Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2009:24


(Second Chamber)

12 March 2009

Case F-24/07

Virginie Lafleur Tighe


Commission of the European Communities

(Civil service – Contract staff – Recruitment – Classification in grade – Former individual experts – Professional experience – Degrees – Certificate of equivalence – Admissibility – New and substantial fact)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mrs Lafleur Tighe essentially seeks annulment of the decision of the authority authorised to conclude contracts of engagement classifying her in grade 13, step 1, as shown in her contract of engagement signed on 22 December 2005.

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


Officials – Actions – Prior administrative complaint – Time-limits – Mandatory – Claim barred by lapse of time – Reopening – Condition

(Staff Regulations, Arts 90 and 91)

A contract concluded between a staff member and an institution produces its effects and, therefore, is capable of adversely affecting the staff member from the date of its signature, provided that all the details of the contract are fixed.

The time-limits prescribed in Articles 90 and 91 of the Staff Regulations, being designed to ensure legal certainty, are a matter of public policy and are binding on the parties and the Court. Only the existence of new and substantial facts may justify the submission of a claim seeking reconsideration of a decision, such as a decision on a staff member’s classification, which was not challenged within the time-limits prescribed in Articles 90 and 91 of the Staff Regulations. In order for a fact to be new, it is essential that neither the applicant nor the administration was aware of, or in a position to be aware of, the fact in question when the previous decision, which has become definitive, was adopted. In order to be substantial, the fact concerned must be capable of substantially altering the applicant’s situation forming the basis of the initial request which gave rise to the previous decision which has become definitive.

(see paras 53, 55-57)


231/84 Valentini v Commission [1985] ECR 3027, para. 14

T-16/97 Chauvin v Commission [1997] ECR-SC I‑A‑237 and II‑681, para. 32; T-186/98 Inpesca v Commission [2001] ECR II‑557, paras 50 and 51; T-137/99 and T-18/00 Martínez Páramo and Others v Commission [2002] ECR-SC I‑A‑119 and II‑639, para. 56; T-406/03 Ravailhe v Committee of the Regions [2005] ECR-SC I‑A‑19 and II‑79, para. 57

F-49/07 R v Commission [2008] ECR-SC I-A-1-0000 and II-A-1-0000, para. 79, on appeal before the Court of First Instance, Case T‑156/08 P; F-141/07 Maniscalco v Commission [2008] ECR-SC I‑A‑1‑0000 and II‑A‑1‑0000, para. 25