A young family was unable to get a maternity allowance because the mother was not Hungarian – even though her husband and twin boys had been born in Hungary.
The boys’ father, Lajos, had applied for financial help from the state in his own name and on behalf of the newborns, Dániel and Máté, in 2005.
However, the authorities refused their claim, pointing to a law which said that only mothers, adoptive parents and guardians could apply for the help.
Lajos appealed but was rejected again. This time the authorities told him that only Hungarian mothers could apply, although exceptions were made for refugees or EU citizens who had a settlement permit in Hungary.
Lajos’s wife lived legally in the country but did not have settled status. She was a citizen of Romania, which was not part of the EU at the time.
Lajos took legal action to challenge the decisions, arguing discrimination, but a Hungarian court dismissed his claim.