THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, es una asignatura optativa de segundo cuatrimestre, del Master en Unión Europea, Especialidad en Multilevel European Integration and Fundamental Rights, impartido por la UNED
Nowadays, the law of the civil service of the European Union constitutes a branch of European administrative law and the Staff Regulations has become its legal structure. Its configuration is delimitated by certain characteristics that we can consider them as defining features of the civil service of the European Union and which are the following four: statutory unit, competence in terms of representation and excellence, permanence referred to the durability in employment and finally, independence.
This last feature, independence, is one of the guiding principles of the civil service of the European Union that differentiates it from the international civil service. This distinction is based on the nature of the legal link between the official and the institution, for which he depends on and works for, that is intimately associated to the supranational quality that the EU has endowed itself from its very first origins, and which will be analysed in further detail during this course.
The difference of legal links between the staff of international organizations, in general, and of the European Union, specifically, is that in the former the relationship is based on a Public Law contract where the rendering of services is subject to the signing of this contract, while the EU officials are linked by an employment relationship that is permanent and stable as it’s guaranteed by the application of the Staff Regulations.
On the other side, the agents of the European Union are bond by a specific regime, the so-called “Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union (CEOS), which is based on an employment contract with the institution or EU agency for which they provide their services, but to which also many of the provisions of the Staff Regulations are applied, by analogy. However, it is necessary to highlight that it belongs to a specific category that, according to the cases to which we will refer, will be treated individually.
The staff members at the service of the administration of the European Union are characterized by belonging to a “closed” system in which its officials are the main holders of their job title and which recognizes the development and growth of a professional career through different promotions in the core of the institution. The Staff Regulations and the CEOS, both offer the necessary guarantees to enforce the rights recognized in their regulatory texts.
The statutory nature of the employment link reinforces the authority of the organization over its staff members and, in return, recognizes the exclusive competence of the institutions in relation to the internal organization of their administrative services which are, in the end, discretionary powers.
The Staff Regulations is in itself an autonomous instrument with the purpose to regulate the legal relations between the institutions and their officials by establishing reciprocal rights and obligations. The liaison between an official of the European Union is twofold, on one hand, the statutory link representing the norm of greater rank of legislative nature, and on the other hand, the link with the institution to which it belongs is of a regulatory nature composed by internal provisions approved by the institutions and which are of lower rank. This duality is based on the organization of the civil service of the European Union whose legislation allows the institutionalization of the different authorities.
The institutions are competent to determine, from among their bodies, the Administrative Authorities that will develop the set of powers and functions that the Staff Regulations attributes to each administrative body as its own, including the competent authorities in the cases of delegation and substitution that can be foreseen by the Staff Regulations. This means that, within the scope of each institution, the "Competent Authority in matters of the staff members" is not normatively predetermined, but it is subject to ad hoc designation and revocation.
The Staff Regulations of the European Union is presented as a general rule and, at the same time, as a limit to the margin of manoeuvre that may arise from the approval, interpretation and application of atypical acts, the law of the civil service of the European Union doesn’t allow a confinement in a univocal formula.