Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2014:37

(Third Chamber)

27 February 2014

Case F‑32/13

Robert Walton


European Commission

(Civil service — Temporary staff — Severance grant — Resignation found by judgment of the General Court of the European Communities — Determination of the date of resignation — Res judicata — Decisions of the appointing authority becoming definitive in the absence of legal action — Non-observance of the prior administrative procedure — Manifest inadmissibility)

Application:      under Article 270 TFEU, applicable to the EAEC Treaty pursuant to Article 106a thereof, in which Mr Walton seeks in essence, first, annulment of a letter from the European Commission of 13 April 2012 by which the authority empowered to conclude contracts of employment (‘the AECE’) adopted a view on his request regarding his claim against the Commission, inter alia, for payment of one of the components of the severance grant and, secondly, annulment of the decision of 9 January 2013 by which the AECE rejected the complaint which the applicant had submitted in that regard on 17 September 2012.

Held:      The action is dismissed as manifestly inadmissible. Mr Walton is to bear his own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by the European Commission.


Judicial proceedings — Res judicata — Scope

An action is held to be inadmissible on account of the res judicata attaching to an earlier judgment which settled a dispute between the same parties, had the same subject-matter and had been based on the same cause of action. In the assessment of whether such an earlier judgment exists, the act whose annulment is sought constitutes an essential factor which enables the subject-matter of an action to be characterised. However, the fact that the actions were directed against separate decisions which the administration formally adopted is not sufficient to support the conclusion that there is no identity of subject-matter, where those decisions have substantially the same content and are based on the same grounds.

Where an applicant, as in the present case, challenges the legality of decisions which have become final, acceptance of the admissibility of his action would mean conferring on him the opportunity to revive for himself a right of appeal against those decisions and allow him to call into question the authority of res judicata attaching to earlier judgments relating to those decisions.

As regards the alleged infringement of the right to a fair hearing in the event that the action is declared inadmissible, the contested decisions have become final only on account of inaction on the part of the applicant, who decided not to avail himself of the administrative or judicial remedies open to him.

(see paras 40, 41, 48, 49)


19 September 1985, 172/83 and 226/83 Hoogovens Groep v Commission, para. 9; 27 October 1987, 146/85 and 431/85 Diezler and Others v ESC, paras 14 to 16

5 June 1996, T‑162/94 NMB France and Others v Commission, paras 37 and 38

25 June 2010, T‑66/01 Imperial Chemical Industries v Commission, para. 197

11 June 2009, F‑72/08 Ketselidis v Commission, para. 33; 25 February 2014, F‑118/11 Marcuccio v Commission, para. 54