Reference for a preliminary ruling – Directive 2004/83/EC – Minimum standards for granting refugee status or subsidiary protection status – Refugee status – Article 2(c) – Cessation of refugee status – Article 11 – Change in circumstances – Article 11(1)(e) – Possibility of availing oneself of the protection of the country of origin – Criteria for assessment – Article 7(2) – Financial and social support – Irrelevant
On those grounds, the Court (Second Chamber) hereby rules:
1. Article 11(1)(e) of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted, must be interpreted as meaning that the requirements to be met by the ‘protection’ to which that provision refers in respect of the cessation of refugee status must be the same as those which arise, in relation to the granting of that status, from Article 2(c) of that directive, read together with Article 7(1) and (2) thereof.
2. Article 11(1)(e) of Directive 2004/83, read together with Article 7(2) of that directive, must be interpreted as meaning that any social and financial support provided by private actors, such as the family or the clan of a third country national concerned, falls short of what is required under those provisions to constitute protection and is, therefore, of no relevance either to the assessment of the effectiveness or availability of the protection provided by the State within the meaning of Article 7(1)(a) of that directive, or to the determination, under Article 11(1)(e) of that directive, read together with Article 2(c) thereof, of whether there continues to be a well-founded fear of persecution.