The General Court, in its judgment published on July 12th 2012, dismissed the European Commission’s appeal against the judgment of the Civil Service Tribunal of the European Union in Case F-30/08, by which the Commission had been ordered to compensate an ex Eurostat senior official for the non-material damage he suffered due to his illegitimate implication by the Commission in the “Eurostat scandal”, dating back to 2003. The defense of the abovementioned case, as well as of the present appeal, has been entrusted to Christianos and Partners Law Firm.
The General Court dismissed all eight grounds of appeal brought forward by the Commission (error in law, defective statement of reasons, questions regarding deadlines, that the decision to initiate disciplinary proceedings was not in breach of the presumption of innocence, that the Civil Service Tribunal failed to apply the principle of law requiring a ‘sufficiently serious infringement’ regarding the Commission’s liability, that the appointing authority was not obliged to provide immediate assistance to the respondent and that the Commission was not responsible for the alleged leaks to the press). The Court stressed, among other conclusions, that the Civil Service Tribunal had adequately defined the criteria to be taken into account in order to assess ex aequo et bono the amount of the damage caused by the Commission’s actions (its decision to initiate disciplinary proceedings and the leaks of confidential information) and that, considering the criteria that it correctly took into account, the Tribunal did not err in awarding the amount of 90,000 euros as moral damages.
Taking into account all the arguments put forward by the parties, the General Court dismissed the appeal and ordered the Commission to bear the costs of the procedure.