Article 10 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Article 11 - Freedom of expression and information
Article 12 - Freedom of assembly and of association
Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling - Interpretation of the principle of non-discrimination - National provision prohibiting, on pain of criminal prosecution, the use in public of a symbol consisting of a five-point red star - Lack of jurisdiction of the Court.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Fourth Chamber) hereby orders:
The Court of Justice of the European Communities clearly has no jurisdiction to answer the question referred by the Fővárosi Bíróság (Hungary) by decision of 24 June 2004.
8) In those circumstances the Fővárosi Bíróság decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following question to the Court for a preliminary ruling:
‘Is Article 269/B, first paragraph, of the Hungarian Criminal Code, which provides that a person who uses or displays in public the symbol consisting of a five-point red star commits – where the conduct does not amount to a more serious criminal offence – a minor offence, compatible with the fundamental Community law principle of non-discrimination? Do Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union, according to which the Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, Directive 2000/43/EC, which also refers to fundamental freedoms, or Articles 10, 11 and 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights allow a person who wishes to express his political convictions by means of a symbol representing them to do so in any Member State?’
11) By its question, the national court asks, essentially, whether the principle of non‑discrimination, Article 6 EU, Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (OJ 2000 L 180, p. 22) or Articles 10, 11 and 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, proclaimed on 7 December 2000 in Nice (OJ 2000 C 364, p. 1) preclude a national provision, such as Article 269/B of the Hungarian Criminal Code, which imposes sanctions on the use in public of the symbol in question in the main proceedings.