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Internal Market: Norway must change discriminatory rules on financial assistance to studies

2.7.2014

PR(14)42

The EFTA Surveillance Authority urges Norway to ensure non-discriminatory financial assistance to studies for workers from other EEA States and their dependants.

The Norwegian legislation requires that in order to receive financial assistance to studies abroad the student must have resided in Norway consecutively for at least two of the last five years and must show proficiency in the Norwegian language.

Furthermore, financial assistance to workers from other EEA States is granted only on condition that the studies pursued are linked to their professional activities in Norway. Norway does not require the studies of its own nationals to have such a link.

Based on established case law of the European Courts, including recent judgements against Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the Authority considers that these requirements are contrary to EEA law on free movement.

«The EEA Agreement entails that workers from other EEA States should enjoy the same social advantages as nationals, including access to study financing, as they contribute to the economy and pay their taxes in Norway much as anyone else», said Mr. Frank Büchel, College member of the Authority.

As a consequence, the Authority today issued a reasoned opinion to Norway. A reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. The Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.


Documents:

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

 




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