• In the case of Case C-427/06 Bartsch v Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte [2008] ECR I-7245, age discrimination was concerned. The general principle in respect of links to EU law, is that EU law will not apply when the case has no link to EU law. There will not be a link where there is no national implementing measure in place, nor where the transposition period of implementing EU directives to national laws has not expired.

Facts of Case C-427/06 Bartsch v Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte [2008] ECR I-7245

  • Mrs Bartsch, C, married Mr Bartsch in 1986
  • Mr Bartsch was 21 years senior to Mrs Bartsch
  • Mr Bartsch passed away, and the C applied to his employer for her survivor’s pension
  • The company refused, stating that the pension scheme guidelines provided the surviving spouse would not be entitled to survivor’s pension if the survivor is more than 15 years younger than their deceased spouse
  • The C challenged this refusal before the German court arguing that it was not compliant with the principle of non-discrimination, nor Council Directive 2000/78 regarding equal treatment in employment and occupation
  • The national court referred the matter to the European Court of Justice

Issues in Case C-427/06 Bartsch v Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte [2008] ECR I-7245

  • Did the primary law of the EC Treaty prohibiting age discrimination require Member States to prevent such even if the alleged discrimination is unconnected to EU law?

Held by the European Court of Justice

  • The present case has no connection with Community law; neither the Directive concerned, nor Article 13 EC applied.

Findings of the Court

Where national laws full within the scope of EC law:

  • “the Court must provide all the criteria of interpretation needed by the national court to determine whether those rules are compatible with the general principles of Community law” [15]

However, as for the present case:

  • “Neither Directive 2000/78 nor Article 13 EC, however, enable a situation such as that in issue in the main proceedings to be brought within the scope of Community law.” [16]

Article 13 EC:

  • “permits the Council of the European Union, within the limits of the powers conferred upon it by the EC Treaty, to take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on age, cannot, as such, bring within the scope of Community law, for the purposes of prohibiting discrimination based on age, situations which, like that in the main proceedings, do not fall within the framework of measures adopted on the basis of that article, specifically Directive 2000/78 before the time-limit provided therein for its transposition has expired”

The court distinguished from the earlier case of Mangold v Helm [2006]

  • “In that case, the national rules in question were a measure implementing a Community directive … by means of which those rules were thus brought within the scope of Community law … By contrast, the guidelines at issue in the main proceedings do not correspond to measures transposing Community provisions.” [24]