Case Law: Case T-549/93, D. v. Commission of the European Communities, January 26, 1995, Not yet Reported in ECR

1 Colum. J. Eur. L. 354 (1995)

Petra Foubert. Assistant, Institute for European Law, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

D. v. Commission represents the Court’s first foray into the legal issues surrounding claims of sexual harassment within the Community service. The case arose out of charges that D., the head of the Commission delegation in country X., had harassed three female members of the delegation staff. Those charges had led to the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against D. in May 1993. Following the inquiry, the Disciplinary Board recommended in July 1993 that the Commission’s appointing authority impose on D. the disciplinary measure of removal from post without prejudice to his entitlement to a retirement pension. (By law, the appointing authority cannot impose any disciplinary sanction other than a written warning or reprimand unless it has a reasoned opinion to that effect from the Disciplinary Board.)

Although the Disciplinary Board had rejected D.’s request for a further investigation and a further opportunity to refute the evidence against him, the appointing authority agreed to hear D.’s request and actually make the further inquiry before reaching a definitive decision. Nevertheless, on September 30, 1993, the appointing authority decided finally to remove D. from his post in accordance with the Disciplinary Board’s reasoned opinion. In October, D. sought to have the appointing authority reverse its decision, and a few days later formally lodged a challenge against the Commission in the Court of First Instance (“CFI”).