Official Journal of the European Union

C 222/43

Action brought on 18 May 2020 — Ruiz-Ruiz v Commission

(Case T-293/20)

(2020/C 222/47)

Language of the case: Italian


Applicant: Vanesa Ruiz-Ruiz (Alkmaar, Netherlands) (represented by: M. Velardo, lawyer)

Defendant: European Commission

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court should:

annul the decision of 23 May 2019 by which the applicant was excluded from competition EPSO/AD/371/19 on the ground of lack of professional experience;

annul the decision of 20 September 2019 rejecting the request for review of the applicant’s exclusion from competition EPSO/AD/371/19;

annul the decision of 7 February 2020 dismissing the administrative appeal brought under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations;

order the Commission to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of the action, the applicant relies on three pleas in law.


First plea in law, alleging a manifest error of assessment and breach of the competition notice.

The applicant claims in this regard that, despite exhausting the two remedies available internally (a request for review by the selection board and an administrative appeal under Article 90(2)), it remains unclear what specific requirement regarding professional experience the applicant lacks.


Second plea in law, alleging failure to observe the principle of equal treatment.

The applicant claims in this regard that the competition selection board must ensure that its assessments of all the candidates examined are made under conditions of equality and objectivity, and that the marking criteria are uniform and applied in a consistent manner to all candidates. By departing from the competition notice, the selection board failed to ensure that the assessment of the specific conditions, which did not have due regard for the lex specialis of the competition, was objective and impartial.


Third plea in law, alleging breach of the obligation to state reasons and failure to observe the connected principle of equality of the parties in proceedings (Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights).

The applicant claims in this regard that the competition selection board gave only very summary reasons for the contested decision rejecting the applicant’s request for review. Indeed, aside from general statements and the indications that it had established selection criteria — without specifying their content — no precise explanation allowing the applicant to understand the reason for the selection board’s decision concerning her was provided. The applicant takes the view that it can therefore be inferred that no review actually took place, in breach of the applicant’s rights of defence and of the competition notice itself, which provided for review as a measure of protection for the candidate.

Equally, no reasons were given for the appointing authority’s decision of 20 September 2019, in which once again the further criteria set by the selection board to supplement the competition notice were not explained and no reference to the actual professional experience of the applicant was made, despite the accurate description of her experience provided in her application form. Moreover, the appointing authority did not base its decision on a complete factual and legal context since it took into consideration only the initial decision of 23 May 2019 and failed to make any analysis or assessment in respect of the review.