JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(First Chamber)

11 November 2014

Case F‑55/08 RENV

Carlo De Nicola

v

European Investment Bank (EIB)

(Civil service — Referral back to the Tribunal after setting aside — EIB staff — Appraisal — Illegality of the decision of the Appeals Committee — No need to adjudicate on the application for compensation)

Application:      under Article 270 TFEU, in which Mr De Nicola essentially sought, first, annulment of the decision of the Appeals Committee of the European Investment Bank (EIB) of 14 December 2007, secondly, annulment of the decision of 13 July 2007 not to promote him, thirdly, annulment of his appraisal report for 2006, and fourthly, an order that the EIB pay him damages for the psychological harassment which he claimed to have suffered.

Held:      The decision of the Appeals Committee of the European Investment Bank of 14 December 2007 is annulled. There is no need to adjudicate on the claim seeking annulment of the decision of 13 July 2007 not to promote the applicant, on the claim seeking annulment of the appraisal report for 2006 and on the claim seeking compensation for the harm allegedly suffered as a result of psychological harassment. The remainder of the action is dismissed. The European Investment Bank is to bear its own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by Mr De Nicola in Cases F‑55/08, T‑37/10 P and F‑55/08 RENV.

Summary

1.      Officials — Staff of the European Investment Bank — Reports procedure — Appraisal report — Challenge before the Appeals Committee of the EIB — Scope of the Appeals Committee’s review

(Staff Regulations of the European Investment Bank, Art. 22)

2.      Actions brought by officials — Staff of the European Investment Bank — Actions for damages — Claim for damages based on the same facts presented in two separate actions — Preference — Principle of the sound administration of justice — No need to adjudicate

1.      The Appeals Committee established by the European Investment Bank in connection with appraisal of its staff must carry out a full review of the appraisal report before it, rather than a review confined to manifest errors of assessment. The possibility for the Appeals Committee to strike out any statement contained in the evaluation form, that is to say in the appraisal report, implies that that committee has power to reassess each of those statements on its merits before striking it out. This power, therefore, clearly extends beyond reviewing the legality of and setting aside the operative part of an act, in that it encompasses the possibility of reversing the grounds which supported the adoption of the operative part, whatever their place in the overall rationale of the act. This full power of review on the part of the Appeals Committee is confirmed by the power expressly given to it to modify the individual scores and the merit score relating to the overall appraisal of the appellant’s performance. Alteration of the merit score implies that the committee carries out a detailed review of all of the assessments of merit contained in the report in issue, considering whether they involve any errors of assessment, fact or law, and also that it may, where appropriate, substitute itself for the evaluator and carry out a fresh assessment of those merits.

(see paras 32, 33)

2.      Where the evidence and claims of fact and law relating to the same facts underlying two claims for damages submitted by the same applicant in two separate actions against the same defendant are more detailed and reasoned by both parties in one of those actions, it follows that the Union judicature is in a better position to take cognisance of and assess the facts underlying the claim for damages in that case. Consequently, it is better able to ensure the sound administration of justice and effective judicial protection in that case. There is therefore no need to adjudicate on the claim for damages in the other case.

(see paras 60, 62, 63)