EULEX Kosovo: Jenkinson case

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USF

The court rejects the appeal of an agent of EULEX Kosovo.

On 9 November, the First Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the EU dismissed the application of a of the most senior employees of the CSDP missions who challenged the conditions of its dismissal by the European mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo).
– Liam Jenkinson, an Irish national, is a very old former employee of the European Union. Since he has worked in his various missions in the Balkans for 20 years. He had been recruited first of all in the monitoring mission (EUMM) as head of telecoms in the Balkans from 1994 to 2002 (a time when CFSP and CSDP had not yet been officially created. Then he was recruited by the Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM) from 2002 to 2009 (as Head of Communications).

Finally, he was recruited by the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo) from 2010 to 2014, in a series of 11 successive fixed-term contracts (as CIS and IT Officer). On 29 June 2014, Jenkinson was informed that at the end of his contract (14 November) it would not be extended. He then filed complaint before the court requesting the requalification of the various fixed-term contracts as open-ended contracts, and his reclassification as a temporary agent (and not as a contractual agent), the payment of various indemnities (notice period, seniority, abusive dismissal procedure, no delivery of legal social documents, etc.).

A limited competence of attribution

The European judges consider that only the court of Brussels (Belgium) has jurisdiction, the different contracts signed containing a geographical attribution clause. Only the last CDD contained an explicit clause entrusting jurisdiction at the Court of Justice of the EU.

“The Court of First Instance is manifestly incompetent to judge disputes which might arise from the execution of the contracts of employment of the applicant prior to the last fixed-term contract and expressly attributing competence to the Belgian courts and, therefore, to hear the present action in so far as it relates to the effects of these contracts.”

A full responsibility of EULEX

The Tribunal certainly recognises the full capacity of EULEX Kosovo and rejects the grounds of inadmissibility presented (2). Since a decision of 2014, the mission has indeed been granted full legal capacity.

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