Key facts of the case:
The case involved a challenge to a decision adopted by the Commission at its meeting on 10 November 2004, whereby external publications of the vacancy notices for senior management posts in the Official Journal of the European Union would be in English, French and German only.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
The Court annulled the Commission’s decision only to advertise senior management vacancies in the English, French and German languages.
Interpretation of article(s) and implications for the resolution of the case:
The Court held that there was no evidence to suppose that there is “a general principle of Community law that confers a right on every citizen to have a version of anything that might affect his interests drawn up in his language in all circumstances” (para 116).
It noted however that “although the Commission is entitled to adopt measures which appear to it to be appropriate in order to regulate aspects of the procedure for recruiting its senior management staff, the fact remains that those measures must not result in discrimination on grounds of language between the candidates for a specific post.” (para 127) But “publication in the Official Journal of a vacancy notice in the category covered by the Decision in a limited number of languages is not likely to lead to discrimination between the various candidates if it is agreed that the latter have an adequate knowledge of at least one of those languages and are thus able duly to acquaint themselves with the content of that notice.” (para 131) It follows therefore that “publication of the text of the vacancy notice in the Official Journal in only some Community languages, when persons who have a knowledge only of other Community languages are entitled to submit an application, is likely, in the absence of other measures to enable that category of potential candidates duly to acquaint themselves with the content of that notice, to result in discrimination against them” (para 135).