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PR(02)26: A Reasoned Opinion sent to Norway for failure to comply with rules in the field of social security


On 27 November 2002, the EFTA Surveillance Authority sent a Reasoned Opinion to Norway for failure to comply with EEA rules in the field of social security.

Act No. 41 of 26 June 1998 concerning Cash Benefit for Parents with Small Children (Cash Benefit Act) lays down the conditions for entitlement to the Norwegian Child Care Benefit (Kontantstøtten). Sections 2 and 3 of the Cash Benefit Act stipulate a residence condition for both the child and the person with whom the child is living permanently.  Cash benefits have consequently not been granted to children and parents who are not resident in Norway. 

The Reasoned Opinion concerns workers and their families who are subject to Norwegian legislation but are residents of another country in the EEA area than Norway.

It follows from Article 73 of Regulation 1408/71 that such workers or self-employed persons are entitled, in respect of the members of their families who are residing in an EC or EFTA State party to the EEA Agreement, to the family benefits provided for by the Norwegian legislation, as if they were residing in Norway. The purpose of Article 73 is to overrule the residence requirement in national schemes.

The Authority, therefore, has concluded that Norway, by refusing to pay cash benefits in respect of children who reside in another EFTA State than Norway or in an EC State, to workers who are subject to the Norwegian legislation and with whom the children live permanently, is in breach of Article 73 of Regulation 1408/71.

The purpose of a Reasoned Opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. In this case the Authority requests that the Norwegian Government takes the necessary measures to comply with the Reasoned Opinion within three months of its receipt.

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For further information, please contact Niels Fenger Director, (Legal and Executive Affairs) on telephone +32 (2) 286 1830.

28 November 2002

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