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Internal Market: Rules on housing subsidies in Liechstenstein in breach of EEA law



Liechtenstein must provide EEA nationals, working in Liechtenstein, with access to housing subsidies on the same terms as Liechtenstein nationals. This is the conclusion of a reasoned opinion, a final warning, sent to Liechtenstein by the EFTA Surveillance Authority today.

According to the Liechtenstein rules, applicants for subsidies provided for construction, purchasing or renovating of private housing, must have been resident in Liechtenstein for three consecutive years.

EEA law prohibits not only direct discrimination on grounds of nationality, but also all  forms of indirect discrimination. In particular, conditions which may be more easily fulfilled by national workers than migrant workers, such as residence requirements, are therefore prohibited. The requirement of having resided in Liechtenstein for three consecutive years to be eligible for support can more easily be met by Liechtenstein nationals, than by nationals from other EEA States. The Authority asks Liechtenstein to take the necessary measures and change the rules to comply with its EEA obligations.

Delivering a reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. The Authority may decide to bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Liechtenstein fails to take satisfactory measures within two months of receiving the reasoned opinion.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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