• In Case C-316/85 Lebon [1987], the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) stated that with respect to Article 7 (2) of Regulation 1612/68, the social and taxation benefits only apply to workers, and does not include individuals who are looking for work.

Facts of the case:

  • The applicant lived in Belgium with her father. Both the applicant and her father were French nationals.
  •  The applicant was not a worker, as she was unemployed, and she sought to claim social welfare in Belgium, which was refused.
  • The applicant wished to appeal this decision, and she said that she was entitled to the payments because (1) Article 7(2) of the aforementioned regulation stated that payments sent to derivatives/ descendants of a worker is a ‘social advantage’, and (2) because she was entitled to equal treatment with respect to social advantages, as she was a ‘worker’, because she had been seeking employment.

Issues in Case C-316/85 Lebon [1987] ECR 2811:

  • The issue for the CJEU was whether Article 7 (2) of Regulation 1612/68 enabled the applicant to be entitled to social welfare payments in Belgium, notwithstanding the fact that she was unemployed.

The CJEU held:

  • The CJEU rejected her claim and her arguments, and decided that she was not entitled to social welfare payments in Belgium, as she was not a worker, she was only looking for work.

The CJEU specifically stated:

  • [12] “However the members of a worker’s family, within the meaning of Article 10 of Regulation No 1612/68, qualify only indirectly for the equal treatment accorded to the worker himself by Article 7 of Regulation No 1612/68. Social benefits such as the income guaranteed to old people by the legislation of a member state or guaranteeing in general terms the minimum means of subsistence operate in favour of members of the worker’s family only if such benefits may be regarded as a social advantage, within the meaning of Article 7 (2)” [2836]
  • [14] “where a worker who is a national of one Member State was employed within the territory of another Member State and remains there after obtaining a retirement pension, his descendants do not retain the right to equal treatment with regard to a soul a benefit provided for by the legislation of the host Member State and guaranteeing in general terms the minimum means of subsistence where they have reached the age of 21, are no longer dependent on him and do not have the status of workers” [2837]