Official Journal of the European Union

C 37/12

Appeal brought on 27 November 2007 by Philippe Combescot against the judgment of the Court of First Instance (Second Chamber) delivered on 12 September 2007 in Case T-250/04 Combescot v Commission

(Case C-526/07 P)

(2008/C 37/16)

Language of the case: Italian


Appellant: Philippe Combescot (represented by: A. Maritati and V. Messa, avvocati)

Other party to the proceedings: Commission of the European Communities

Form of order sought

declare, by varying the decision of the Court of First Instance delivered on 12 September 2007 in Case T-250/04, that there is damage to the profession and health of the applicant as a result of the unlawful rejection of his application to take part in the competition for appointment to the post of Head of Delegation in Colombia; determine the non-material damage in a different manner, and consequently assess the compensation payable in accordance therewith; accordingly, uphold the form of order already sought in the proceedings at first instance, which read: ‘recognise that Mr Combescot has suffered damage to his image and professional reputation, and that the illegal decision excluding him from the competition has had serious adverse effects on the balance of his mind; and award him the sum of EUR 100 000,00 as compensation for damage’;

order the Commission to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

Philippe Combescot, an official, has brought an appeal against the decision of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (Second Chamber) delivered on 12 January 2007 in Case T-250/04, the other party to the proceedings being the Commission of the European Communities.

The appeal concerns the exclusion of Philippe Combescot, then the Advisor resident in Guatemala, from competition COM/091/03 for appointment to the post of Head of Delegation in Colombia (‘the exclusion decision’).

The Court held that that decision was unlawful and, therefore, that the application for damages brought by the applicant was justified, but it excluded the heads of damage relating to professional life and health, and merely recognised unspecified non-material damage in respect of which the sum of EUR 3 000 000 was paid to the applicant.

By the present appeal, counsel for the applicant ask the Court to reverse the decision of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities in so far as it excludes damage to professional life and health and therefore quantifies damages on the basis only of the non-material damage complained of; accordingly, it asks the Court to state that the official, following his unlawful exclusion from the competition, has suffered obvious damage to his career as well as his professional image, that, however, the exclusion decision has caused suffering and mental anguish which in turn has caused a severe state of depression, as substantiated in the case-file and, above all, verified by the institution's own experts. The applicant therefore asks the Court to make an overall assessment of the factual circumstances surrounding the matter, considering them all to be relevant for the purposes of appraising, even only on the grounds of fairness, the non-material damage in a much higher sum, directly proportional also to the career prospects lost by the official as a result of the exclusion decision and the foreseeable serious consequences caused by the same.

The applicant therefore maintains the application for damages as specified in the form of order sought in the application in the present proceedings.

It contests the conclusions reached by the Court in relation to the absence of actual damage to professional life, pointing out, moreover, that information relating to the selection criteria applied by the Commission to appoint the Head of Delegation in Colombia was never communicated to the applicant, despite his having requested it.

As regards compensation for physical damage, the evidence of the effect of the unlawful conduct on the state of Mr Combescot's health derives from the temporal link between the same. The exclusion from the competition is, furthermore, the most recent in a series of harassment on the part of the Commission towards the official. Finally, in determining the non-material damage, the applicant requests a proportionate assessment of the same on the basis of the principles of fairness in the determination of damage, which takes account of the harmful consequences in terms not only of anxiety and stress, but also of hardship suffered by the official following his exclusion from the competition.