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Free movement of workers: Foreign workers' right to stand for works council elections

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    European Commission v Austria Case C-465/01 ECJ (0 other reports)

Key points

In European Commission v Austria, the ECJ holds:

  • Austria directly discriminated against foreign nationals working legally in the country by denying them the right to stand for election to works councils and general assemblies of workers because they were not of Austrian nationality.
  • Austria failed to fulfil its obligations under Art.39 of the EC Treaty with regard to free movement of workers, Art.8 of Regulation 1612/68 EC and Art.28 of the European Economic Area Agreement, which do not differentiate between EC nationals and legally-employed foreign workers from non-member states in the employment rights and conditions of work afforded to them.
  • Workers' chambers were not public law bodies and, therefore, non-nationals could not be excluded under the public service exception. Nationals of other member states, and non-EU nationals working legally in Austria, were to be accorded all the rights of Austrian nationals, including membership of trade unions and other workers' representative bodies, unless directly involved in the exercise of public law powers.