Land Nordrhein-Westfalen v Pokrzeptowicz-Meyer: ECJ 29 Jan 2002

External relations – Europe Agreement between the Communities and Poland – Interpretation of the first indent of Article 37(1) – Prohibition of discrimination based on nationality as regards conditions of employment or dismissal for Polish workers legally employed in a Member State – Fixed-term contract of employment of a foreign-language assistant – Effect on such a contract of the entry into force of the Europe Agreement
‘According to settled case law, in order to ensure observance of the principles of legal certainty and the protection of legitimate expectations, the substantive rules of Community law must be interpreted as applying to situations existing before their entry into force only in so far as it clearly follows from their terms, their objectives or their general scheme that such effect must be given to them (see, in particular, Bout (Case C-21/81) [1982] ECR 381, para 13, and GruSa Fleisch (Case C-34/92) [1993] ECR I-4147, para 22).
It also follows from settled case law that new rules apply immediately to the future effects of a situation which arose under the old rules (see, among other cases, Licata v Economic and Social Committee (Case C-270/84) [1986] ECR 2305, para 31). In application of that principle the Court has held, in particular, that since the Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded (OJ 1994 C 241, p 21, and OJ 1995 L 1, p 1) contains no specific conditions whatsoever with regard to the application of article 6 of the EC Treaty (now, after amendment, article 12 EC), that provision must be regarded as being immediately applicable and binding on the Republic of Austria from the date of its accession, with the result that it applies to the future effects of situations arising prior to that new member state’s accession to the Communities (Case C-122/96) Saldanha and MTS [1997] ECR I-5325, para 14).’
‘Applying a legal provision to a fixed-term employment contract which has not finally ended by the time that provision enters into force does not involve the retroactive application of the law; it entails only the immediate application of that provision to the effects in the future of situations which have arisen under the law as it stood before amendment.’
Advocate General Jacobs
C-162/00, [2002] EUECJ C-162/00, [2002] 2 CMLR 1, [2002] ECR I-1049
Cited by:
CitedWalker v Innospec Ltd and Others SC 12-Jul-2017
The claimant appealed against refusal of his employer’s pension scheme trustees to include as a recipient of any death benefit his male civil partner.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The salary paid to Mr Walker throughout his working life was . .

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Updated: 24 February 2021; Ref: scu.167573