January 19
2021
Trajan Shipley
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14th January 2021
Employment & Immigration Internal Market

EFTA Court to hear Norwegian case on entitlement to unemployment benefits after stay in other EEA State

A request for an Advisory Opinion from the EFTA Court by the Norwegian National Insurance Court (Trygderetten) in O v Arbeids- og velferdsdirektoratet (E-13/20) has been officially published. The case concerns the entitlement to unemployment benefits of a person that had temporary stays in another EEA State, and its compatibility with the free movement of persons and EEA legal provisions on the coordination of social security systems, namely Regulation 883/2004.

This is the latest episode of a saga of Norwegian reluctance to recognise entitlement to social security and unemployment benefits when the person concerned has had temporary stays in other EEA States. In November 2020, the EFTA Surveillance Authority initiated infringement proceedings against Norway concerning its misapplication of EEA rules with regard to sickness benefits from being paid when recipients go to other EEA states, and another request for an Advisory Opinion on the compatibility of Norwegian law requiring to stay in Norway in order to receive a work assessment allowance with Regulations 1408/71 and 883/2004.

In the latest Advisory Opinion request, the National Insurance Court asks the EFTA COurt whether the entitlement to unemployment benefits being subject to the condition of staying in Norway is compatible with Article 5(b) of Regulation 883/2004, where Articles 64, 65 and 65a are not applicable. It further enquires whether that constitutes a restriction on the right to free movement and if such restriction can be justified in a number of cases.

Read the officially published questions here

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