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Case 24/86, Blaizot v University of Liège, 1988 ECR 379, 1989:1 CMLR 57.


Facts: Mr. Blaizot and other students of French nationality who studied veterinary medicine at Belgian Universities upon the Courts judgment in the Gravier case had claimed repayment of enrolment fees which had been charged to them but not to students of Belgian nationality. After the delivery of the judgment in Gravier the Belgian legislation had brought forward a law that excluded claims for repayment, except only for nationals of a Member State who have undertaken vocational training and who have initiated proceedings for repayment before the courts before the day of the aforementioned judgment

Issue: whether studies in veterinary medicine constituted “vocational training” and thus fell in the scope of the Treaty.

Holding: the university studies in question constitute vocational training and therefore the imposition of fee on nationals of a Member State which is not charged from students of the host Member State constitutes discrimination contrary to Article 7 of the Treaty.

Reasoning: The Court did not find any indication in Article 128 of the Treaty that the concept of vocational training was not so limited as to generally exclude university education. Furthermore, it points out that university training could not be excluded from the definition of the term “vocational training” since significant variations existed in that certain studies are undertaken in universities in some Member States but not in others. Uniform application of the Community law therefore mandated not to generally exclude university studies from the concept of vocational training.
(This definition of vocational training was later applied to almost all disciplines of higher education.


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