Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2014:186


(Second Chamber)

10 July 2014

Case F‑48/13



European Parliament

(Civil service — Officials — Staff report — Opinions and comments included in the staff report — Manifest errors of assessment — Misuse of powers — None)

Application:      under Article 270 TFEU, applicable to the EAEC Treaty pursuant to Article 106a thereof, in which CW seeks annulment of the final version of her staff report for 2011, as amended by the decisions of the European Parliament appointing authority (‘the appointing authority’) of 18 July 2012 and 29 January 2013 (‘the 2011 staff report’).

Held:      The action is dismissed. CW is to bear her own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by the European Parliament.


1.      Officials — Reports procedure — Appraisal report — Discretion of the reporting officers — Opinions and comments included in the appraisal report — Manifest errors of assessment — None

(Staff Regulations, Art. 43)

2.      Officials — Psychological harassment — Concept — Staff report containing negative comments, but not offensive to the official — Not included

(Staff Regulations, Art. 12a(3))

1.      According to the Team Leader Guide adopted by the Parliament’s Directorate-General for Interpretation and Conferences, ‘[t]he Director-General, the Directors and the Heads of Unit need to be made aware of any relevant details and specific problems arising on a particular mission’. That obligation to inform the administration of any difficulties encountered was laid down so that the administration could adopt measures to avoid the recurrence of those relevant details and specific problems in the future.

Given the wording and the objective of that internal rule, the appointing authority did not make a manifest error of assessment in considering, in a staff report, that the issue faced by the team of which the applicant was the leader during a mission was a ‘relevant detail’ or a ‘specific problem’ for the purposes of that internal rule and that, as such, the incident should have been mentioned in the Team Leader Report, notwithstanding the fact that it had been possible to resolve it on the spot or that it could be regarded as a ‘technical issue’. Furthermore, the appointing authority also did not make a manifest error of assessment in considering that, despite the fact that the applicant, as Team Leader, had informed her Head of Unit orally of the working conditions which did not comply with the applicable EU technical standards, she was not absolved from her obligation to report the incident in question in her Team Leader Report, which was to be submitted to her Director-General.

Moreover, even if it may be lawful for a Team Leader to ask to be made aware of internal rules, the appointing authority did not make a manifest error of assessment in considering that the applicant had contributed to a negative atmosphere in the unit in view of the context and content of email exchanges between the applicant and the Head of Unit.

Lastly, in view of the margin of discretion which the appointing authority enjoys when organising its departments, it is not for an official or other staff member or for the Courts of the Union to determine the method of communication which should be favoured between a Head of Unit and members of that unit. In any event, an official or other staff member is obliged to make himself available to meet with his superior when that person summons him to a meeting. In those circumstances, and given that the negative comment in the staff report merely expresses a wish for the applicant to ‘improve’ her communication and receptiveness to instructions, that comment is not vitiated by a manifest error of assessment.

(see paras 81-83, 104, 123, 125)

2.      Since the issue of psychological harassment allegedly suffered by the applicant is not the subject of an action, the Union Court cannot criticise a negative comment in a staff report on the basis of allegations of psychological harassment to which the applicant may have been exposed. Accordingly, the Court may confine itself, in such an action, to examining the question of whether the contested staff report is vitiated by a manifest error of assessment as regards the negative comment.

In so far as the applicant is invoking the harassment to which she was allegedly subject in the year in which her staff report was drawn up, in order to prove that there was a misuse of powers, first, the issue of her harassment is not the subject of her action, and, second, in terms of their content, the contested remarks, taken individually in the context of that report, do not in any way cross the line into offensive or hurtful criticism of the actual person of the official in question.

(see paras 121, 129)


judgment in N v Parliament, F‑26/09, EU:F:2010:17, para. 86