John Dalli appeals EU court decision on ‘unfair’ dismissal claim

Former European Commissioner files appeal, 'as his right', against EU court decision to reject his claim that former EC president Jose Barroso had required him to resign

Former European Commissioner John Dalli has filed an appeal in the European Court of Justice against a court decision to reject his claim that he was unfairly dismissed from the European Union’s executive arm.

Dalli confirmed with MaltaToday that he had filed the appeal this week, "as is his right". 

The EU General Court, the union’s second-highest court, in May dismissed Dalli’s claim that former European Commission President Jose Barroso required him to resign.

The court’s decision ruled that Dalli “resigned voluntarily at a meeting with President Barroso on 16 October 2012”.

Dalli filed the claim for unfair dismissal after he claimed he was forced to resign his post as European Commissioner by president José Manuel Durao Barroso on 16 October 2012, on the strength of the covering letter to an OLAF report alleging that circumstantial evidence existed that Dalli was aware of a €60 million bribe to reverse tobacco rules.

OLAF claimed there was circumstantial evidence showing that Dalli was aware of a €60 million bribe being solicited by a former canvasser, Silvio Zammit, from Swedish Match and the European Smokeless Tobacco Council (Estoc) to reverse an EU retail ban on snus tobacco.

Barroso insisted that the Commission’s reputation was at risk as far as the tobacco industry and public opinion were concerned, and that Dalli – having been in contact with representatives of the tobacco industry in unofficial and confidential meetings – could be in breach of his duty to behave in keeping with the dignity and the duties of his office.

Dalli claimed that Barroso orally demanded his resignation, and sought an annulment of that alleged oral request. The Commission disputed the allegation and contended that Dalli resigned voluntarily.

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