de Rijk v Commission: ECJ 29 May 1997

(Judgment) 1 Appeals – Pleas in law – Only pleas in law supported by legal argument admissible
(EC Treaty, Art. 168a; EC Statute of the Court of Justice, Art. 51; Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice, Art. 112(1)(c))
2 Appeals – Pleas in law – Inadequate reasoning – Principle of sound management – Sickness insurance – Sickness expenses – Supplementary sickness insurance scheme for officials posted outside the Community – Scope – Appeal dismissed
(Staff Regulations, Art. 72 and Annex X, Art. 24)
3 Pursuant to Article 168a of the Treaty and Article 51 of the Statute of the Court of Justice an appeal may be based only on pleas in law relating to an infringement of rules of law, to the exclusion of any issue challenging the facts as established by the Court of First Instance, and must, in accordance with Article 112(1)(c) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice, specify the pleas in law and the legal arguments relied upon in support of it. It follows from those provisions that an appeal must indicate precisely which elements of the contested judgment it challenges, and also the legal arguments which specifically support the appeal.
4 There is no inadequate or contradictory reasoning where a judgment of the Court of First Instance finds (i) that the application of the scheme provided for in Article 24 of Annex X to the Staff Regulations (which establishes a supplementary insurance scheme for officials posted outside the Community, their spouses, their children and other persons dependent on them to cover the difference between costs actually incurred and sickness benefits available under Article 72) is justified in the light of the principle of sound management when the costs incurred in a non-member country are no higher than they would be in the Community or when the costs have been incurred during a temporary stay in the Community, and (ii) that Article 24 is otiose unless and in so far as the specific disadvantages which led to its adoption exist.
The legislature made a legitimate choice in opting for a scheme not unduly complex and therefore easily manageable, on the ground that it would have been disproportionate to seek to establish for each country the actual costs of medical services or the level of health risks in view of the work that would require, the small number of countries in which the costs or health risks are no greater than in the Community, the few officials serving in those countries and the difficulty of comparing medical practice from one country to another.
Conversely, where the absence of the specific disadvantages connected with a posting outside the Community is the rule rather than the exception, that is to say, where residence in the Community is permanent, there is no reason to apply Article 24 of Annex X.


C-153/96, [1997] EUECJ C-153/96P






Updated: 03 June 2022; Ref: scu.161856