Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2008:113


11 September 2008

Case F-127/07

Juana Maria Coto Moreno


Commission of the European Communities

(Civil service – Officials – Open competition – Non‑inclusion on the reserve list – Assessment of written and oral tests)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mrs Coto Moreno asks the Tribunal in essence to annul the decision of 12 February 2007 by which the selection board for Competition EPSO/AD/28/05 refused to include her name on the reserve list, to rule that the competent authorities must include her name on that list and to order the Commission to pay damages to compensate for the professional, financial and non-material damage she allegedly suffered.

Held: The applicant’s application is dismissed. Each party is to bear its own costs.


1.      Officials – Competitions – Assessment of candidates’ abilities

(Staff Regulations, Annex III, Art. 5)

2.      Officials – Competitions – Selection board – Observance of the secrecy of its proceedings

(Staff Regulations, Annex III, Art. 6)

1.      A selection board’s assessment of candidates’ knowledge and ability is not open to review by the Community judicature. This does not apply as regards consistency between the numerical mark and the selection board’s assessments expressed in words. Such consistency, which furnishes a guarantee of equal treatment of candidates, is one of the rules governing the proceedings of the selection board, such that compliance with it must be verified as part of judicial review. Moreover, consistency between the numerical mark and the assessment expressed in words may be reviewed by the Community judicature independently of review of the selection board’s assessment of the candidates’ performance, the latter being a review which the judicature declines to exercise, provided the review of consistency is limited to verifying the absence of manifest inconsistency. That is why it is for the Community judicature to consider whether, in view of the assessment expressed in words on the assessment sheet for a paper, the selection board has not committed a manifest error of assessment when deciding on the mark for that paper.

The fact that a candidate obtained the bare pass-mark allowing him to take the oral test, although his written answers had been considered to be more than adequate overall, does not demonstrate a manifest inconsistency between that mark and the assessment expressed in words. Consequently, no manifest error of assessment can be inferred from the comparison between the mark attributed to the candidate’s paper and the selection board’s assessments of that paper expressed in words.

(see paras 33, 34, 38)

2.      The obligation on a selection board to state reasons for its decision must, on one hand, be reconciled with the secrecy surrounding the latter’s proceedings. Observance of this secrecy precludes both disclosure of the attitudes adopted by individual members of selection boards and disclosure of any factors relating to individual or comparative assessments of candidates. On the other hand, the requirement to state reasons for decisions must not place an intolerable burden on the functioning of the selection boards and the work of personnel administration. That is why, in a competition with many candidates, communication of the marks obtained in the various tests constitutes an adequate statement of the reasons on which the board’s decisions on each candidate are based.

(see paras 55-57)


89/79 Bonu v Council [1980] ECR 553, para. 6; C-254/95 P Parliament v Innamorati [1996] ECR I‑3423, paras 24 and 31; judgment of 28 February 2008 in C‑17/07 P Neirinck v Commission, not published in the ECR, para. 58