(First Chamber)

30 September 2015

Case F‑14/12 RENV

Peter Schönberger


European Court of Auditors

(Civil service — Officials — Referral back to the Tribunal after setting aside — Promotion — 2011 promotion procedure — Refusal of promotion — Action in part manifestly inadmissible and in part manifestly unfounded)

Application:      under Article 270 TFEU, applicable to the EAEC Treaty pursuant to Article 106a thereof, in which Mr Schönberger sought, essentially, annulment of the decision of the European Court of Auditors not to promote him to grade AD 13 in the 2011 promotion year.

Held:      The action is dismissed as in part manifestly inadmissible and in part manifestly unfounded. In Cases F‑14/12 and F‑14/12 RENV, Mr Schönberger is to bear his own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by the European Court of Auditors. In Case T‑26/14 P, the European Court of Auditors is to bear its own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by Mr Schönberger.


1.      Actions brought by officials — Action directed against a decision to refuse promotion — Plea in law alleging that the promotion procedure was unlawful — Burden of proof

(Staff Regulations, Arts 6(2) and 91, Annex I, section B)

2.      Officials — Equal treatment — Concept — Limits

1.      In an action for annulment directed against an institution’s decision not to promote an official, it is for the official to show that, in the light of his personal situation, the annulment he seeks might open up the prospect for him to be promoted.

Each promotion procedure is necessarily independent of the promotion procedures preceding and following it, since the officials whose merits are to be compared and the criteria established for conducting that comparison are specific to each promotion procedure.

(see paras 46, 54, 55)

2.      The principle of equal treatment requires that comparable situations are not treated differently and that different situations are not treated equally unless such treatment, whether different or equal as the case may be, is objectively justified. Thus, any differences between the measures adopted by the institutions in respect of their officials cannot be relied on to support a plea in law alleging a breach of the principle of equal treatment by officials from another institution.

(see paras 60, 62)


Judgment of 14 February 2007 in Simões Dos Santos v OHIM, T‑435/04, EU:T:2007:50, para. 162 and the case-law cited therein

Judgment of 28 April 2009 in Balieu-Steinmetz and Noworyta v Parliament, F‑115/07, EU:F:2009:41, para. 26 and the case-law cited therein