Hoaxes about European Civil Servants
A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth.
Hoaxes about European Civil Servants are often circulated as a weapon against
the European Union. Civil servants are scapegoats in this war waged by
eurosceptics. They are pictured as incompetent, no good, pampered, lazy,
arrogant, useless fat cats, parasites and so on and so forth.
This page debunks the most common allegations against the European Civil
|Free meals and drinks in work canteens.
||No such thing as a free meal or drink ! The
cashier waits for you at the end of the line.
|Free access to a pool on the workplace.
||Sorry, no pool. Of course, there are the usual
sharks circling in the conference rooms.
|Male EU officials get 6 free viagra tablets per
||Are you kidding ? We don't need them. Seriously
: no distribution of any drug on the workplace.
|Civil servants enjoy a luxury service car with
||Not. No car, even a worn one. For ecological reasons, we
are invited to use a bicycle (not a rickshaw, mind you : no one to pedal for
|Civil servants have access to exclusive
||Not. Although some high-flying politicians
haunt our premises, we do not work in an airport.
|Officials do not pay income tax.
||They do. This progressive tax is complemented
with a flat 5.5% special levy. The income tax is deducted each month from
their salary slip, without any tax rebate. The revenue from this tax is
deducted from the national contributions to the EU budget, meaning that this
income tax benefits all EU states regardless the nationality of the official
or his country of residence.
|Salaries make the most of the EU budget.
||The EU spends around 3% of its annual budget on
staff and maintenance of its buildings.
The EU budget amounts to 1 % of the combined GDP of the 27 Member States
(EUR 130 billion), which works out at 70 cents a day per person to fund the
Union for a year.
The total cost of the EU administration is EUR 8.3 billion - the
equivalent of around 6 % of the Union's total budget. A total of 94 % of the
Union's budget is spent on citizens, regions, towns, farmers and businesses
- meaning that money is being invested in growth and employment, and not
being spent on EU Civil Service.
The Member States combined spend EUR 2,200 billion on their civil
|Civil servants get extra money when they attend
a meeting or get an additional lump sum for 'extra' expenses.
||No. Quite often, information about the EU Civil
Service is laced with errors because journalists are confusing officials
with holders of political posts (Commissioners, Members of European
|Salaries paid are sky-high.
||Salaries are in relation with expertise,
linguistic capabilities and expatriation constraints. When comparing with
other national and international civil services, the EU falls into the norm.
Big private companies often pay much better for comparable skills.
here salary bands for
Officials and Contract agents.
|Gold-plated pensions with a short accumulation
|Civil servants must accumulate 37 years of
service for a full pension (70 %), they cannot leave before their 63th
anniversary (if they do, their pension is reduced). In practice, as civil
servants are often recruited with a significant work experience, it means
that they cannot reach the 37 years of service, as they are recruited at the
age of 35 on average.
|Officials get a pension of 19 per cent of their
final salary after just ten years’ service.
||A pension is served if a civil servant has
worked for a minimum of 10 years (thus accruing 19% pension rights), but of
course this pension is not paid before the age of 63 years and the
institution applies a reduction coefficient of 3,5% for each year before the
|Officials do not pay for their pensions.
||Each month, a percentage (11, 6 %) is deducted
from the salary. It is the highest pension contribution paid by staff in the
EU officials pay pension contributions amounting to 11.6% of their
gross basic salary, compared with civil servants in the French, British and
Dutch systems who pay 7.85%, 3.5% and 6.42% respectively. Public employees
in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia and Sweden do not pay any pension
|42 days of leave a year.
||24 days of annual leave.
Officials from far-away places enjoy some additional days (délai de route)
for going back home.
|11 ‘non-working’ days when EU institutions are
closed on top of public holidays.
||None. EU institutions are closed on public
holidays in the country where they are established, with the exception of
Nov, 11th (Armistice) which is compensated by Europe Day.
|Officials do not work on Friday afternoons.
||Wrong, Friday is a normal working day.
|European Civil servants are morons.
It is a little more than a hoax since the insult was
repeatedly addressed at a civil servant during a
|This is pure hate speech used when all rational
arguments have failed.
|A slide presentation sent by chain e-mails
accuses collectively the Members of the European Parliament of several
categories of wrongdoings.
||Fabricating statistics, in order to deceive, is
another way to peddle insults.
Civil servants are immune to
austerity measures taken in Europe
On the contrary. A first reform in
2004 anticipated such measures (retirement age raised to 63, loss or
decrease of numerous allowances, slower careers, etc…). A new reform is in
preparation in 2012 : the retirement age is raised to 65, working time is
lengthened to 40h/week without salary increase, careers are shortened,
salaries for secretaries are decreased by 18%, a ‘solidarity tax’ is raised
to 6%, etc…
Furthermore, the Commission has
proposed to reduce staff levels across the EU institutions and agencies by 5
% between 2013 and 2017.
Salaries of civil servants are
increased year after year.
Salaries are indexed on inflation,
but the effect of the complex computation method leads to a constant loss of
purchasing power. Between 2004 and 2011, EU officials' purchasing power
declined by 7.6 %. If the rules are applied in December 2011, the additional loss will
be of 1,9%. This is a big ‘if’ as the Council denies this adaptation, in
violation of the law.
In French, to prove that some of us speak this local language...
|Les fonctionnaires ne payent rien
pour leur plaque minéralogique belge.
||La plaque commençant par 8 n'est
qu'une catégorie administrative qui n'induit aucun avantage (taxe de
circulation, contrôle technique, etc...)
|Les fonctionnaires rendent
l'immobilier inaccessible aux autres en achetant ou louant à prix d'or.
||Bruxelles reste très en deçà des
prix immobiliers des grandes villes européennes. Beaucoup de fonctionnaires
habitent en région flamande.
|Les fonctionnaires installés depuis
des années ne parlent pas un mot de français et encore moins de néerlandais.
||Les fonctionnaires doivent parler
au moins trois langues de l'UE (contrôlé par des examens) et beaucoup
parlent également les langues locales.
|Des quartiers entiers de Bruxelles
ont été détruits, à cause de la présence européenne.
||La 'bruxellisation' (terme utilisé
en architecture pour caractériser la destruction du patrimoine
architectural) n'a pas attendu la création de l'UE comme le prouve le mot 'architek'
dans le patois des Marolles.
Le quartier dit 'européen' (qui n'occupe qu'une partie du Quartier
Leopold, le plus grand quartier d'affaires de la ville) reste très modeste
en surface par rapport aux quartiers d'affaires des grandes villes
européennes ou du 'Quartier Nord'.
|Les fonctionnaires européens ont
des magasins internes aux prix très bas.
||Non. Il y a bien quelques points
presse et plus rarement d'autres boutiques dans la zone d'accueil de
certains bâtiments, mais aux prix normaux. La seule exception est le
Parlement européen qui accueille certaines boutiques moins courantes
(coiffeur...) mais là encore à des prix normaux.
|Les fonctionnaires ne paient pas
les transports en commun.
||Mais si ! et les contrôleurs de la
STIB y veillent ...
UK vs EU : a comparison
A few choice facts - EU and National Civil Service
1.The EU institutions are making structural reforms.
- But like all public action, it must be done right. Ideas for dramatic,
badly prepared and unsustainable changes simply harm the services that EU
institutions deliver to EU citizens.
|2. National public service
salaries have been well protected.
- Since 2004 the total of nominal increases of salaries in, to take one
example, UK central government accumulates to 22.4%.
- Only this year the nominal increase in public sector in the UK was 0.9%.
Meanwhile, the Council blocks the similar rises to which the Member states
had committed in law for EU staff…
- The level of salary for the highest-ranked officials in the UK is € 21
700, against € 16 000 in the EU institutions.
- The Commission has proposed to increase the weekly working hours from 37.5
to 40 without any compensation, while in the UK it is 36h in London and 37h
3. Taxes are paid in Brussels too!
- EU civil servants and pensioners pay income taxes on their salaries
and pensions at a marginal rate of up to 45 %, which is a higher rate than
in the UK.
- Counting all taxes (including special levy of 5.5%) and contributions the
marginal rate rises to up to 51%.
4. Pensions are cheaper at home than in Brussels.
- The pension contribution paid by the staff in the UK is 3.5%, against
11.6% for the staff in the EU Institutions.
- The pension in the UK can be up to 75% of the highest salary, but 70% in
the EU institutions. The pension accrual rate in the UK is 2.3% (1.9% in the
- The Commission has already proposed to increase the pensionable age to 65,
with a possibility to retire at 67 while in the UK it is 65 only for
newcomers (for most staff it is still 60).
Per month salary of Governor of the Bank of England ~ € 85 500
(£874,000 annual salary) while the President of the European Commission earns ~
€ 24 500 and the German Chancellor ~ € 21 000.
More comparisons with other EU
Prix citron de la désinformation
||and the winner is :
a UK satirical newspaper for having written :
Since the EU's 55,000 or so civil servants enjoy an average salary of
€18.000-30.000 a month, with additional allowances of some €3,000,
another €10,000 for three years when they leave, extensive holidays and a 70
percent of salary pension while the rest of Europe suffers savage job and
pension cuts and are losing their home, they clearly live in cloud cuckoo
land. (Private eye, edition 30 November 2012)
Who lives in the cuckoo land ? They got their figures seriously wrong (see
above). Maybe they should learn the difference between satire and
dissemination of false news.
Attribué dans la catégorie Billevesées et coquecigrues à
article dans Capital, un chef d'oeuvre de fiel, d'arrogance et de
Nous félicitons l'heureux récipiendaire !
Voir le droit de réponse
Article du Monde
Les journaux n'aiment pas corriger leurs
erreurs. Surtout celui qui se prétend journal de référence.
See also :
Rumours and Myths about the EU.
Il est possible d'informer sans caricaturer :
Le Soir 30/12/2011
Évolution du pouvoir d'achat des
fonctionnaires depuis 2004
Speech by Vice President Sefcovic on the
European public service
A visit to the strange eurocrat tribe in
Lies, More Lies, and Damned Lies
Lu dans la
La France dénonce que les coûts de personnel au sein de la Commission reviennent
à environ 5 milliard d’euros, "soit à peu près le double des coûts de la ville
de Paris pour un nombre de personnes équivalent. "
Les faits : l'UE emploie 33 000 fonctionnaires contre 51 240 fonctionnaires
pour la Ville de Paris (hors agents contractuels). Le
montant de 5 milliards cité comprend des coûts de fonctionnement et pas
seulement des salaires.
En effet, les fonctionnaires européens sont moins nombreux que les
fonctionnaires de la Ville de Paris pour gérer l'Europe entière et dans tous les
domaines. Quant au niveau de rémunération, c'est un argument facile à démonter
en raison de la spécificité des métiers des fonctionnaires européens et du
niveau élevé de compétence requis.
C'est un peu comme si l'on s'étonnait que le gouvernement français coûte plus
cher qu'une équipe comparable en effectifs d'un service de la Ville de Paris.
Lu dans la
"Eurocrats are pickpockets preying on UK taxpayers, says Cameron"
The arrogance of so-called European leaders is amazing ! They spent taxpayers'
money to bail-out banks and other private companies. They deepened the crisis
with inadequate policies*. They created this crisis because of failed ideologies,
inefficient regulations and lousy oversight. They are the real thieves.
* "The British economy may contract in the fourth quarter" said
the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King on 14th November 2012.
Something to be proud of, David ?
9,000 UK public sector workers earn more than David Cameron
faux circule sur internet pour attaquer les
parlementaires européens, avec trucage de photos.
publie un article bourré d'erreurs et d'allégations malveillantes