In 2016, a retired official of the European Parliament (EP) and a member of our Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS), took nine sessions of oxygenation therapy at the CHEM medical center in Esch-sur-Alzette and was charged 5.600€. For Luxembourg nationals, who are members of the “Caisse nationale de santé luxembourgeoise” (CNS) these treatments are free of charge. Our retired colleague appealed to JSIS for protection against this discrimination. Instead of supporting him, JSIS said the charges were fair under the 1996 convention between hospitals of Luxembourg on one side and the Commission and EIB on the other. It asked him to pay 843.01€ as his 15% share of the CHEM treatment bill. He then filed an Article 90 complaint with the EP and when that was rejected took his case to Court of Justice of the European Union (CdJ).
The ECJ ruled that the ex-colleague owes the JSIS nothing and that the EP will have to pay his legal expenses (which is a light slap in the EP’s face). Because the retired colleague is a citizen of Belgium, JSIS was judged to have committed indirect discrimination on grounds of nationality.
Here comes the best part. In point 99 of its judgement, the CdJ says, “Based on the foregoing, the first point of the complaint must be accepted. Therefore, without examining the second point, the convention of 1996 is judged illegal. …” because it violates Article 18 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) which reads;
“Within the scope of application of the Treaties, and without prejudice to any special provisions
contained therein, any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.”
The full French text of the judgment is here.
Generation 2004 warmly welcomes the decision of the ECJ for having brought twenty-three years of Institutional illegality to an end.
For more information on how the convention between the medical association of Luxembourg and the Institutions was dissolved please read these articles by SiD: