Eighteen years of bullying: a civil servant's career destroyed because of his political color

When I joined the federal public service in 1991, it was with a certain ideal of service for the benefit of the general interest. Thirty-three years later, I am a civil servant marginalized and with a ruined career because I dared to defend legality and did not allow myself to be trampled on.”

A lawyer by training, employed by the FPS for the economy since 1991, Emmanuel Baudhuin, 62 years old, decided to tell DH about the eighteen years of harassment and belittling that he says he suffered from 2005, until the recent court ruling in the appeal which she finally awarded him compensation in 2023 for the promotion that was “stolen” from him in October 2005. “Methods to crush agents who, for one reason or another, are disliked are disastrous and always indirectly carried out by friends in power.”

Nominations stolen

After graduating from UCL with a law degree, Emmanuel Baudhuin was destined for a great career. After a promising start at FPS Economy where he was responsible for the protection of consumer rights, in 2000 he was invited by the Director General of the General Administration of Energy to work on the creation of a strategic storage company for petroleum products. He became the right-hand man of the general director for budget and human resources, and in the competition in April 2005 he received the best quote for the position of advisor (which he held de facto ad interim since 2003!).

Despite this better placement, the promotion passed under his nose: the place was given to a colleague – only third placed – from the office of the Minister of Economy! Emmanuel was not going to accept that. “In the administration, we don't like those who dare to defend their rights in court, and even less when they win a dispute.”

Because he was supposed to get his at the State Council after, admittedly, a four-year procedure.

Political color

In the meantime, he was placed in the refrigerator, placed on the side fence and stripped of all duties. “The new director general, who arrived and left the socialist minister's office, just wanted to surround herself with civil servants of her political color. However, I have long been a defender of liberal values.”

Therefore, he intended to obtain from the State Council the annulment of the appointment, but only recently, in 2017 and on November 13, 2023, compensation was paid for the large loss of salary suffered as a result of the “stolen” appointment. finally ruled in his favor with two judgments of the Court of Appeal in Brussels.

It took eighteen years of proceedings, with delays, uncertainties and legal fees…

“Destructive Methods”

Meanwhile, nothing was spared. So on March 13, 2007, when he returned to work, Emmanuel was “violently attacked”said the general director, which led to a new dispute for the recognition of an accident at work, which he would also receive years later, in 2015 and 2018, with two judgments of the Labor Court in Brussels.

For Emmanuel Baudhuin, the FPS economy never intends to avoid trial by using the mediation of goodwill. “Its leaders always count on your possible moral and/or financial exhaustion and widely abuse their almost limitless legal budget. The lawyers they choose receive hefty fees and the length of the proceedings increases accordingly…”

Everything to break

Did he hit the stretcher? They will pay dearly for it. Returning to the FPS Economy at the end of July 2014, Emmanuel Baudhuin remained seven months without the slightest task or function. “I had a pen, a computer and a phone on my desk, and I had no files to work with. It's also a technique they use to break you”.

He was then assigned to the Directorate for Economic Regulation, where he was asked to complete the coordination of the huge Code of Economic Law in three months, which is simply impossible in such a short time. “Another method of harassment is used here: imposing disproportionate, unwise goals on the agent, unachievable within the allotted time.”

One who wins his cases

Hoping to solve the problem by looking elsewhere, Emmanuel says he submitted 42 applications for other advisory positions: all were immediately dismissed. Explanation? “The vast majority of promotion procedures involve first appointments at the political level. If you are not an elected official of the regime, you simply have no chance”.

In 2017, he was finally transferred to the Legal Metrology Service in Namur, but there he would suffer a new evil: a rigged assessment procedure. The authorities wanted to sanction the fact that he joined the SLFP trade union as a delegate with a negative assessment. This resulted in a new dispute before the Council of State where Emmanuel Baudhuin once again won a decision in his favor and overturned the negative assessment. New trial obtained. But the procedure lasted three years. And the authority of the FPS economy did not want to let him go: he was subjected to a new offensive at the beginning of 2023 with a forced return to Brussels, transferred to the department where he endured “anger of the administration: strict timekeeping, refused remote work, etc.

Emmanuel Baudhuin did not lower the flag this time either. He filed a harassment claim in October 2023 and if a solution is not found quickly, the claim will be heard before the Nivelles Labor Court in May or June.

Pump cleaners

If his career had progressed normally, Emmanuel Baudhuin could have ended it peacefully in a middle management position, perhaps even at a higher level. higher. We realized that this is not so. “I could write a book,” says the one who attributes his failed career “excessive politicization of the administration and its associated union networks that rot human resource management with unjustified advantages and fictitious promotions. The government always behaves like a crushing roller whose only goal is to crush and eliminate the opponent. The government claims that good -Being agents is a priority: in reality, the opposite is happening. We are witnessing human waste. As I was, many civil servants are placed in the refrigerator, without any file to process, because they refused blind obedience, with their finger on the seam of their pants. Others choose the profile “without a wave” and ” shine pumps”. “to get a promotion. I'm sorry, that was never my case and it won't start today.”concludes the one who has often been said to be “a rebel who is impossible to control”.

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