Bozhilov v Bulgaria (decision), 22 November 2001 [ECtHR]

Case no 41978/98

The applicant complains invoking Articles 9, 10, 11 and 14 of the Convention that he was the victim of a politically motivated dismissal by the Bulgarian authorities and was discriminated against on the basis of his political views.

The Court recalls that the right of recruitment to the civil service was deliberately omitted from the Convention. Consequently, the refusal to appoint a person as a civil servant does not as such raise an issue under the Convention.

It must therefore be determined whether the disputed measure amounted to an interference with the exercise of freedom of expression or association - in the form of a “formality, condition, restriction or penalty” - or whether it lay within the sphere of the right of access to the civil service, a right not secured in the Convention. In order to answer this question, the scope of the measure must be determined by putting it in the context of the facts of the case and of the relevant legislation (see the Glasenapp v. Germany judgment of 28 August 1986, Series A no. 104, p. 26, § 49, the Vogt v. Germany judgment of 26 September 1995, Series A no. 323, pp. 22-23, § 43, and Wille v. Liechtenstein [GC], no. 28396/95, § 41, 28 October 1999, unreported).

In the present case the impugned act is the decision of the Bulgarian authorities to withdraw the applicant’s nomination as a candidate for the post of Director in an international organisation.

The measure complained of thus concerned directly access to service in an international organisation, a sphere which is too remote from the area of protection afforded by the Convention.

Furthermore, the applicable BSEC rules concerning the appointment of its Permanent Secretariat’s Director required that the candidate must be nominated by one of the participating States, on the basis of rotation. It was clear that the choice of those States in general, and the decision of the Bulgarian Government not to maintain their support for the applicant’s nomination in particular, was within their discretionary powers. In these circumstances the Government’s decision, which was based on an overall assessment that the applicant’s appointment was “not in conformity with the tasks of the new Government” cannot be seen as an interference with his rights under Articles 9, 10 or 11 of the Convention or as discriminatory in breach of Article 14 in conjunction with any of those provisions.

It follows that the above complaints are manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 of the Convention and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 § 4.


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