Language of document :

Action brought on 15 August 2006 - Adelaida Lopez Teruel v Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market

(Case F-97/06)

Language of the case: French


Applicant: Adelaida Lopez Teruel (El Casar, Spain) (represented by: G. Vandersanden, L. Levi and C. Ronzi, lawyers)

Defendant: Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market

Form of order sought

annul the appointing authority's decision of 6 October 2005 to refuse the applicant's request to convene an Invalidity Committee, in accordance with Article 78 of the Staff Regulations;

in so far as it is necessary, annul the appointing authority's decision of 5 May 2006 rejecting the complaint lodged by the applicant on 6 January 2006;

order the defendant to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The applicant, an official of OHIM, sent a request to the administration on 8 June 2005 asking that an Invalidity Committee be convened so as to decide on the existence of an invalidity within the meaning of Article 78 of the Staff Regulations. OHIM refused to convene such a Committee, pointing out first, that the appointing authority has discretion in such matters, and, second, that the disease she referred to could not give rise to invalidity proceedings, given that it had already given rise to arbitration proceedings.

In her application, the applicant raises three pleas in law, of which the first, alleging infringement of Article 78 of the Staff Regulations, is made up of two parts. In the first part, it is argued that the official in question has the right to bring a matter before the Invalidity Committee, irrespective of the right to do so also given to the appointing authority, given that Articles 78 and 59 of the Staff Regulations have a different ratio legis and govern different types of situations. In the second part, the applicant takes issue with OHIM for having committed a manifest error of assessment and having exceeded the bounds of its powers, in that it substituted its assessment for that of medical experts.

The second plea alleges infringement of the duty to have regard for the welfare of officials and the principle of good administration. Specifically, OHIM did not weigh in the balance the interests in issue and did not at any time take into account the applicant's extremely delicate state of health.

The third plea alleges infringement of the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment. According to the applicant, all other European Community officials can invoke the right to have their cases examined by an Invalidity Committee, unlike those of OHIM. The interpretation by OHIM of Article 78 of the Staff Regulations would lead to a rupture of the single administration of the Communities, as enshrined in Article 9(3) of the Treaty of Amsterdam.