive shall apply to all Union citizens who move to or reside in a Member State other than that of which they are a national, and to their family members as defined in point 2 of Article 2 who accompany or join them.’

National law

The Belgian Nationality Code

4 Under Article 10(1) of the Belgian Nationality Code (Moniteur belge, 12 July 1984, p. 10095), in the version applicable at the time of the facts in the main proceedings (‘the Belgian Nationality Code’):

‘Any child born in Belgium who, at any time before reaching the age of 18 or being declared of full age, would be stateless if he or she did not have Belgian nationality, shall be Belgian.’

The Royal Decree of 25 November 1991

5 Article 30 of the Royal Decree of 25 November 1991 (Moniteur belge of 31 December 1991, p. 29888) concerning rules on unemployment provides as follows:

‘In order to be eligible for unemployment benefit, a full-time worker must have completed a qualifying period comprising the following number of working days:

2. 468 during the 27 months preceding the claim [for unemployment benefit], if the worker is more than 36 and less than 50 years of age,

…’

6 Article 43(1) of the Royal Decree states:

‘Without prejudice to the previous provisions, a foreign or stateless worker is entitled to unemployment benefit if he or she complies with the legislation relating to aliens and to the employment of foreign workers.

Work undertaken in Belgium is not taken into account unless it complies with the legislation relating to the employment of foreign workers.

…’

7 Under Article 69(1) of the Royal Decree:

‘In order to receive benefits, foreign and stateless unemployed persons must satisfy the legislation concerning aliens and that relating to the employment of foreign labour.’

The Decree-Law of 28 December 1944

8 Article 7(14) of the Decree-Law of 28 December 1944 on social security for workers (Moniteur belge of 30 December 1944), inserted by the Framework Law of 2 August 2002 (Moniteur belge of 29 August 2002, p. 38408), is worded as follows:

‘Foreign and stateless workers shall be eligible to receive benefits only if, at the time of applying for benefits, they satisfy the legislation concerning residency and that relating to the employment of foreign labour.

Work done in Belgium by a foreign or stateless worker shall be taken into account for the purpose of the qualifying period only if it was carried out in accordance with the legislation on the employment of foreign labour.

…’

The Law of 30 April 1999

9 Article 4(1) of the Law of 30 April 1999 on the employment of foreign workers (Moniteur belge of 21 May 1999, p. 17800) provides:

‘An employer wishing to employ a foreign worker must obtain prior employment authorisation from the competent authority.

The employer may use the services of that worker only as provided for in that authorisation.

The King may provide for exceptions to the first paragraph herein, as He deems appropriate.’

10 Under Article 7 of that law:

‘The King may, by a decree debated in the Council of Ministers, exempt such categories of foreign workers as He shall determine from the requirement to obtain a work permit.

Employers of foreign workers referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be exempted from the obligation to obtain a work permit.’

The Royal Decree of 9 June 1999

11 Article 2(2) of the Royal Decree of 9 June 1999 implementing the Law of 30 April 1999 on the employment of foreign workers (Moniteur belge of 26 June 1999, p. 24162) provides:

‘The following shall not be required to obtain a work permit:

2. the spouse of a Belgian national, provided that s/he comes in order to settle, or does settle, with that national;

(a) descendants under 21 years of age or dependants of the Belgian national or his spouse;

(b) dependent ascendants of the Belgian national or his/her spouse;

(c) the spouse of the persons referred to in (a) or (b);

…’

The Law of 15 December 1980

12 Article 9 of the Law of 15 December 1980 on access to Belgian territory, residence, establishment and expulsion of foreign nationals (Moniteur belge du 31 December 1980, p. 14584), in the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
30 practice notes
  • Relu Adrian Coman and Others v Inspectoratul General pentru Imigrări and Ministerul Afacerilor Interne.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 5 June 2018
    ...Member States (judgments of 20 September 2001, Grzelczyk, C‑184/99, EU:C:2001:458, paragraph 31; of 8 March 2011, Ruiz Zambrano, C‑34/09, EU:C:2011:124, paragraph 41; and of 2 June 2016, Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff, C‑438/14, EU:C:2016:401, paragraph 31 As is apparent from the Court’s case......
  • Conclusiones del Abogado General Sr. P. Pikamäe, presentadas el 21 de noviembre de 2019.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 21 November 2019
    ......, in der das Urteil vom 8. März 2011, Ruiz Zambrano, ergangen ist( 24 ). . . 58. ......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Richard de la Tour delivered on 17 March 2022.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 17 March 2022
    ...d’un ressortissant de pays tiers bénéficiant d’un droit au séjour dérivé tiré de l’article 20 TFUE. 1 Langue originale : le français. 2 C‑34/09, ci-après l’« arrêt Ruiz Zambrano », 3 C‑133/15, EU:C:2017:354. Aux Pays-Bas, ce droit de séjour est appelé « droit de séjour Chavez-Vilchez e.a. »......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Tanchev delivered on 5 December 2018.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 5 December 2018
    ...of 8 December 2011, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (C‑157/10, EU:C:2011:813, paragraph 19), and of 28 February 2013, Petersen (C‑544/11, EU:C:2011:124, paragraph 55 For discussion of this concept, see Opinion of Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer in Federutility and Others (C‑265/08, EU:......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Relu Adrian Coman and Others v Inspectoratul General pentru Imigrări and Ministerul Afacerilor Interne.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 5 June 2018
    ...Member States (judgments of 20 September 2001, Grzelczyk, C‑184/99, EU:C:2001:458, paragraph 31; of 8 March 2011, Ruiz Zambrano, C‑34/09, EU:C:2011:124, paragraph 41; and of 2 June 2016, Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff, C‑438/14, EU:C:2016:401, paragraph 31 As is apparent from the Court’s case......
  • Conclusiones del Abogado General Sr. P. Pikamäe, presentadas el 21 de noviembre de 2019.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 21 November 2019
    ......, in der das Urteil vom 8. März 2011, Ruiz Zambrano, ergangen ist( 24 ). . . 58. ......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Richard de la Tour delivered on 17 March 2022.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 17 March 2022
    ...d’un ressortissant de pays tiers bénéficiant d’un droit au séjour dérivé tiré de l’article 20 TFUE. 1 Langue originale : le français. 2 C‑34/09, ci-après l’« arrêt Ruiz Zambrano », 3 C‑133/15, EU:C:2017:354. Aux Pays-Bas, ce droit de séjour est appelé « droit de séjour Chavez-Vilchez e.a. »......
  • Opinion of Advocate General Tanchev delivered on 5 December 2018.
    • European Union
    • Court of Justice (European Union)
    • 5 December 2018
    ...of 8 December 2011, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (C‑157/10, EU:C:2011:813, paragraph 19), and of 28 February 2013, Petersen (C‑544/11, EU:C:2011:124, paragraph 55 For discussion of this concept, see Opinion of Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer in Federutility and Others (C‑265/08, EU:......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 books & journal articles
  • European Citizenship and EU Immigration: A Demoi‐cratic Bridge between the Third Country Nationals' Right to Belong and the Member States' Power to Exclude
    • European Union
    • European Law Journal Nbr. 22-4, July 2016
    • 1 July 2016
    ...EU:C:2014:135;also see Case C-370/90,Surinder Singh, EU:C:1992:296 (constru-ing a similarright for family members of migrant workers).25Case C-34/09, Ruiz Zambrano, EU:C:2011:124. Subsequentcases have qualif‌ied the Ruiz Zambrano judg-ment. See infra,n.78.26For a restatement of relevantrule......
  • Fundamental Rights and Legal Wrongs: The Two Sides of the Same EU Coin
    • European Union
    • European Law Journal Nbr. 22-1, January 2016
    • 1 January 2016
    ...& Hoogkamer v. the Netherlands, ECtHR, judgment of 31 January 2006, [2006]ECHR 86.40Respectively, Case C-140/12 Brey, EU: C:2013:565 and Case C-34/09 Zambrano, EU:C:2011:124.41J. Cooper, ‘Stoic Autonomy’in (2003) 20 Social Policy and Philosophy,1–29.European Law Journal Volume 22© 2016 John......
  • Quo vadis cooperación reforzada y el derecho internacional privado
    • European Union
    • El mercado único en la Unión Europea Logros y críticas del proceso de armonización del derecho internacional privado en la Unión Europea, Antonio Merchán Murillo
    • 1 January 2019
    ...no jaque mate, a medidas nacionales que promueven la discriminación inversa en el ámbito de la reagrupación familiar 18 . 12 STJUE de 8 de marzo de 2011, Ruiz Zambrano , C-34/09, ECLI: EU: C: 2011:124. ABARCA JUNCO, P., VARGAS GÓMEZ-URRUTIA, M.: “El estatuto de ciudadano de la Unión y su po......
  • The Right to Have What Rights? EU Citizenship in Need of Clarification
    • European Union
    • European Law Journal Nbr. 19-4, July 2013
    • 1 July 2013
    ...‘¿Hacia una nueva relación entre lanationalidad estatal y la ciudadanía europea?’, (2010) 37 Revista de Derecho Comunitario Europeo933.3Case C-34/09, Ruiz Zambrano [2011] 2 CMLR 46. Annotated by P. Van Elsuwege, ‘Shifting Boundaries?:European Union Citizenship and the Scope of Application o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT