Here's a bit of an introduction to whet your appetite for it. The Court held that a national law that makes the award of education and training grants for studies in another member State subject to the condition that those studies should be a continuation of studies pursued for at least one year in the member State awarding the grant is liable to deter citizens of the Union from making use of their freedom of movement and is thus contrary to Articles 17 EC and 18 EC.
Ms Morgan, a German national, moved to Great Britain where she worked for a year as an au pair before starting her university studies in England, for which she applied to the German authorities for a grant. Her application was rejected because, under German legislation, the grant was subject to the condition that the course of study should constitute a continuation of education or training pursued for at least one year in a German establishment.
Ms Bucher, also German, lived in Bonn until she decided to move to Düren, a German town close to the Dutch border, and pursue a course of study in Heerlen, in the Netherlands. She applied to the authorities in Düren for a grant. She was refused because she was not ‘permanently’ resident near a border as required by the German legislation.
The Court of Justice held that while member States remain competent to establish a system of grants for the pursuit of education, they must ensure that if students pursue their education in another member State, they must ensure that the detailed rules for the award of those grants do not create an unjustified restriction on freedom of movement. In the present case, German legislation imposed a two fold obligation on the receipt of a grant for study abroad : First, the applicant for a grant must have attended an education or training course for at least one year in Germany and second, the applicant must continue only that same education or training in another member State. The Court held that on account of the personal inconvenience, additional costs and possible delays which it entails, the German legislation is liable to discourage citizens of the Union from leaving Germany in order to pursue studies in another member State. It therefore constitutes a restriction on freedom of movement for citizens of the Union.
The Court recalled that recalled that national legislation of a member State which places certain of its nationals at a disadvantage simply because they have exercised their freedom to move and to reside in another ember State constitutes a restriction on the freedoms conferred by Article 18(1) EC on every citizen of the Union (see Case C‑406/04 De Cuyper, paragraph 39; Case C-192/05 Tas Hagen and Tas, paragraph 31; and Case C-76/05 Schwarzand Gootjes-Schwarz, paragraph 93). The opportunities offered by the Treaty in relation to freedom of movement for citizens of the Union cannot be fully effective if a national of a member State can be deterred from availing himself of them by obstacles placed in the way of his stay in another Member State by legislation of his State of origin penalizing the mere fact that he has used those opportunities (see, to that effect, Case C‑224/98 D’Hoop, paragraph 31; Case C‑224/02 Pusa, paragraph 19; and Schwarz and Gootjes‑Schwarz, paragraph 89).
Interestingly, the Court added that that consideration is particularly important in the field of education in view of the aims pursued by Article 3(1)(q) EC and the second indent of Article 149(2) EC, namely, inter alia, encouraging mobility of students and teachers (see D’Hoop, paragraph 32, and Case C-147/03 Commission v. Austria, paragraph 44).
There's a lot, really a lot that can be written about this judgment. It shows for one thing how real, effective and far reaching is the concept of a single European market for education.