Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2014:268

ORDER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(Second Chamber)

10 December 2014

Case F‑115/13

Christina Helwig

v

European Environment Agency (EEA)

(Civil service — Member of the contract staff — Non-renewal of a fixed-term contract — Action manifestly inadmissible and manifestly lacking any foundation in law)

Application:      under Article 270 TFEU, in which Ms Helwig challenges the decision by which the European Environment Agency (EEA) refused to renew her contract as a member of the contract staff and seeks compensation for the harm which she claims to have suffered as a result of that decision.

Held:      The action is dismissed as manifestly inadmissible and manifestly lacking any foundation in law. Ms Helwig is to bear her own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by the European Environment Agency.

Summary

1.      Officials — Contract staff — Non-renewal of a fixed-term contract — Administration’s discretion — Administration’s duty to have regard for the interests of staff — Taking into consideration of the interests of the staff member concerned — Judicial review — Limits

(Staff Regulations, Art. 7; Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, Arts 47 and 119)

2.      Officials — Contract staff — Recruitment — Renewal of a fixed-term contract — Different treatment of staff at the end of the contract — No discrimination — Conditions

(Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, Arts 47 and 119)

1.      The prospect of renewal of a fixed term contract as a member of the contract staff is merely a possibility left to the discretion of the competent authority, the institutions having a wide discretion in this connection to organise their departments to suit the tasks entrusted to them and to assign the staff available to them in the light of such tasks on condition that the staff are assigned in the interest of the service.

In addition, the competent authority is required, when it takes a decision concerning the situation of a member of staff, to take into consideration all the factors which may affect its decision, that is to say, not only the interest of the service, but also, in particular, that of the member of staff concerned. That follows from the administration’s duty of care, which reflects the balance of reciprocal rights and obligations which the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and, by analogy, the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union, have created in relations between the public authority and its staff.

However, the duty of care cannot be interpreted as entailing the obligation for the administration to verify, before deciding not to renew the fixed-term contract of a member of the contract staff, whether that member of staff can be redeployed to another post.

In any event, having regard to the broad discretion conferred on the institutions in that context, judicial review is limited to ascertaining that there has been no manifest error or misuse of powers.

(see paras 18-20, 22)

See:

Judgments in Kyrpitsis v ESC, T‑13/95, EU:T:1996:50, para. 52; Potamianos v Commission, T‑160/04, EU:T:2008:438, para. 30, and ETF v Landgren, T‑404/06 P, EU:T:2009:313, para. 162

Judgment in Commission v Macchia, T‑368/12 P, EU:T:2014:266, para. 59

2.      A decision of an EU agency not to renew the contract of a member of the contract staff whereas other contract staff were offered, on the expiry of their fixed-term contract, the renewal of their contract as a member of the contract staff and their reassignment to another post in that agency does not constitute an infringement of the principle of equal treatment if it is not established, taking account of the duties which he previously carried out, the quality of his performance up to that point and the profile of the posts which could be offered, that the staff member concerned was, with regard to a possible renewal of his contract, in a comparable situation to that of the other members of the contract staff.

(see paras 28, 29)