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PR(05)03: The EFTA Surveillance Authority brings Norway before the EFTA Court regarding a regional supplement to family allowances (“finnmarkstillegget”)


The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today to bring Norway before the EFTA Court regarding a regional supplement to family allowances for children of families residing in the county of Finnmark or in parts of the county of Troms (“finnmarkstillegget”).

In the Authority’s view, EEA law requires Norway to grant the same supplement to a worker employed in those regions, even if the worker concerned and his children are living in another EEA State.

The Social Security Regulation (1408/71/EEC) applies to all family allowances that are granted on the basis of a legally defined position without any individual or discretionary assessment of the personal needs. Regional family allowances such as the “finnmarkstillegget” are covered by the Regulation.

The Social Security Regulation entitles a migrant worker to family allowances as if his family members were residing in the State of employment. It waives all residence requirements in national social security legislation.

Hence, the Authority has concluded that Norway is in breach of the Social Security Regulation. In addition, the Authority considers the Norwegian legislation to be in breach of the Free Movement of Workers Regulation (1612/68/EEC).

For further information, please contact Mr. Niels Fenger, Director of Legal & Executive Affairs, tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30.

2 February 2005


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