Andrejeva v. Latvia

European Court of Human Rights
18 February 2009


The applicant, Ms. Andrejeva, was born in Kazakhstan, but living in Latvia. Since 1960ties she was working in a state-owned company in Latvia. The headquarters of this company were based in the territory of now-days Russia and Ukraine. After collapse of the USSR, Ms. Andrejeva was granted “permanently resident non-citizen” (nepilsone) status by Latvia. When she retired the legislation at the time provided that only periods of work in Latvia could be taken into account in calculating the pensions of foreign nationals or stateless persons who had been resident in Latvia on 1 January 1991. Ms. Andrejeva’s pension was calculated not including the periods worked in the companies based outside Latvia.


Ms. Andrejeva complained that the application in her case of Latvian law which made a distinction on the basis of nationality between those in receipt of retirement pensions, constituted discrimination prohibited by Article 14 of the Convention in the exercise of her right of property under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.

Court’s ruling

The court reiterated that discrimination means treating differently, without an objective and reasonable justification, persons in similar situations. It was not contested that the national authorities’ refusal to take into account Ms. Andrejeva’s years of employment “outside Latvia” was based exclusively on the consideration that she did not have Latvian citizenship. The Court pointed that weighty reasons would have to be put forward before it could regard a difference of treatment based exclusively on the ground of nationality as compatible with the Convention. As in the particular case there were no such reasons, the applicant had paid taxes just as much as Latvian citizens and had no other country that could assume responsibility over her in terms of social security, the Court ruled that there have been a violation of Article 14 of the Convention taken in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.

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Last updated 24/03/2024