European civil service

The law of the European Civil Service is a really specific type of law that applies to persons appointed as officials on the terms laid down by the regulations for officials permanently employed by one of the institutions of the European Union under a written act of the authority vested with the power of appointment of the institution concerned. It also applies to persons appointed by European Union bodies to which the Staff Regulations apply by virtue of the instruments establishing them.

The legal relationship between officials and the administration is derived from these regulations and is not contractual in nature.

The Staff Regulations are an autonomous legal instrument whose sole purpose is to regulate the legal relationships between European institutions and their officials through the creation of mutual rights and obligations between them.

The employment of a staff member, whether temporary or contractual, by a particular institution or agency is always based on a contract of employment. Thus, the exchange of expressions of intent by the contracting parties, as evidenced in particular by signature of the contract of employment, gives rise to obligations of a contractual nature. These limit the power of the authority empowered to conclude contracts of employment (AECE) to act unilaterally outside the situations expressly provided for by the conditions of employment of other servants (CEOS).

In the event of a dispute between the administration of the EU and the officials and servants of that administration and the decision of the Appointing Authority or of the Authority empowered to conclude contracts of employment respectively, Articles 90 and 91 of the Staff Regulations, which apply equally to other servants, provide for two avenues of appeal: the first is prior administrative appeal and the second is judicial appeal before a judge of the European Union in Luxembourg

Our expertise covers both remedies – prior administrative complaint, appeal to the European Ombudsman and judicial appeal – and the disciplinary system.