Action against Council for unlawful appointment of a European Prosecutor published
Today, official publication has been made of the action for annulment (T-647/20) brought against the Council of the European Union by Jean-Michel Verelst, a Belgian public prosecutor, in respect of Council Implementing Decision 2020/1117 appointing the European Prosecutors of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).
The contested Decision, adopted on 27 July 2020, appointed Mr Yves Van Den Berge (nominated by Belgium) a European Prosecutor of the EPPO as a temporary agent at grade AD 13 for a non-renewable period of six years from 29 July 2020, thus giving him preference over the other candidates and specifically, over the applicant.
The applicant alleges infringement of the rules applicable to the appointment of European Public Prosecutors, including Articles 288, 289, 291 and 296 TFEU, Articles 20, 21 and 41 of the Charter, and the general principles of legal certainty, legitimate expectations, legality, and non-discrimination. The applicant argues in particular that the contested Decision was adopted neither on the basis, nor taking account, of the conclusions drawn by the selection panel after examining the applications and hearing the candidates, but on the basis of a different assessment of the merits of those candidates, carried out within the competent preparatory bodies of the Council. He also argues that, by doing so, the Council treated differently the group of candidates nominated by Belgium, Bulgaria, and Portugal, on the one hand, and the group of candidates nominated by the other Member States, on the other hand.
Moreover, the applicant alleges a failure to state reasons, an infringement of the right to sound administration, and a manifest error of assessment. On this point, the applicant complains that the contested decision appoints to the post of European Public Prosecutor, as regards Belgium, the designated candidate, giving him preference over the other candidates on the basis of an analysis of the experience of the appointed candidate in the field of financial crime and international judicial cooperation. In essence, the applicant argues that the Council’s assessment was carried out in serious breach of essential procedural requirements.
The officially published version of the action is available here.