ORDER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(Third Chamber)

8 May 2013

Case F‑87/12

Geoffroy Alsteens

v

European Commission

(Civil service — Temporary staff — Renewal of contract — Partial annulment — Variation)

Application: under Article 270 TFEU, applicable to the EAEC Treaty pursuant to Article 106a thereof, in which Mr Alsteens seeks, in essence, annulment of ‘the [European] Commission’s decision of 18 November 2011 in so far as it limits the extension period of [his] temporary staff contract … to 31 March 2012’.

Held:      The action is dismissed as manifestly inadmissible. Mr Alsteens is to bear his own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by the Commission.

Summary

1.      Actions brought by officials — Members of the temporary staff — Pleas in law — Appeal against a decision to renew a fixed-term contract — Plea alleging implied decision not to reclassify the contract as a contract for an indefinite duration — Admissibility

(Staff Regulations, Art. 91 (1); Conditions of Employment, Arts 8 and 46)

2.      Actions brought by officials — Subject-matter — Partial annulment — Temporary staff contract — Non-severability of the provision relating to the length of employment — Inadmissibility

(Staff Regulations, Art. 91)

1.      It is permissible for a temporary staff member to seek annulment of his contract by the EU Courts, within the time-limits and following the prior administrative complaint procedure, in particular if he considers that the contract has been incorrectly classified. It is apparent from Article 91(1) of the Staff Regulations, applicable to temporary staff under Article 46 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, that civil service disputes are disputes regarding legality. In that context, it is for the court which finds that the contested decision is unlawful to annul it.

The same applies as regards a decision to renew a fixed-term contract in so far as it indicates the refusal of the institution concerned to offer the person concerned a temporary staff contract of indefinite duration, or at least of a duration longer than that granted, and in so far as that person claims, on the basis inter alia of Article 8 of the Conditions of Employment, that he should have received a more favourable contract.

(see paras 10-12)

See:

9 July 1987, 329/85 Castagnoli v Commission, paras 10 to 12; 23 March 1988, 289/87 Giubilini v Commission, paras 8 to 12

6 July 2001, T‑375/00 Dubigh and Zaur-Gora v Commission, para. 24

13 June 2012, F‑105/11 Davids v Commission, para. 56

2.      Partial annulment of an act of EU law is possible only if the elements which it is sought to have annulled can be severed from the remainder of the measure. That requirement of severability is not satisfied where the partial annulment of a measure would cause the substance of that measure to be altered.

In that regard, the duration of a temporary staff contract is an integral part of the contract itself in so far as it determines its classification and in so far as it establishes the period of time during which the contracting parties are bound by reciprocal obligations. Therefore, annulment of a part of the institution’s decision relating to the period of employment of a temporary staff member would alter the classification of the contract and hence the actual substance of that decision. Such a claim for annulment thus seeks in reality to vary that decision and is therefore manifestly inadmissible.

(see paras 14-16)

See:

6 December 2012, C‑441/11 P Commission v Verhuizingen Coppens, para. 38; 31 March 1998, C‑68/94 and C‑30/95 France and Others v Commission, paras 256-258; 24 May 2005, C‑244/03 France v Parliament and Council, paras 12 to 14

10 March 1992, T‑68/89, T‑77/89 and T‑78/89 SIV and Others v Commission, para. 320