Brussels, 21 November 2012


Reference: Article in the Financial Times of 20/11/12 "Cameron targets cull of EU civil servants"

Dear Prime Minister,

At a time when the leader of the Confederation of British Industry warns against the harmful effects of a UK retreat from the EU, members of the UK administration continue their attacks on the staff of the EU institutions.

First some facts:  on 1 October 2012 there were 23,794 officials and temporary agents employed in the European Commission. By way of comparison, Leeds City Council alone employs around 33,000 staff.

The administrative budget of the EU represents only around 5.8% of the total budget.

Substantial reforms were made in 2004 to the conditions of employment of EU staff. These savings have resulted in around euros 3 billion of savings to date, with another euros 5 billion by 2020. In recognition of the current crisis, the Commission last year proposed further reforms for an additional euros 1 billion of savings by 2020.

Any developed economic area requires an effective and reliable public administration. The time has come for the UK to reflect on what effects further cuts to the EU's administration budget will have on EU operations. Equally, the UK should consider the wider consequences of such attacks. Is it any wonder that the EU institutions fail to attract staff from the UK when those institutions are relentlessly criticised? (UK staff in the Commission currently represents only 6% of all staff, whereas UK population represents around 12% of that of the EU).

To maintain and further develop a united Europe (one in which the EU's role was recently recognised by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize), where businesses can prosper, there is a growing need to recognise the value and worth of a strong and independent European Public Service. In this time of crisis, Prime Minister, there is a need for your administration to rise above petty polemics and have the vision and statesmanship to see the way towards a strong UK within a strong EU.

Best regards,

Malcolm Colling


The Association of Independent Officials in the European Commission (TAO-AFI)