Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2009:45


6 May 2009

Case F-39/07

Manuel Campos Valls


Council of the European Union

(Civil service – Officials – Recruitment – Appointment – Post of Head of Unit – Rejection of the applicant’s candidature – Conditions laid down in the vacancy notice – Manifest error of assessment)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mr Campos Valls seeks annulment, first, of the decision of the appointing authority appointing Mr G. to the post of Head of the Spanish Language Unit of Directorate 3: Translation and Document Production of Directorate General A Personnel and Administration of the Council and, second, of the decision rejecting his candidature for the contested post.

Held: The action is dismissed. Each party is ordered to bear its own costs.


1.      Officials – Vacancy – Filled by promotion or transfer – Consideration of candidates’ comparative merits – Administration's discretion – Limits

(Staff Regulations, Arts 4, 7(1), 29(1) and 45(1))

2.      Officials – Vacancy notice – Post of head of unit in a translation directorate – Qualifications required

(Staff Regulations, Art. 29(1))

1.      The wide latitude available to the appointing authority regarding appointment presupposes that it should carefully and impartially examine the candidates’ files and have meticulous regard to the requirements laid down in the vacancy notice, so that it is required to reject any candidate who does not meet those requirements. The vacancy notice thus constitutes a legal framework which the appointing authority imposes on itself and must observe meticulously.

In order to determine whether the appointing authority exceeded the bounds of that legal framework, it is incumbent on the Community judicature, in exercising its judicial review, to examine first of all what conditions were laid down in the vacancy notice and then to ascertain whether the candidate selected by the appointing authority to fill the vacant post did indeed meet those conditions. Lastly, it must examine whether, as regards the applicant’s capabilities, the appointing authority did not commit a manifest error of assessment in preferring another candidate to him.

Such a review must, however, be limited to whether, in the light of the considerations which led the administration to arrive at its assessment, the administration kept within reasonable limits and did not use its power in a manifestly erroneous manner. The Community judicature may not therefore substitute its own assessment of the candidates’ qualifications for that of the appointing authority.

(see paras 41-43)


341/85, 251/86, 258/86, 259/86, 262/86, 266/86, 222/87 and 232/87 van der Stijl and Cullington v Commission [1989] ECR 511, para. 51; C-35/92 P Parliament v Frederiksen [1993] ECR I‑991, paras 15 and 16

T-21/96 Giannini v Commission [1997] ECR-SC I‑A‑69 and II‑211, para. 20; T-159/96 Wenk v Commission [1998] ECR-SC I‑A‑193 and II‑593, paras 63, 64 and 72; T-152/00 E v Commission [2001] ECR-SC I‑A‑179 and II‑813, para. 29; T-174/02 Wieme v Commission [2003] ECR-SC I‑A‑241 and II‑1165, para. 38; T-248/02 Faita v ESC [2003] ECR-SC I‑A‑281 and II‑1365, para. 71; T-137/03 Mancini v Commission [2005] ECR-SC I‑A‑7 and II‑27, paras 85 and 92; T-30/04 Sena v EASA [2005] ECR-SC I‑A‑113 and II‑519, para. 80; T-370/03 Wunenburger v Commission [2005] ECR-SC I‑A‑189 and II‑853, para. 51; T-45/04 Tzirani v Commission [2006] ECR-SC I‑A‑2‑145 and II‑A‑2‑681, paras 46, 48 and 49

2.      In a competition notice for a post of head of unit in a translation directorate, the qualifications required cannot be interpreted independently of the job description for the vacant post. Thus where that job description does not directly involve translation or control of the quality of translation, but involves essentially management and organisation, the condition stipulating a knowledge of translation techniques cannot be interpreted as requiring the same qualifications as those needed for a post of translator or controller of translation quality.

(see paras 50-51)


Tzirani v Commission, para. 53