CJEU - C-524/06 - Huber

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CJEU - C-524/06 Huber
Court: CJEU
Jurisdiction: European Union
Relevant Law:
Article 7(e) Directive 95/46/EC
Article 12(1) ECFR
Decided: 16.12.2008
Parties: Heinz Huber
Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Case Number/Name: C-524/06 Huber
European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EU:C:2008:724
Reference from: OVG Münster (Germany)
Language: 24 EU Languages
Original Source:
Initial Contributor: Jannik

The CJEU decided that a register of foreigners operated by a Member State does not fulfil the principle of necessity in terms of Article 7(e) Directive 95/46/EC and the prohibition of discrimination, unless it contains only the data necessary for application of the right of residence and enables this right to be more effectively applied by authorities.

In this regard, Article 12(1) ECFR precludes Member States from operating a foreign register for the purpose of fighting crime specific to non-national citizens from other Union Member States.

English Summary


In 1996, the Austrian citizen Heinz Huber moved to Germany to become self-employed as an insurance agent. As a non-national of Germany his data was stored in the register of foreigners, including his name, date and place of birth, nationality, sex, marital and residential status, previous domiciles as well as an assigned reference number used by the public authorities in charge.

Since such a register did not exist for German nationals, Mr. Huber felt discriminated by the processing of his data within and requested a deletion thereof. His erasure request was rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, the public authority in charge of the register.

Mr. Huber brought legal action before the administrative courts in Germany further challenged by the authority. Since there were serious doubts regarding whether such a different treatment of nationals and non-nationals can be justified, the Higher Administrative Court of Nordrhein-Westfalen referred several questions regarding the compatibility with the principle of necessity and the prohibition of discrimination to CJEU for a preliminary ruling.


The European Court of Justice (CJEU) held that the use of a foreign register for the purpose of providing support to the authorities responsible for the right of residence is, in principle, legitimate and compatible with the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality laid down by Article 12(1) ECFR. It is necessary for Member States to have the relevant particulars and documents available in order to ascertain whether a right of residence in its territory exists for nationals of other Member States. However, this requires that the register contains only data necessary for these purposes and that its centralised nature enables corresponding legislation to be more effectively applied.

Similarly, Union law does not exclude Member States from adopting measures enabling the national authorities to have an exact knowledge of population movements affecting their territory and to collect statistics relating to migratory flows. However, the storage and processing of personal data containing individualised personal information in a register for statistical purposes cannot be considered to be necessary within the meaning of Article 7(e) of Directive 95/46.

In terms of fighting crime, the CJEU held that the prosecution of crimes and offences committed is irrespective of the nationality of their perpetrators. Any different treatment between nationals and non-nationals of a Member State constitutes discrimination prohibited by Article 12(1) ECFR. It therefore precludes Member States from establishing systems for the purpose of fighting crime by processing personal data specific to non-nationals.


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