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Recognition of national diplomas

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  • Case: 0371/2010/AN
    Opened on 07 Apr 2010 - Draft recommendation on 14 Jun 2012 - Decision on 11 Dec 2012
  • Institution(s) concerned: European Commission
  • Field(s) of law: General, financial and institutional matters
  • Types of maladministration alleged – (i) breach of, or (ii) breach of duties relating to: Fairness [Article 11 ECGAB]
  • Subject matter(s): Competition and selection procedures (including trainees)
Diploma
Author:
Copyright: Stocklib © Matthew Benoit

Summary of the decision on complaint 371/2010/(MF)AN (confidential) against the European Commission

The complainant, who spent almost 10 years working in the Human Rights and Justice field in Africa, successfully participated in a competition for contract agents in the European Commission's Delegations to third countries and international organisations. Following an interview, he obtained a post in one of those Delegations. However, he was subsequently not hired because the Commission considered that he did not possess the necessary university education. In particular, he had obtained his French university degree as a result of the recognition of the equivalence of his professional experience.

The European Ombudsman considered that the requirement of a University degree as a condition for recruitment is to be construed in light of the legislation of the MemberState where the diploma is issued. The principle of subsidiarity and sincere cooperation thus impede the Commission from disregarding the French authorities' decision to consider the complainant's professional experience equivalent to the relevant studies. The Ombudsman made a friendly solution proposal to the effect that the Commission could declare the complainant eligible for the post.

The Commission initially rejected the Ombudsman's friendly solution proposal. However, it eventually informed the Ombudsman that it had adopted a new policy concerning the recognition of national diplomas, in order to take into account the different national practices. It also declared the complainant eligible for the relevant posts. The complainant informed the Ombudsman's services that he was satisfied with the outcome. The Ombudsman therefore considered that the Commission had settled the case and proceeded to close it.