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Internal Market: Liechtenstein in breach of EEA rules on equal treatment




Liechtenstein fails to fulfil a fundamental EEA principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination between men and women by permitting insurers to use gender as a risk factor. This is the conclusion of a reasoned opinion sent to Liechtenstein by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) today.


Liechtenstein has national provisions allowing insurers and related financial service providers to use gender when they calculate premiums and benefits, which leads to different rates for men and women. ESA considers this to be in breach of the principle of equal treatment in the Access to Goods and Services Directive (2004/113/EC).

As of December 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated any provision allowing the use of gender in calculating premiums and benefits. The EFTA States have to take due account of the principles laid down by the Court, however, Liechtenstein still adopted derogations after the ruling of the Court of Justice.

ESA concludes that by maintaining such national provisions Liechtenstein has failed to respect its duty of loyalty and a duty of sincere co-operation for EEA States under Article 3 of the EEA Agreement.

Today's reasoned opinion is the second stage in the infringement proceedings after ESA sent a letter of formal notice to Liechtenstein in July 2016. ESA may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Liechtenstein fails to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Anne Vestbakke
Head of Communications
tel. +32 2 286 18 66
mob. +32 490 57 63 53

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