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Stefan Grunkin and Dorothee Regina Paul v. Standesamt Niebüll, Case C-353/06, CJEU (Grand Chamber), 14 October 2008

Type Judgment
Case number C-353/06


Non-recognition in the Member State of which the child is a national of the surname acquired in the Member State of birth and residence.

Normative references

art. 21 TFEU
art. 18 TFEU


1) Having to use a surname, in the Member State of which the person concerned is a national, that is different from that conferred and registered in the Member State of birth and residence is liable to hamper the exercise of the right, established in Article 21 TFUE, to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.

2) None of the reasons why the Member State has choosen the nationality as the connecting factor for the determination of a person’s surname, however legitimate may be in themselves, are such important to justify a refusal by the competent authorities of the same Member State to recognise the surname of a child as already determined and registered in another Member State in which that child was born and has been resident since birth.

(A minor, German citizen born in Denmark from German parents and resident from birth in the Scandinavian country, was registered, in accordance with Danish law, with a double surname on the Danish birth certificate and certificate of recognition of the name. The parents tasked to obtain, also in Germany, the registration of the child in the family book,  but were rejected the application, since, under German law, the surname of the person is governed by the law of the State of which he holds citizenship and German law does not provide for the attribution of a double surname.)