Pudas v Sweden (decision), 6 September 1989 [ECtHR]

Case no 12119/86

3. The applicant further alleges a violation of his right to negative freedom of association and invokes Article 11 (Art. 11) of the Convention.

The Government submit that this complaint is inadmissible as being incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention or for failure to exhaust domestic remedies. They maintain that, as the duty to belong to a dispatch exchange is provided for by law, the ÖTEA is fulfilling a public law obligation when running such a dispatch exchange. Article 11 (Art. 11) does not offer any protection in regard to associations having the characteristics of a public institution.

 Article 11 (Art. 11) guarantees to everyone the "freedom of association with others". The Commission has previously held that the duty of a holder of a taxi licence to belong to a dispatch exchange, and the refusal to grant exemption from such a duty cannot be regarded as an interference with the rights guaranteed by Article 11 (Art. 11) (cf. No. 10368/83 and 10642/83, Dec. 10.10.85, unpublished). The Commission recalls that the Government's decision did not oblige the applicant to become a member of ÖTEA. It is true that the dispatch exchange was run by ÖTEA. The facts before the Commission do not show that the duty to belong to a dispatch exchange implied an obligation to join ÖTEA. In this context, the Commission notes the Government's submission that the refusal of an association running a dispatch exchange to admit affiliation to a dispatch exchange, unless the applicant becomes a member of the association, could be the basis for an exemption from the duty to belong to the dispatch exchange. The facts of the present case do not disclose that the applicant's decision to join ÖTEA was caused in a manner which violates Article 11 (Art. 11) of the Convention.

It follows that this complaint is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art  27-2) of the Convention.

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