Roman Angonese v Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano SpA: ECJ 6 Jun 2000

Europa Under the preliminary ruling procedure provided for by Article 177 of the Treaty (now, after amendment, Article 234 EC), it is for the national courts alone, which are seised of a case and which must assume responsibility for the judgment to be given, to determine, having regard to the particular features of each case, both the need for a preliminary ruling in order to enable them to give judgment and the relevance of the questions which they refer to the Court. A request for a preliminary ruling from a national court may be rejected only if it is quite obvious that the interpretation of Community law sought by that court bears no relation to the actual nature of the case or the subject-matter of the main action.
The prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality laid down in Article 48 of the Treaty (now, after amendment Article 39 EC), which is drafted in general terms and is not specifically addressed to the Member States, also applies to conditions of employment fixed by private persons.
Article 48 of the EC Treaty (now, after amendment, Article 39 EC) precludes an employer from requiring persons applying to take part in a recruitment competition to provide evidence of their linguistic knowledge exclusively by means of one particular diploma issued only in one particular province of a Member State. That requirement puts nationals of the other Member States at a disadvantage, since persons not resident in that province have little chance of acquiring the diploma, a certificate of bilingualism, and it will be difficult, or even impossible, for them to gain access to the employment in question. The requirement is not justified by any objective factors unrelated to the nationality of the persons concerned and in proportion to the aim legitimately pursued. In that regard, even though requiring an applicant for a post to have a certain level of linguistic knowledge may be legitimate and possession of a diploma such as the certificate may constitute a criterion for assessing that knowledge, the fact that it is impossible to submit proof of the required linguistic knowledge by any other means, in particular by equivalent qualifications obtained in other Member States, must be considered disproportionate in relation to the aim in view. Therefore, the requirement constitutes discrimination on grounds of nationality contrary to Article 48 of the Treaty.
C-281/98, [2000] ECR I-4139, [2000] EUECJ C-281/98
Cited by:
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CitedInternational Transport Workers’ Federation and Another v Viking Line Abp and Another CA 3-Nov-2005
An order had been made restraining the defendant trades unions from taking industrial action. The unions said the UK court had no jurisdiction.
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Updated: 23 August 2021; Ref: scu.162454