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Brexit : Q&A

Messages to the Staff from our Administration

Brexit, what will happen to me ?

The larger picture

 

 

Questions and Answers : I am British, what will happen to my rights ?

I am in activity, will I be fired on the day UK leaves the EU ? Civil servants, contract agents, temporary agents having been appointed before the Brexit, are lawfully appointed according to the rules applicable at the time and therefore, their appointment or contract is valid and should continue its natural term. Of course, pension rights and other allowances acquired by virtue of these are equally valid (see below for exceptions). These costs should be borne by the EU budget irrespective of the composition of the EU Member States.
Is there a risk for my dismissal ? The employer could decide to use some clauses of the Staff regulations such as the ‘early retirement’ (art 42c), ‘compulsory resignation’ (art 49, which makes an explicit reference to the loss of the citizenship mentioned in art. 28(a) as a condition for appointment) or the ‘retirement in the interests of the service’ (art 50).

These clauses might be used on a case by case basis by the EU institutions to adapt to the reductions of budgets, of missions and geographical scope of EU action. They may also be applied to non-British Staff.

I am a contract agent, my contract will expire after the likely date for an effective Brexit. Can I expect its renewal ? The Institutions may hire non EU staff by derogation (civil servants : art 28.a SR;  temporary agents : art 12.2.a RAA; contract agents : art 82.3.a RAA ) but you should expect that your contract will not be renewed after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
Are there categories of staff more threatened by Brexit ? Non-civil servants (Commissioners, Seconded national experts, MEPs and their parliamentary assistants …) may expect that their contract or functions be discontinued at the end of the two-year negotiation phase foreseen by the Treaty (which may be extended). Director generals would have to leave their functions at the same moment, but could find less prominent roles (counselors, experts…).
I am still in activity, will I be entitled to a EU pension ? Yes. The normal process still applies. If, according to the Staff regulations, you are entitled to a pension, then it will be served.
But I heard that if UK no longer contributes to the EU Budget, my pension will be in jeopardy. Your pension is paid through the EU budget. Furthermore, as explained in this document, pensions are a deferred salary. You accumulated your pension rights throughout your career and they cannot be stripped from you.

This is totally independent from any political arm-wrestling where UK will be asked to face its commitments regarding the guarantee about the pension fund.

I am a pensioner, is my EU pension in danger ? No, as explained above.
I am a pensioner, will my fiscal situation change ? No. The current rules will still apply.

Your fiscal status is affected by your country of residency, not by your nationality. It is worth remembering that fiscal rules may be volatile.

I am a pensioner living in EU but outside UK, are my residency rights threatened ? Possibly yes. Your rights are linked to the EU citizenship, that you will lose. However, this political question is high on the negotiation agenda. Our current assessment is that an agreement will be reached and that all EU country will uphold the residency rights of all lawful current EU residents.
I am a pensioner (not necessarily British) and I want to live in UK. What will be the impact on my pension ?  After the Brexit, you will be considered as resident of a country outside the EU (art 45 of Annex VIII SR).

Art 82 SR foresees that no correction coefficient applies to pensions, with the exception of acquired rights before 2004 if payable in EU Member States (Art 3.5.b Annex XI SR). If this is not your case, nothing will change. If you are a pensioner residing in UK and having acquired pension rights before 2004, you enjoy a correction coefficient of 134,7. As soon as UK leaves the EU, this coefficient will revert to 100.

I am a pensioner, is there any risk losing the benefit of the Sickness Fund ? As long as you contribute to the Sickness fund via a withdrawal on your salary or pension, you are covered. As is your family, as stipulated by art. 72 of the Staff Regulations.

Regarding your Accident insurance, only the active employee is covered (contribution deducted from the payslip); as a pensioner, you should have contracted a personal Accident insurance.

How will my expatriation allowance be affected if I acquire Belgian citizenship? You will lose it if you are posted in Belgium (see the Staff Regulations: Annex VII, art 4).

If a British official acquires the nationality of the Member state where he is employed, he /she can no longer claim the benefit of the allowance (see EU CST judgment, 26 June 2013, F-21/12: « an official’s change of nationality may be regarded as an event capable of substantially changing his situation and, accordingly, constitutes a fact warranting review of his situation »)

Will I lose my travel expenses if I acquire Belgian citizenship ? Yes, only officials entitled to the expatriation or foreign allowance residence can claim travel expenses (see Art. 8 of annex VII SR)
What about my tax regime while I am in activity ? The Protocol on privileges and immunities of the EU will continue to apply if you are a resident of an EU Member State. Art. 12 PPI states  : « Officials and other servants of the Union … shall be exempt from national taxes on salaries, wages and emoluments paid by the Union. ».

However, UK may no longer apply this PPI after the Brexit (issue to be settled during the withdrawal negotiations). A possible difficulty may arise from its Art. 13 : "if establishment to [Belgium] from [UK] solely for the performance of service of the Union [the individual is] deemed to remain tax resident of [UK] provided that [UK] is a member of the Union". Your fiscal residence may therefore change.

I am not a Trade Union member yet: in the forthcoming negotiations what do they propose to do to defend our rights? As explained here, Trade Unions represent their members and U4U is looking for more British members to join its ranks in order to defend British colleagues as efficiently as possible .

U4U is a highly responsive and reactive trade union which forms its positions and views from its members directly. We are and will be defending the rights of our British members in the Brexit 'social dialogue'. We invite British colleagues to contact us for more information and for taking part into our action .

I work in an EU delegation, will I be able to stay in function ? Work in a delegation will not be possible anymore (due to the Vienna Convention), therefore a phasing out of British staff serving abroad will have to be organised (mobility back to HQ).

See also Annex X SR art.1 second §, which excludes the recruitment of non-EU staff for posts outside Union.

On what basis do you consider that: Work in a delegation will not be possible anymore (due to the Vienna Convention), therefore a phasing out of British staff serving abroad will have to be organized ? Notre compréhension est que le statut diplomatique ne peut être demandé que pour du personnel ayant la nationalité de l'entité demanderesse, sauf exception. Par conséquent, en ce qui nous (UE) concerne, si le RU ne fait plus partie de l'UE (après bien entendu la sortie effective de l'UE), nous ne pourrons plus demander la couverture par statut diplomatique des ressortissants britanniques travaillant pour nous… il est vrai que l’art 8.1 énonce un principe auquel on peut déroger, mais l’art 8.3 soumet cette exception à autorisation de l’état-hôte.
En pratique, on peut penser que les Etats accréditants, ici l’UE, useront avec parcimonie de cette possibilité d’exception, vu la nature particulière de ces postes et du niveau de confiance requis pour leurs titulaires.

Le texte de la Convention de Vienne :
Art. 8.1. Les membres du personnel diplomatique de la mission auront en principe la nationalité de l'Etat accréditant.
2. Les membres du personnel diplomatique de la mission ne peuvent être choisis parmi les ressortissants de l'Etat accréditaire qu'avec le consentement de cet Etat, qui peut en tout temps le retirer.
3. L'Etat accréditaire peut se réserver le même droit en ce qui concerne les ressortissants d'un Etat tiers qui ne sont pas également ressortissants de l'Etat accréditant.

My children are enrolled in a European School, will they have to leave ? The European Schools are an intergovernmental institution separate from the EU. The United Kingdom has not signaled its decision to leave the ES System.

The UK therefore remains in the ES system, British parents currently employed by the EU keeping their rights to school education for their children. Normally, of course, there would no longer be British recruitment in the EU. The UK's obligations concerning the supply of teachers would remain intact, but the UK has not been respecting them for quite some time now. The ES system would therefore unfortunately continue to patch over the lack of that recruitment by local recruitment or non-native speakers. In time , the population of children of native English-speaking EU employees (Category I) will plunge dramatically (there will of course still be some Irish and Maltese), but some renewal will remain possible through children of Category II or III. The existence of an ‘English’ section in all schools could then be called into question due to the reduction in English speaking pupils and the play of budget forces.

Documents of the Board of Governors : Risk Management in the European Schools     ‘BREXIT’ – Consequences for the European School System

 

Do you have another question ? Please ask it here !

Messages to the Staff from our Administration

Message to staff from President J-C. Juncker :

Dear colleagues,
Yesterday, the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This result makes me personally very sad – but I respect their choice.
I know that many of you are concerned about your future after this vote. I fully understand that. So I want to send a clear message to you, colleagues, and especially to colleagues of British nationality.
According to our Staff Regulations, you are "Union officials". You work for Europe. You left your national 'hats' at the door when you joined this institution and that door is not closing on you now. As European civil servants you have always been loyal to our Union, contributing tremendously to our common European project. And so it will be in this spirit of reciprocal loyalty that I will work together with the Presidents of the other European institutions to ensure that we can all continue counting on your outstanding talent, experience and commitment. I know you all have legitimate expectations about your rights and duties, your families who might have followed you to Brussels and your children who might be enrolled in schools here.
Let me assure you that I will do everything in my power as President of the Commission, to support and help you in this difficult process. Our Staff Regulations will be read and applied in a European spirit.
In the coming days and weeks, you will all have the opportunity to show the European Commission at its best. The eyes of the world will be upon us, expecting us to provide stability, act decisively and uphold Europe's values. I have every confidence in you. Together we will rise to that task. (24 June 2016)

Message of the High Representative Federica Mogherini to all EEAS Staff :

Dear colleagues,
Further to the referendum, the British people decided to leave the European Union. We all very much regret this decision, but we have to respect it.
I want to pay here a specific tribute to all our British colleagues, who worked hard – and will continue to work hard with us, and in particular to those who could not vote and are now impacted by the result of the referendum. Your loyalty and commitment to the European cause is undisputed, as you belong to Europe and are true Europeans. The EEAS is a family and it is your family.
In the meeting we had yesterday in the EEAS premises, I made clear I am aware of the concerns that many of you – and not just the British colleagues - have regarding their future in the EEAS. I, together with the other European Institutions, with the EEAS senior management and staff representatives will work towards solutions that provide the highest possible degree of certainty on a wide-range of issues that could affect you and your families.
This commitment is shared by the Presidents of the European institutions and will be taken into account in the negotiation process that will start when the United Kingdom government will trigger the procedure under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Until then, nothing changes in our approach and dealings with UK staff.
Be assured that you will be kept posted of any development, initiative and steps that the European Institutions will take in the next few days to deal with and to answer the questions that will inevitably arise. I will make sure that the EEAS management in the Headquarters and in the Delegations do share all information in real time. 
(25/06/2016)

Message from the Secretary-General of the European Schools, Mr Kari Kivinen, following the UK referendum

Dear all,
One of the fundamental values of the European Union is democracy.
Under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
The outcome of the UK referendum has been a sad piece of news for Europe and for the European School community.
The UK Government has to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the process of EU exit. Once this has been done, a two-year negotiation period will begin. It is far too early to speculate on how these negotiations will evolve as far as the European Schools are concerned.
In my estimation, the UK referendum will not have any immediate major impact on the daily operation of the European Schools.
We are closely monitoring developments in the situation and we are ready and willing to initiate negotiations with the EU and UK authorities in order to safeguard the smooth operation of our schools in the coming years.

Brexit, what will happen to me ?

According to official statistics, there are 1126 British in the Commission. First are Belgians, then, in decreasing order, Italians, French,  Spaniards, Germans, Poles, Romanians and Greeks.
 

My job : I am British, is my job at risk ?

European Schools : What may happen to my children ?
The UK government has not signaled a decision to leave the European Schools System. Therefore, UK will stay a member for the foreseeable future.
Documents du Conseil Supérieur : Risk Management in the European Schools     ‘BREXIT’ – Consequences for the European School System

My EU citizenship : Comment obtenir la nationalité belge ?
For information only - Depending on your personal circumstances, there are several other possibilities.
Circular sent to all the communes regarding the validity of Special ID cards. However, most communes don't recognize the special IDs as a proof of residency and are very conservative in considering the application of British civil servants.

The withdrawal process according to article 50 : what is foreseen in the Treaty ?

I am British, what are my rights ? (slides presented during a conference on 20/09/2016)

AIACE : conséquences du BREXIT pour les pensionnés britanniques résidant en Belgique + Annex (Note on the effects of the Brexit written by AIACE UK)

Letter of UK staff of Eurofound

Lettre du Collège des Présidents des Comités du Personnel

Lettre du Collège des Présidents des Comités du Personnel à M. Michel Barnier  EN version

Réponse de M. M. Barnier à la lettre du CPCP

The larger picture

Lettre de Théresa May à Donald Tusk officialisant le retrait du Royaume-Uni de l'Union Européenne

Déclaration de Théresa May à la Chambre des Communes concernant l'activation de l'art. 50

Déclaration de Donald Tusk accusant réception, au nom du Conseil Européen, de la lettre du Royaume-Uni

Remarques de Donald Tusk sur le retrait du Royaume-Uni de l'Union Européenne

Remarks by President Donald Tusk on the next steps following the UK notification

The Great Repeal Bill: White Paper

David Davis' Commons statement on the Great Repeal Bill White Paper

Certainty and stability for UK businesses as negotiations begin on new relationship with Europe

Guidance for businesses on the Great Repeal Bill

European Parliament : Negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union

Dossier sur le Brexit distribué au comité du Personnel du Parlement Européen en avril 2017

Official information about the Brexit process, as explained by the British government.

Brexit: the launch of Article 50 by A.Duff (Feb 2017)
 

GRASPE :
Debates about Brexit in Europe Solidaire (with lots of handy documents)

 

Contextualisons la crise de confiance dans l'UE : un entretien avec G. Vlandas

Communiqué de U4U à la suite du référendum britannique :

Rebondir !

Le Royaume-Uni vient de voter sa sortie de l'Union européenne. Les compromis malheureusement acceptés par les autres membres de l'Union avant le référendum n'ont pas suffi à convaincre une majorité de Britanniques de rester dans l'Union. Ces compromis ont plutôt conduit à ce que d'autres membres de l'Union préconisent un moins disant communautaire. Ces reculades ont été précédées par bien d'autres, notamment au moment de l'adoption des perspectives financières de l'Union pour 2014/2019.

L'Union européenne s'est enfoncée dans une crise qui, nourrissant le scepticisme, l'a éloignée de ses citoyens. Avec le vote britannique, l'Union paye ses reculades, sa stagnation, l’abandon d’une vision sociale et culturelle de l’Europe. Les citoyens ne voient désormais dans la construction européenne que ses échecs et non ses réalisations et ses potentialités, pourtant réelles dans de nombreux domaines comme la politique régionale, la recherche ou la concurrence.

Il est encore temps de réagir en tentant de rétablir la confiance et la conviction que les approches communes sont plus efficaces que le chacun pour soi. Il nous faut relancer la construction européenne de façon concrète et dans les domaines les plus urgents. Les institutions européennes, et en particulier Commission européenne, doivent prendre des initiatives en ce sens. La méthode de travail communautaire, garante de l’intérêt général, doit être privilégiée, à partir d’une orientation politique commune, négociée au niveau du Conseil.

La Commission qui est garante de l'application des Traités, doit conduire la négociation avec le Royaume-Uni pour lui permettre de quitter rapidement l'Union tout en nouant avec lui de nouveaux partenariats.

Les institutions européennes doivent mobiliser leur personnel et lui redonner confiance et fierté dans ses missions.

Georges Vlandas
Président

Bouncing back!

The United Kingdom has just voted to leave the European Union. The compromises unfortunately agreed by the other members of the Union before the referendum were not enough to persuade a majority of British voters to remain in the Union. Rather, these compromises resulted in other members of the Union recommending a watered down Community, with each member looking out for its own interests. This climb down was preceded by others, especially when the EU’s financial outlook for 2014/2019 was adopted.

The European Union has dug itself into a crisis which, by fuelling scepticism, has distanced it from its citizens. With the British vote, the EU is now paying for its climb downs, stagnation, and for abandoning a social and cultural vision of Europe. Citizens now only see the failings of the European construction, rather than its achievements and potential, although these are significant in numerous fields such as the regional policy, research and competition.

There is still time to respond by re-establishing confidence and the belief that a joint approach is more effective than every man for himself. We have to give new impetus to European integration in a concrete manner, and where it is most urgently needed. The European institutions, and in particular the European Commission, must take the initiative in this direction. The Community working method, protector of the general interest, must be given priority, from a joint political approach negotiated at Council level.

The Commission, which ensures the application of the Treaties, must conduct negotiations with the United Kingdom to enable it to leave the EU quickly, while at the same time forming new partnerships with it.

The European institutions must motivate their staff and re-establish confidence and pride in their missions.

Georges Vlandas
President

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