Informations and abstract
The essay is inspired by the judgement issued by the Ecje in Case 274/99, which stated the legitimacy of the disciplinary removal from post of Mr Connolly, an high official of the Commission entrusted of a Unit on monetary policies, who published a book entitled "The Rotten Heart of Europe" without the prior permission provided by the EC Staff Regulations. On the Court's opinion, Mr Connolly, by his conduct, seriously prejudiced the interests of the Communities and damaged the image and reputation of the institution. So he breached the duty of loyalty which is aimed at preserving the relationship of trust between the official and his institution. This judgment focuses on the complex question of the reconciliation of the employee's freedom of expression with his duty of loyalty to the employer, which is also examined in the essay through the analysis of scholars' opinion and case law in the Italian legal system. First, the author takes into consideration the ruling of the private employment relationship, also as regards non-profit organizations which ethos is based on politic, trade-union, cultural, educational or religious matters. Second, the author takes into consideration the ruling of the public employment relationship, which deeply changed in the last years. Finally, the judgment of the Ecje is examined again to value, in the light of the remarks on the Italian legal system and of the general principles of the Ec legal system, the present level of protection granted to the freedom of expression of Ec officials, as provided by Art. 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Mainly with a view to the future, the author focuses on the impact of the developments of the Ue legal system, as regards fundamental and social rights, on the effectiveness of the right of freedom of expression of the officials of the Ec.