The structure of this paper will be the following: First the Danish SU case C-46/12 will be
described and examined from a legal point of view. The second section will describe the second
case of the joint German cases C-523/11 and C-585/11.
Lastly the paper will present what rights non-Danes have in order to receive SU and explain
which legal basis provides these rights while clearly identifying which institutional, procedural,
and substantive laws are in effect. Meanwhile the two different cases will be taken into account to
give a comprehensive overview of what legal rights are needed to obtain SU.
Danish SU case C-46/12
The case of Mr. N. appealing the decision of Ankenævnet for Uddannelsesstøtten was concerning
non-discrimination on grounds of nationality. According to the case files Mr. N. came to
Denmark and worked under a full-time contract from June 10th to September. During this time he
was considered a worker and was issued a certificate of registration. Before he started his
education he applied for SU in August which was rejected based on the fact that he was not
considered a worker anymore but a student, even though he had part-time employment. Mr. N.
filed a complaint to appeal the decision calling on Article 45 TFEU, with which he argued that he
should indeed be considered a worker and that he was entitled to educational support. VUS
requested that the regional government clarify whether he can be considered a worker. In the end
the reply was that Mr. N.’s status was changed to student after his full-time employment ended
on the 10th of September. Later on the case was once again referred, but this time to the national
court where VUS claimed that Mr. N. came to Denmark for the sole purpose of studying which
also entailed that from VUS’ perspective Mr. N. could not be considered a worker. The national
court relied on Articles 7 (1)(c) and 24 (2) of Directive 2004/38, which could be interpreted in a
way that it would contradict Mr. N.’s claims that he is indeed a worker as well as a student.
Article 7 (1)(c) states that European citizens can attain the right of residence for more than three
months if (they) : “are enrolled at a private or public establishment, …, for the principal purpose
of following a course of study,…”. Supporting this is Article 24 (2), where it is stated that a
Member State is not obliged to give social assistance to a European citizen prior to having a
permanent residence in the Member State.
To summarize, before moving on to the referral of the case for a preliminary ruling, the national
court states that a citizen who moves to another Member State for the sole purpose of studying is
not considered a worker, but a student, therefore is not entitled to student grants from the host
Member State. At this point in time a question asking whether the student grants’ office is
obliged to pay Mr. N.’s student grant was pointed towards the European Court.
The final decision was...