Bulgaria / Supreme Administrative Court / 15050/2013 M.A., elected president of a local branch of a trade union v Commission for Protection against Discrimination (CPD) (Комисия за защита от дискриминация, КЗД)

Key facts of the case:

The applicant had been a member of a trade union since its creation in 1990. In 2008, the commission for access to and disclosure of the documents and announcing affiliation of Bulgarian citizens with the state security service announced that she was a member of the totalitarian secret services. Acording to the charter of the trade union, only citizens who have not been part of the totalitarian state security services may take part in the internal elections for representatives of the union. Nevertheless, the applicant signed a number of declarations that she had not been part of State Security and participated in the elections for president of the local branch. Her opponent filed a complaint against the elections and her mandate was revoked. She then requested an opinion from КЗД. The union then brought an action against КЗД’s decision, which overruled the decision. The applicant then requested cassation of the Sofia Administrative Court’s decision in this relation.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

In its own right, the freedom of association is strongly related to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as stated in Article 37 of the Constitution, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 9 of the European Human Rights Convention, Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Also to the right of free speech – Article 39 of the Constitution, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration, Article 10 of the EHRC, and Article 11 of the Charter. It is obvious that the right to establish trade unions is a specific manifestation form of a basic value for a country ruled by law. This value consists in the freedom of speech and expression. Therefore the existence of the union is related to the expression and defence of common interests. The common goals for a trade union are to create a community and integrate workers together. An important component of the right is the legally accepted right to establish unions freely; the freedom for every worker to apply for membership and also to leave the union; to perform its duties freely. The obligation that the mebers of the union have, is to follow the provisions of its charter. Therefore, the whole existence of the union is subject to the opportunity to fulfil the common goals for union members. But the freedom for association in union organisations is not absolute. The boundaries to which it can be legally exercised, have been determined in the very acts which recognise it.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter (original language): 

 

От своя страна свободата на сдружаване е тясно свързана със свободата на мисълта, съвестта и религията, по смисъла на чл. 37 от Конституцията, чл. 18 от Всеобщата декларация за правата на човека, чл. 9 ЕКПЧ, чл. 10 от Хартата, както и със свободата на словото - чл. 39 от Конституцията, чл. 19 от Всеобщата декларация, чл. 10 ЕКПЧ, чл. 11 от Хартата. Видно е, че правото на синдикално сдружаване е конкретна проявна форма на основна ценност на правовата държава - свободата на словото, на изразяването. Поради това и неговото съществуване е свързано с изразяване, с отстояване и защита на общи интереси. Общност, интегративност са целите на синдикалното сдружаване, а основното съдържание на правото е свободно образуване, свободно встъпване и напускане, свободно осъществяване на дейността. Задължението, което членовете на синдикалната организация имат е да спазват нейния устав. Следователно цялото съществуване на синдикалната организация е подчинено на възможността да се реализират общи за сдружените лица цели. Но правото на сдружаване в синдикални организации не е абсолютно. Границите, до които то може да бъде упражнено законосъобразно, са определени в същите тези актове, които го и признават.

Language: 
Bulgarian
Deciding body (original language): 
Върховен административен съд
Language: 
Bulgarian