On 14 December 2011, the Court (Appeal Chamber) rejected the appeal lodged by the Commission (case T-361/10 P) asking it to set aside the judgement of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal of 15 June 2010, Pachtitis/Commission (F?35/08). This judgement had annulled the decisions of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) of 31 May and 6 December 2007 excluding Mr Dimitrios Pachtitis from the list of the 110 candidates having obtained the highest scores in the admission tests for general competition EPSO/AD/77/06.
As well as paying for its own expenses, the European Commission will also have to pay those incurred by Mr Pachtitis.
This Judgement also upholds the position of the Staff Representation of the European Institutions, which has been denouncing these irregularities for years.
EPSO management tried to ignore the first Judgement of the Court, and continued with its questionable practices for two more years, thereby taking important risks.
The fault committed by EPSO consisted of by-passing the power of the competition Boards regarding the eliminatory tests, the contents of which must be decided by these Boards, and not by outside private companies (THOMPSON Prometric in this particular case) from which not only did EPSO purchase these tests, but to which it also delegated the power of delivering them in their own premises throughout the world, without any surveillance procedures or guarantees of inviolability.
This case constitutes a blow to the prestige and credibility of the Union’s Bodies and undermines the confidence of European citizens towards “Brussels” at a time when Euro-scepticism is at an all-time high.
It should be noted that the Commission, in its appeal, tried to put pressure on the Court by mentioning the enormous cost that a decision in favour of the complainant would entail!
This attitude of contempt towards the Court’s Judgement will cost, according to EPSO’s own calculations, the tidy sum of 2 300 000 €, just at a moment when the Commission want to impose staff cuts on all institutions, and when Member States blindly attack the European Civil Service, asking for senseless budgetary cuts, the only result of which will be a drop in staff performance, without the Institutions (and in particular the Commission, which manages the bulk of the Union’s budget such as aid, subsidies and programmes) getting better financial governance.
Member States clearly show their hypocrisy by leaving the largest part of expenditure (aid, subsidies, programmes) without proper control, while trying to impose net cuts, only for national electoral reasons, on salaries and pensions which only represent 3% of the Union’s budget.
The Institutions’ running expenses could have been more intelligently reduced during a period of crisis by putting an end to mass travelling to Strasbourg and Luxembourg, which costs around 200 000 000 € every year.
All is therefore “politics”, without any real substance or desire for efficiency.