quill.gif (3183 bytes) Docquier v. Ministre de l'Education Nationale , Arrêt n° 245357, rendu par Conseil d'Etat, 15 juillet 2004 (publication : AJDA 2004 Jurisprudence p. 2465)

Facts: the applicant, M. Docquier, was a national from Belgium who wanted to pursue his education in France. He applied for a scholarship for a graduate school for the years 2002-2003. This was rejected by the local director of educational programs ("le recteur de l'académie de Nice") on the ground that the plaintiff did not meet the required criteria set by the decree of the Minister of Education on February 20, 2002.

Complaint: The plaintiff claimed that the decree violated his freedom of movement within the European Union and his right to have access to education. He asked the court to cancel the decree n° 2002-042 of February 20, 2002 by the Minister of Education relating to the criteria governing the attribution of scholarships for Graduate schools for the years of 2002 and 2003. He also asked the court to modify the decree n° 2001-036 of February 21, 2001 so that scholarships be granted under the same conditions for students from another country than France but within the EU and French students.

Holding/ Reasoning: the Minister of Education can exclude from the benefit of scholarships for graduate schools students coming from another country within the EU than France and who are not migratory workers or not the children of a migratory worker. This did not violate article 12 of the EU treaty. However he could define the concept of "migratory worker" too narrowly in his decree. The claim is rejected except on one provision of the decree n° 2002-042 providing a scholarship to non French students within the EU only if they had a full time job in France during 2002-2003. That provision will be modified because it violated article 7 and 36 of the EU Treaty. Article 39 of the EU Treaty guarantees the freedom of movement of workers coming from a member State. This implies the removal of any discrimination based on nationality between workers of Member states regarding employment and working conditions. Article 7 provides that a worker from a Member State beneficiates from the same fiscal and social advantages in any other Member State as the citizens from that State.

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