Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2008:71


5 June 2008

Case F-123/06

Marianne Timmer


Court of Auditors of the European Communities

(Civil service – Officials – Assessment – Time-limit for lodging a complaint – New fact – Inadmissibility)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mrs Timmer seeks, first, annulment of her staff reports drawn up by Mr X, head of the Dutch Unit in the Translation Service of the Court of Auditors, for the period between 1984 and 1997, and the connected and/or subsequent decisions, including that appointing Mr X, and, second, an order for the Court of Auditors to pay her compensation for all the material and non-material loss sustained by her as a result of those decisions.

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


1.      Officials – Actions – Prior administrative complaint – Time-limits

(Staff Regulations, Arts 90 and 91)

2.      Officials – Actions – Claim for compensation linked to an application for annulment – Inadmissibility of the claim for annulment entailing inadmissibility of the claim for compensation

(Staff Regulations, Arts 90 and 91)

3.      Procedure – Application initiating proceedings – Formal requirements

1.      The time-limits laid down in Articles 90 and 91 of the Staff Regulations for lodging complaints and appeals are mandatory and cannot be left to the discretion of the parties or the Court, since they were established in order to ensure that legal positions are clear and certain. Any exceptions to or derogations from those time-limits must be interpreted restrictively. Only the existence of new and material facts may justify the submission of a claim seeking reconsideration of a decision which was not challenged within the time-limits. Furthermore, even the subsequent discovery by an applicant of an already existing factor cannot, in general, be treated as a new fact capable of justifying the reopening of time-limits, without undermining the principle of legal certainty.

(see paras 34-36)


127/84 Esly v Commission [1985] ECR 1437, para. 10

T-506/93 Moat v Commission [1995] ECR-SC I‑A‑43 and II‑147, para. 28; T‑16/97 Chauvin v Commission [1997] ECR-SC I‑A‑237 and II‑681, paras 32 and 37; T-78/96 and T-170/96 W v Commission [1998] ECR-SC I‑A‑239 and II‑745, para. 68

2.      Where a claim for compensation is closely related to a claim for annulment which has itself been rejected as inadmissible, the claim for compensation is also inadmissible.

(see para. 49)


33/80 Albini v Council and Commission [1981] ECR 2141, para. 18

T-72/92 Benzler v Commission [1993] ECR II‑347, paras 21 and 22; T-406/03 Ravailhe v Committee of the Regions [2005] ECR‑SC I‑A‑19 and II‑79, para. 62

3.      For a claim for compensation to be admissible, the application must contain information identifying the unlawful act which the applicant alleges against the institution, the reasons why he considers there to be a causal link between the conduct and the harm he claims to have suffered, and the nature and extent of that harm. A claim for any unspecified form of damages, on the other hand, is not sufficiently concrete and must therefore be regarded as inadmissible.

(see para. 51)


5/71 Zuckerfabrik Schöppenstedt v Council [1971] ECR 975, para. 9

T-157/96 Affatato v Commission [1998] ECR-SC I‑A‑41 and II‑97, para. 45