Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday morning, Vice-President Šefčovič sent a very positive message about the outcome of the negotiations on the "Reform" between the Commission, Council and EP.

He ignored his duty to communicate with unions as provided in the Framework Agreement governing relations between the Commission and the staff representatives.  He communicates directly with the staff, bypassing the elected staff representatives.

Why does he do this? Because his simplistic message is full of omissions, does not give the real details, and contains conclusions which are not yet been approved by COREPER.

His message is written with the intention to make you believe that he has defended you well and the result is after all, not as bad as it could have been !

For a start, we require a copy of the written agreement. Have you ever seen a Legal Service give an opinion on nothing but a rumour? Or an analysis based on a summary note?

We insist that they apply to the negotiations of our Staff Regulations the same rigour applied to normal dossiers!

Here is how the communication of the VP should really be read:


  • INTERNAL COMPETITIONS: The percentage of positions available for contract staff and how they will be permitted to participate in future competitions will be so restricted  that it will have nearly no effect, especially considering that there is no obligation for the Commission to organize any competitions.
  •  METHOD: The new method has so many exception clauses that the combination of these may void its effectiveness to the extent that it will fail to ensure parallelism of our salaries with those of national civil services.
  •  PENSIONS: The retirement age is raised from 63 to 65 or even 66 years, even though the existing system is fully balanced. New staff joining after 25 years old will never be able to reach a full pension because the accrual rate is being lowered to 1.8% per year!
  • BENEFITS: officials above grade AD 9 lose the annual travel allowance if they are not eligible for the household allowance or have no children. In other words, single persons will be the main target of this measure. Staff in delegations will also suffer a reduction in their annual leave.
  • Post- 2004 AD staff: the increase in promotion rates announced by VP Sefcovic for the AD base grades is far too small to catch up on all the career delays caused by not following the promotion rates throughout recent years.


  • AST: No equivalent remedial measure is envisaged for post-2004 AST staff. Moreover, AST staff whose careers will be blocked at AST9 will not receive the compensation of additional steps announced for AD staff.

This list is certainly not exhaustive and is based on draft documents in our possession which sometimes are mutually contradictory. Indeed this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Coreper may not be satisfied with what is on the table! At the meeting of the Conciliation Committee of the Council this Thursday, June 20, the Irish Ambassador expressly confirmed that at this stage the Council's approval cannot be taken for granted and that they may insert further cuts.

And the European Parliament plenary could also add new cuts at the last minute.

While the socio-economic context could be more favourable, the agreement is not so honourable as the Vice President tries to convince us because it goes beyond the 2,5 billion euros of cuts decided by the European Summit in February 2013.

Most of the measures will have an impact well beyond the 7 years of the 2014-2020 financial framework and far beyond the end of the crisis!


Let us mobilise next week!