Europäisches Fürsorgeabkommen

 European Treaty Series – No. 14

EUROPEAN CONVENTION

ON SOCIAL AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

AND PROTOCOL THERETO

Paris, 11.XII.1953

The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose, among others, of facilitat­ing their social progress;

Being resolved, in accordance with this purpose, to extend their co-operation in the social field by establishing the principle of equal treatment for the nationals of each of them in the application of legislation providing for social and medical assistance; and

Desiring to conclude a Convention to this end,

Have agreed as follows :

Section I – General provisions

Article 1

Each of the Contracting Parties undertakes to ensure that nationals of the other Contracting Parties who are lawfully pres­ent in any part of its territory to which this Convention ap­plies, and who are without suffi­cient resources, shall be entitled equally with its own nationals and on the same conditions to social and medical assistance (hereinaf­ter referred to as “assistance”) provided by the legislation in force from time to time in that part of its territory.

Article 2

a For the purposes of this Convention the terms “ass­ist­anc­e”, “nationals”, “territory” and “country of origin” shall have the following meanings, that is to say :

i “Assistan­ce” means in relation to each Contracting Party all assis­tance granted under the laws and regulations in force in any part of its territory under which persons without suffi­cient resources are granted means of subsistence and the care necessitated by their condition, other than non contributory pensions and benefits paid in respect of war injuries due to foreign occupation.

ii The terms “natio­nals” and “territo­ry” of a Contract­ing Party shall have the meaning assigned to them by such a Party in a declaration addressed to the Secre­tary General of the Council of Europe for communication to all other Con­tracting Parties, provided that a person who has lost his nationali­ty otherwise than by deprivation and has thereby become stateless shall, until he has acquired another nation­ality, continue to be treated as a national.

iii “Country of origin” means the country of which a person covered by the provisions of the present Convention is a national.

b The laws and regula­tions in force in the terri­tories of the Contracting Parties and to which the present Conven­tion ap­plies, and the reserva­tions formulated by Con­tracting Par­ties, are set forth in Annex I and Annex II respectively.

Article 3

Proof of the nationality of the person concerned shall be provided in accordance with the regulations govern­ing such mat­ters under the legislation of the country of origin.

Article 4

The cost of assistance to a na­tional of any of the Con­tract­ing Parties shall be borne by the Contracting Party which has granted the assistance.

Article 5

The Contracting Parties undertake, so far as their laws and regula­tions permit, to help each other to recover the full cost of assistance as far as possi­ble either from third parties under financial obligation to the assisted person or from persons who are liable to con­tribute to the cost of maintenance of the person concerned.

Section II – Repatriation

Article 6

a A Contracting Party in whose territory a national of another Contracting Party is lawfully resident shall not repatri­ate that national on the sole ground that he is in need of assis­tance.

b Nothing in this Convention shall prejudice the right to deport on any ground other than the sole ground mentioned in the previous para­graph.

Article 7

a The provisions of Article 6.a notwithstanding, a Con­tracting Party may repatriate a national of another Con­tracting Party resident in its terri­tory on the sole ground mentioned in Article 6.a if the following conditions are fulfilled:

i the person concerned has not been continuously resi­dent in the territory of that Contracting Party for at least five years if he entered it before attaining the age of 55 years, or for at least ten years if he entered it after attaining that age;

ii he is in a fit state of health to be trans­ported; and

iii has no close ties in the territory in which he is resi­dent.

b The Contracting Parties agree not to have recourse to repatriation except in the greatest moderation and then only where there is no objection on humanitarian grounds.

c In the same spirit, the Contracting Parties agree that, if they repatriate an assisted person, facilities should be offered to the spouse and children, if any, to accompany the person concerned.

Article 8

a The Contracting Party repatri­ating any national in accor­dance with the provisions of Article 7 shall bear the cost of repa­triation as far as the frontier of the territory to which the national is being repatriated.

b Each Con­tracting Party undertakes to receive any of its nationals repatriated in accordance with the provisions of Article 7.

c Each Contracting Party under­takes to facil­itate the tran­sit across its territory of any persons repa­triated in accor­dance with Article 7.

Article 9

If the country of which the as­sisted person claims to be a national does not recognise him as such, the grounds of the disclaimer must be forwarded to the country of residence within thirty days or as soon as possible thereafter.

Article 10

a When repatriation is decided upon, the diplomatic or consular authorities of the country of origin shall be ad­vised (if possible, three weeks in advance) of the repa­tri­ation of their nation­al.

b The authorities of the country of origin shall duly in­form the authorities of any country or countries of tran­sit.

c The places for handing over such persons shall be decided by arrangement between the competent authorities of the coun­try of residence and the country of origin.

Section III – Residence

Article 11

a Residence by an alien in the territory of any of the Con­tract­ing Parties shall be consid­ered lawful within the mean­ing of this Convention so long as there is in force in his case a permit or such other permis­sion as is required by the laws and regula­tions of the coun­try concerned to reside therein. Failure to renew any such permit, if due solely to the inad­vertence of the person con­cerned, shall not cause him to cease to be entitled to assis­tance.

b Lawful residence shall become unlawful from the date of any deporta­tion order made out against the person con­cer­ned, unless a stay of execution is granted.

Article 12

The commencing date of the period of residence laid down in Article 7 shall in each country be established, in the ab­sence of evi­dence to the contrary, on the basis of evidence supplied by offi­cial investigation or by the docu­ments listed in Annex III or any documents recogn­ised by the laws and regulations of the coun­try as affording proof of residence.

Article 13

a Proof of continuity of resi­dence may be shown by the production of any evidence accept­able in the country of resi­dence, such as proof of occupa­tional activity or the produc­tion of rent receipts.

b i Residence shall be regarded as continuous notwith­stand­ing periods of absence of less than three months, pro­vided that the absence is not caused by repatriation or deportation.

ii Periods of ab­sence of six months or more shall be held to interrupt the continuity of residence.

iii In order to determine whether a period of absence of between three and six months shall interrupt the continuity of resi­dence, regard shall be had to the intention or otherwise of the person concerned to return to the country of residence and to the extent to which he has preserved his connection therewith during the period of his absence.

iv Service in ships registered in the country of resi­dence shall not be held to interrupt the continuity of resi­dence. Ser­vice in other ships shall be treated in accor­dance with the provi­sions of sub paragraphs i to iii above.

Article 14

There shall be excluded in the calculation of length of resi­dence those periods during which the person concerned has been in receipt of assistance from public monies as laid down in the legisla­tive measures men­tioned in Annex I, except in the case of medical treatment for acute illness or short term medical treat­ment.

Section IV – Miscellaneous provisions

Article 15

The admin­istrative, diplomatic and consular authorities of the Con­tracting Parties shall afford to one another all possible assistance in the imple­mentation of this Convention.

Article 16

a The Contracting Parties shall notify the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of any subsequent amendment of their laws and regulations which may affect Annexes I and III.

b Each Contracting Party shall notify to the Secretar­y Gene­ral of the Council of Europe any new law or regulation not al­ready included in Annex I. At the time of making such notification a Contracting Party may make a reservation in respect of the application of this new law or regulation to the nationals of other Con­tracting Parties.

c The Secreta­ry General of the Council of Europe shall communicate to the other Contracting Parties any infor­mation notified to him in accordance with paragraphs a and b.

Article 17

The Contracting Parties may, by bilat­eral arrangement, take interim measures to deal with cases in which assistance was granted prior to the entry into force of this Convention.

Article 18

The provisions of this Convention shall not limit the provi­sions of any national laws or regulations, international conven­tions or bilateral or multilat­eral agree­ments which are more favour­able for the beneficia­ry.

Article 19

Annexes I, II and III shall constitute an integral part of this Conven­tion.

Article 20

a The competent authorities of the Contracting Par­ties shall endeavour to resolve by negotiation any dispute relat­ing to the interpretation or applica­tion of this Conven­tion.

b If any such dispute has not been resolved by nego­tiation within a period of three months, the dispute shall be submit­ted to arbitration by an arbitral body whose composi­tion and proce­dure shall be agreed upon by the Contracting Parties con­cerned or, in default of such agree­ment within a further period of three months, by an arbitra­tor chosen at the re­quest of any of the Contracting Parties concerned by the President of the Interna­tional Court of Justice. Should the latter be a national of one of the Par­ties to the dispute, this task shall be entrusted to the Vice President of the Court or to the next judge in order of seniority not a na­tional of one of the Parties to the dis­pute.

c The deci­sion of the arbitral body or arbitrator, as the case may be, shall be made in accordance with the princi­ples and spirit of this Convention and shall be final and binding.

Article 21

a This Convention shall be open to the signature of the members of the Council of Europe. It shall be ratified. Instru­ments of ratifica­tion shall be deposited with the Secretary Gene­ral of the Council of Eu­rope.

b This Conven­tion shall come into force on the first day of the month following the date of deposit of the second instrument of ratification.

c As regards any signatory ratifying subse­quently, the Convention shall come into force on the first day of the month following the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratifi­cation.

Article 22

a The Com­mittee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may invite any State not a member of the Council to accede to this Conven­tion.

b Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instru­ment of acces­sion with the Secretary Gen­eral of the Council of Europe, which shall take effect on the first day of the month follow­ing the date of deposit.

c Any instru­ment of accession deposited in accordance with this article shall be accompa­nied by a notification of such infor­mation as would be con­tained in the Annexes I and III to this Conven­tion if the government of the State con­cerned were, on the date of acces­sion, a signatory hereto.

d For the purposes of this Convention any information notified in accordance with para­graph c of this article shall be deemed to be part of the annex in which it would have been recorded if the government of the State concerned were a signatory hereto.

Article 23

The Secretar­y Gen­eral of the Council of Europe shall notify the members of the Council:

a of the date of entry into force of this Conven­tion and the names of any members who ratify it;

b of the deposit of any instrument of acces­sion in accor­dance with Article 22 and of such notifications as are received with it;

 c of any notification received in accor­dance with Arti­cle 24 and its effective date.

Article 24

This Conven­tion shall remain in force for a period of two years from the date of its entry into force in accordance with paragraph b of Article 21. There­after it shall remain in force from year to year for such Contract­ing Parties as have not de­nounced it by a notification to that effect addressed to the Secretary Gene­ral of the Council of Europe at least six months before the expiry either of the prelimi­nary two-year period or of any subse­quent yearly period. Such notifi­cation shall take effect at the end of the period to which it re­lates.

In witness where­of the under­signed, being duly authorised there­to, have signed the pres­ent Con­vention.

Done at Paris, this 11th day of Decem­ber 1953, in English and French, both texts being equally author­itative, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secreta­ry General shall transmit certified copies to each of the signatories.

PROTOCOL

TO THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION

ON SOCIAL AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

The govern­ments signa­tory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

Having regard to the provisions of the Europe­an Convention on Social and Medical Assistance, signed at Paris, on the 11th day of December 1953 (hereinaf­ter referred to as “the Assistance Convention”);

Having regard to the provisions of the Conven­tion relating to the Status of Refu­gees signed at Geneva on 28th July 1951 (hereinafter referred to as “the Geneva Conven­tion”);

Being desirous of extending the provi­sions of the Assis­tance Con­vention so as to apply to refugees as defined in the Geneva Convention,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

For the purposes of this Protocol the term “refugee” shall have the meaning ascribed to it in Article 1 of the Geneva Con­vention, provided that each Con­tracting Party shall make a declaration at the time of signa­ture or ratification hereof or acces­sion hereto, specifying which of the meanings set out in para­graph B of Article 1 of that Convention it applies for the purpose of its obligations under this Proto­col, unless such Party has already made such a declaration at the time of its signature or ratifica­tion of that Convention.

Article 2

 The provisions of Section I of the Assistance Convention shall apply to refugees under the same conditions as they apply to the nationals of the Contracting Parties thereto.

Article 3

1 The provi­sions of Section II of the Assistance Con­vention shall not apply to refugees.

2 In the case of a person who has ceased to quali­fy for the bene­fits of the Geneva Conven­tion in accordance with the provi­sions of para­graph C of Article 1 thereof, the period for repatriation laid down in Article 7.a.i of the Assis­tance Convention shall begin from the date when he has thus ceased to qualify.

Article 4

As be­tween the Contract­ing Par­ties, the provisions of Arti­cles 1, 2 and 3 of this Proto­col shall be regarded as additional arti­cles to the Assis­tance Convention, and the remaining provi­sions of that Con­vention shall apply accord­ingly.

Article 5

1 This Protocol shall be open to the signature of the mem­bers of the Council of Europe who have signed the Assis­tance Conven­tion. It shall be ratified.

2 Any State which has acceded to the Assistance Conven­tion may accede to this Protocol.

3 This Protocol shall come into force on the first day of the month following the date of deposit of the second instrument of ratification.

4 As regards any signatory ratifying subsequently, or any acceding State, the Protocol shall come into force on the first day of the month following the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or acces­sion.

5 Instruments of ratification and accession shall be depos­it­ed with the Secretary General of the Council of Eu­rope, who shall notify the members of the Council and acced­ing States of the names of those who have ratified or acced­ed.

In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authori­sed thereto, have signed this Protocol.

Done at Paris, this 11th day of Decem­ber 1953, in English and French, both texts being equally author­itative, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the ar­chives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary Gen­eral shall transmit certified copies to each of the signato­ries.

Europarat – SEV Nr. 14 – Europäisches Fürsorgeabkommen

Ratifikationsstand (welche Länder dieses Abkommen unterzeichneten)