The General Court of the European Union, by its judgment published on 15 October 2013, accepted an action for annulment of EMA’s decision, by which the tender of the applicants in the framework of the call for tenders EMA/2011/05/DV was rejected.
More specifically, the applicants put forward three pleas in support of their action for annulment. First, that EMA did not provide or provided insufficient reasons in the contested decision concerning the evaluation of their technical offer. Second, that EMA did not contain a statement of reasons regarding the mathematical formula used for the evaluation of the applicants’ technical offer. Third, that EMA did not contain a statement of reasons concerning the abnormally low financial offer of one of the tenderers.
The General Court first assessed the first and third plea in law. As regards the first plea in law, the General Court found that EMA provided to the applicants only the scores accompanied with vague and general comments. These comments, in the Court’s assessment, do not fulfil the purpose of a complete statement of reasons so that the tenderer is able to compare them with the results of the successful tenderers and is able to draw from these comments, in a clear and un ambiguous manner, the reasoning of the institution issuing the decision. Therefore, it upheld the first plea in law.
Moreover, as regards the third plea in law, the General Court ruled that the contracting authority should set out its reasoning, based on which it found first that, taking into consideration its financial aspects, the tender complies, amongst others, with the laws of the country in which the services are to be provided in the fields of staff remuneration, social security contributions and safety, hygiene and health at work and second that all the costs arising by the technical aspects of the successful tender are incorporated in the financial offer. This was not the case at hand. Therefore, the General Court upheld the third plea in law, too.
Taking the above into consideration, the General Court annulled EMA’s decision without assessing the rest of the pleas in law and ordered the Agency to pay the costs.