ORDER OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

19 April 2012

Case F‑16/12 R

Eugène Émile Marie Kimman

v

European Commission

(Civil service — Officials — Reassignment — Procedure for interim relief — Application for suspension of operation of a measure — Urgency — None)

Application: brought under Articles 278 TFEU and 157 EA, as well as Article 279 TFEU, applicable to the EAEC Treaty by virtue of Article 106a thereof, in which Mr Kimman seeks the suspension of the decision by which the Director-General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) changed his posting from 1 February 2012.

Held: The application for interim measures is dismissed. The costs are reserved.

Summary

1.      Applications for interim measures — Suspension of operation of a measure — Interim measures — Conditions for granting — Prima facie case — Urgency — Cumulative nature — Balancing of all the interests involved — Order of examination and method of verification — Discretion of the judge dealing with the application for interim relief

(Arts 278 TFEU and 279 TFEU; Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, Art. 102(2))

2.      Applications for interim measures — Suspension of operation of a measure — Interim measures — Conditions for granting — Serious and irreparable damage — Burden of proof

(Arts 278 TFEU and 279 TFEU; Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, Art. 102(2))

3.      Officials — Transfer — Reassignment — Difference

(Staff Regulations, Arts 4 and 29)

4.      Applications for interim measures — Suspension of operation of a measure — Suspension of operation of a reassignment decision — Conditions for granting — Serious and irreparable damage — Definition

(Art. 278 TFEU)

1.      Article 102(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal provides that applications for the adoption of interim measures must state the circumstances giving rise to urgency and the pleas of fact and law establishing a prima facie case for the interim measures applied for.

The conditions of urgency and establishment of a prima facie case are cumulative, so that an application for interim measures must be dismissed if either of them is not satisfied. The judge hearing such an application must also weigh up the interests involved.

In the context of that overall examination, the judge hearing the application has a wide discretion and is free to determine, having regard to the specific circumstances of the case, the manner and order in which those various conditions are to be examined, there being no rule of law imposing a pre-established scheme of analysis within which the need to order interim measures must be assessed.

(see paras 14-16)

See:

3 July 2008, F‑52/08 R Plasa v Commission, paras 21 and 22 and the case‑law cited therein; 15 February 2011, F‑104/10 R de Pretis Cagnodo and Trampuz de Pretis Cagnodo v Commission, para. 16

2.      The purpose of interim proceedings is not to secure reparation of damage but to guarantee the full effectiveness of the judgment on the substance. In order that the latter objective may be attained, the measures sought must be urgent in the sense that, in order to avoid serious and irreparable damage to the applicant’s interests, they must be ordered and become effective even before the decision in the main proceedings. Moreover, it is for the party applying for interim measures to adduce proof that it cannot await the outcome of the main action without suffering such damage.

(see para. 18)

See:

19 December 2002, T‑320/02 R Esch-Leonhardt and Others v ECB, para. 27

3.      It is clear from the general scheme of the Staff Regulations that there is a transfer in the strict sense of the term only where an official is transferred to a vacant post. In that case the transfer is subject to the formalities laid down in Articles 4 and 29 of the Staff Regulations. In contrast, those formalities do not apply when an official is reassigned because such a transfer does not give rise to a vacant post.

(see para. 20)

See:

7 February 2007, T‑339/03 Clotuche v Commission, para. 31

4.      In the light of the wide margin of discretion that the institutions enjoy in the organisation of their departments according to the tasks entrusted to them and, at the same time, in the assignment of their staff, a reassignment decision, even if it brings disadvantages for the officials concerned, does not constitute an unusual and unexpected event in their career. That being so, the suspension of operation of such a decision is justified only where there are compelling and exceptional circumstances capable of causing serious and irreparable harm to the official in question.

(see para. 23)

See:

12 July 1996, T‑93/96 R Presle v Cedefop, para. 45 and the case‑law cited therein