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PR(09)74: Norway fails to comply with a judgment of the EFTA Court in a case concerning the Survivors' Pension Fund


The EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided to deliver a reasoned opinion to Norway for failure to comply with the judgment of the EFTA Court in the Survivors' Pension Fund Case (Case E-2/07 EFTA Surveillance Authority v The Kingdom of Norway).

The EFTA Court judgment concerned a provision in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Act which provides that a survivors' pension of a widower, whose spouse became a member of the Public Service Pension Fund prior to 1 October 1976, shall be reduced in relation to his other income. In comparison, a widow in the same circumstances receives her survivor's pension without curtailment.

In its judgment, the EFTA Court declared that this difference in treatment between widowers and widows constituted a breach of the rules of the EEA Agreement in the field of equal treatment of men and women.

Two years have now passed since the EFTA Court rendered its judgment.  Although there is no specific period within which the EFTA States are required to take the measures necessary to comply with the judgments of the EFTA Court, action must be commenced immediately and must be completed as soon as possible.

The purpose of the Authority's reasoned opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring these matters before the EFTA Court. Norway has been given two months to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Bjørnar Alterskjær
Deputy Director, Legal and Executive Affairs
Mob. (+32)(0)495291605

Mr Ingvar Sverrisson
Officer, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 83


Brussels, 30 October 2009

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