Article 22 - Cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
Key facts of the case
Appeal — Civil service — Remuneration — Family allowances — Education allowance — Refusal to reimburse education costs — Article 3(1) of Annex VII to the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Union.
Outcome of the case
On those grounds, the Court (Seventh Chamber) hereby:
1. Dismisses the appeal;
2. Orders Ms Irit Azoulay, Mr Andrew Boreham, Ms Mirja Bouchard and Mr Darren Neville to pay the costs.
36) By their fourth ground of appeal, the appellants dispute paragraph 56 of the judgment under appeal. They submit that the General Court infringed the obligation to state reasons in holding that the first part of the third plea in law, by which they relied on the fact that officials of other institutions had received reimbursement of education costs of their own children registered at the same schools as the appellants’ children, was ineffective, but also in failing to adjudicate on the alleged infringement of Article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, relied on nonetheless before the General Court. The appellants submit that, in accordance with Article 1a of the Staff Regulations, officials are entitled to equal treatment under those regulations, meaning that the regulations, as a general rule, must be given an autonomous and uniform interpretation throughout the European Union. However, the Parliament stated, in the decisions of 17 and 19 November 2015, that the fact that parents working at the European Commission still receive reimbursement for the education costs of their children registered at the International School Le Verseau and at the Athénée Ganenou related not to unequal treatment, but rather to the fact that ‘each institution has a power of self-organisation which enables it to use its margin of interpretation of the Staff Regulations autonomously’.
42) As regards Article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, it must be found that, in their application for annulment, the appellants simply referred to that article, but did not submit a plea based on the infringement of that provision to which the General Court would have been required to respond.