Article 34 - Social security and social assistance
1) The case originated in an application (no. 66529/11) against the Republic of Hungary lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a Hungarian national, Ms N.K.M. (“the applicant”), on 19 October 2011. The President of the Section acceded to the applicant’s request not to have her name disclosed (Rule 47 § 3 of the Rules of Court).
6) The applicant, civil servant for thirty years, had been in the service of a government ministry. On 27 May 2011 she was dismissed, with effect from 28 July 2011. Her dismissal was part of a wave of similar measures throughout the entire civil service.
70) As regards the personal burden which the applicant sustained on account of the impugned measure, the Court notes that she had to suffer a substantial deprivation of income in a period of considerable personal difficulty, namely that of unemployment. The Court would observe in this context that Article 34 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (see paragraph 20 above) endorses benefits providing protection in the case of loss of employment, and that according to the European Court of Justice, the aim pursued by severance – that is, helping dismissed employees find new employment – belongs within legitimate employment policy goals (see paragraph 21 above). For the Court, it is quite plausible that the element that she was subjected to the impugned measure while unemployed, together with the unexpected and swift nature of the change of the tax regime which made any preparation virtually impossible for those concerned, exposed the applicant to substantial personal hardships.