No Xy Lo


n°24 - 13 September 2012

Version FR



Reforming our status: are we going to let it happen?
Reviewing our status: the Council is continuing to attempt to destroy the European Public Service
Reviewing our status: the Belgian proposal dated August 17 2012 on the matter of the temporary contribution: a real hold-up as regards public service wages and EU pensioners
The sequel to negotiations on the status review frozen until establishment of the level of the economy in Heading 5 of the financial perspectives (MFF), at the Special Council of Europe in November 2012
Local agents: still nothing
Adaptation of pay and pension contributions: the point about the adaptations implemented in 2011 and 2012
European schools
New REC: much better
Citizens of Europe need a mutually-supporting Europe
Elections to the LSC of the Commission in Brussels: continuation and conclusion?
EPSO competitions published in the Official European Union Gazette – Training schemes


Reforming our status: are we going to let it happen?


The Member States still seem to be bent on destroying the European Public Service, where the salaries represent a mere 3% of the EU budget (as against 66% for the UN), with an absolutely minute number of staff members (fewer than the public servants in the Region of Sicily, or  the single city of Paris). Some States are already suggesting that the savings proposed in the Commission draft – 1 billion Euros – should be multiplied by at least 3, to be deducted from our wages and pensions. We are witnessing a genuine attempt to unravel our status, a move which will hurt everybody, particularly the post-2004 colleagues, who suffered all the disadvantages of the 2004 reform, and are now about to lose the few benefits arising from it.


An ideological approach such as this, attempted at a time of crisis when what we need is more Europe, and when we should be buttressing the continent’s resources to act, is based on the argument that Europe should share the efforts being made at the national level, as an expression of solidarity. However, these so-called efforts made by Member States are an illusion. Wages in German are up by 6%. All too often any efforts made by Member States are inferior to those made by the European Public Service. What about the example set by France, where it has made one single attempt to raise the retirement age to 62 when it is already 63 for EU staff and the Commission is intending to push this up to 65?


The President of the EP (European Parliament), having asked the permanent representatives to supply figures on their staff members’ salary levels, felt moved to write them an extremely angry letter when they refused to produce this information. If Member States are refusing to reveal this data, it is simply because sacrifices being demanded of European public servants are not being shared by permanent representatives.


What is more, the unavoidable truth is that a policy such as this, based on social deterioration, is bound to exacerbate if not actually bring about the recession looming over the continent.


It is also fair to wonder why the Member States are keen to impose budgetary restrictions upon European institutions which are applied to Member States in serious deficit situations, while by definition the EU budget is balanced. In short, the crisis is yet again being used as a pretext to ruin a tool which could be put to use to actually rescue Europe from the crisis.


In the light of all this, U4U is going to suggest that its partners and the various unions launch a wide-ranging mobilisation initiative for the upcoming Council of Europe on October 18 and 19. We must react on a united basis before it is too late.


It is high time that the staff silenced the ravings of the States. We will not be seen as a mere adjustment variable.


What is still more serious, Member States are actually implementing a social policy of a kind which you would not expect of a constitutionally-based State. We are moving into the reign of the most absolute of arbitrary powers. For example, Member States are still refusing to reimburse our excess retirement pension contribution after over a year, a sum representing nearly 2% of our salaries. They refuse to apply the method even though they acknowledge the critical deduction involved. They are refusing to allow any resources for use by the Commission to implement qualitative reforms improving career development and setting up participatory management by the personnel.


This mobilisation initiative is intended to draw attention to the remorseless destruction of social gains throughout Europe under the false pretext of a battle against a crisis which is basically financial. We refuse to subject the social model of Europe to a race to the bottom, a process of economic madness resulting in human wastage of vast proportions.


Our mobilisation initiative needs your support – it needs everybody’s support. If we stand united, we can halt this slide!


Reviewing our status: the Council is continuing to attempt to destroy the European Public Service


As announced in July, the Council status group has tossed the report drafted by the Danish Presidency into the dustbin. This means that the Cypriots will have to re-open negotiations.


In July the eight net budget contributor Member States (UK, F, DE, NL, DK, FI, AT, S) asked the Commission to submit simulations to them regarding savings in addition to their proposal (a proposal of 1 billion) to 5 billion €, 10 billion € and 15 billion €, via status changes, in the framework of financial prospects.


The simulations called for by the 8 Member States concern pensions:
- Pension to be calculated on average salary throughout the entire career;
- Accumulation rate changed from 1.9% to 1.75% or 1.5%;
- Staff pension contribution raised to 40% or even 50%;
- Interim measures on the way to the new pension age raised to 40 years, 45 years or 50 years instead of 50 years.


They also affect career structure:
- grades every 3 years or 4 years;
- careers frozen at AST 9 (for assistants), AD 11 for management, AD 13 for unit heads;
- staff reductions, in excess of the 5% proposed by the Commission.


Also tabled is an increase in the revenue raised via the crisis contribution currently set at 5.5% of salary (article 66 a of the statute):
- significant rate increase;
- extension of pension contribution;
- extension of the bracket of the tax which would affect not only the highest salaries but also the lowest (between level 1 and level 7 whether AST or AD) and application of this tax to allowances, including family allowances. (It was in this context that the Belgian delegation made a more precise proposal, as shown).


Lastly, Member States are asking the Commission to revise allowances downwards with a view to making large savings.

The time for action has come.


Reviewing our status: the Belgian proposal dated August 17 2012 on the matter of the temporary contribution: a real hold-up as regards public service wages and EU pensioners


This proposal amends paragraph 1 of article 66a of the statute whereby this contribution ceases to be a dispensation regarding article 3 para. 1 of regulation 260/68 on Community taxation, and becomes an actual new tax, to be added to the tax on the income of Community personnel laid down in the aforementioned regulation. Is it actually legal to apply two taxes to the same income, levied from the moment when it ceases to be a dispensation associated with the crisis and becomes a tax which places a strict cap on the incomes of Community public servants?


The amendment to this same paragraph is designed to tax both pensioners and future pensioners, since they will have already paid this tax on their actual salary. This amounts to paying the same tax twice: once on the salary, and again on the pension. And it would also apply to our colleagues who are already drawing their pensions! Again, it would be fair to wonder about the legality of this aspect of the Belgian proposal.


This new tax would also apply to allowances such as school allowances, which is certainly not the situation at the present time.  


And this tax would also be levied on the gross salary, from the very first Euro. The first consequence of this would be that staff on the lowest wage, currently exempt, would have to pay. Staff would also be taxed on charges and contributions (pension, RCAM) collected by the EU.


Rates for this new tax would be adjusted by bracket, as is income tax:


Tax brackets in EUR

Legal rate per bracket (%)

Total amount collectable from all the preceding brackets


To (inclusive)




42 000

1 %


42 000.01

(=3 500 /month)

54 000

4 %

420 €/year

54 000.01

(=4 500 /month)

72 000

5 %

900 €/year

72 000.01

(=6 000 /month)

96 000

5.5 %

1 800 €/year

96 000.01

(=8 000 /month)

120 000

6 %

3 120 €/year

120 000.01

(=10000 /month)

180 000

6.5 %

4 560 €/year

Over 180 000

(=15 000 /month)

7 %

8 460 €/year


This proposal is absolutely scandalous, and all the more so coming from a country which benefits from nearly 10 billion € in annual spin-offs thanks to the savings it makes on the European Union institutions and public servants. There’s gratitude!  


The sequel to negotiations on the status review frozen until establishment of the level of the economy in Heading 5 of the financial perspectives (MFF), at the Special Council of Europe in November 2012


According to U4U information, group status negotiations would appear to be ongoing. However, the Commission will have to wait for the October 2012 Special Council of Europe to establish the budgetary framework for the next 7 years. On the basis of the figure proposed for Heading 5, it will then have to decide what position to adopt. The same goes for the personnel.


In any case, if a status revision is to take place, it is unlikely that this will come into effect before July 2013. Watch this space.


Local agents: still nothing


The statutory amendments which preceded the creation of the EEAS were introduced so that the social protection of local agents could be improved, or so that this kind of protection could be provided in countries where nothing was provided. We are forced to admit that nothing has been carried out in this area either by the Commission or by the EEAS.


We accept the fact that the College is currently extremely preoccupied, if not by the future of its members, then at least by the question of how to satisfy the demands of the Council to cut staff salaries and pensions, whether active or retired.


Adaptation of pay and pension contributions: the point about the adaptations implemented in 2011 and 2012


Adaptation 2011 salaries: according to information received, the Court of Justice is to hand down its ruling in 2012 / early 2013. Statement exchanges are now complete and the hearing should be held in October. Yet Member States are doing everything in their power to delay the hearing.


Adaptation of 2012 salaries: according to the latest information received by U4U, this ought to be positive. Member States have already asked the Commission to apply the exception clause yet again. The College does not share this approach and has just adopted a report which should serve as a basis for an adaptation proposal which Member States will reject yet again.


Adaptation of 2011 and 2012 pension contributions: despite the Commission’s request, the Member States have not agreed to approve the amendment proposal regarding the 0.6% pension contribution of July 1, 2011. On this basis, the Commission intends to move an action for failure to act against the Council. For 2012 the contribution could fall again. Once again, the Council is in danger of refusing this adaptation.


European Schools


With the schools budget already squeezed to the utmost (although the Council is planning further restrictions for the future, despite everything) the schools are looking for extra income in order to survive. This has led the Higher Council to decide to tax the management of university application files. Parents of pupils in their last year of school will have to pay 130€ for an application to French, German or Dutch universities, and 260€ for the UK university system, which will be on top of the application fees already charged by these countries.


New REC: much better


An initial balance sheet for the new REC, which has a philosophy supported only by U4U, is extremely positive. Instead of the more than 3,000 appeals with the old REC, this year we have 190 appeals at the evaluation level and 799 appeals at the promotion level. Given the new rules in force, you can bet that the Promotions Committee will look kindly on the majority of the appeals, since it is provided with the equivalent of 5% of promotions to organise the necessary corrections called for by the personnel.


The new REC also seems to be a better tool for managing staff whose merits have been recognised. The management of this new REC is also more economic as regards human resources, and less bureaucratic. This also matters in the current context of the thinning out of human resources in the Commission.


It also seems that nearly 90% of budgetary possibilities for promotion will have been used this year. This percentage is higher since the implementation of the new status. U4U recommends that the remaining 10% be used to reduce the growing personnel disparities following the 2004 reform.


The citizens of Europe want a mutually-supporting Europe


The latest Eurobarometer confirms the findings of previous surveys. The battle against poverty and social exclusion predominantly heads the list of priorities which Europeans want to see the European Parliament defend. And more specifically, with regard to anti-crisis measures, the mention all the other associated subject areas of employment and the fight against joblessness.


Elections to the CLP [Occupational Accident Commission] of the Commission in Brussels: continuation and conclusion?


In the wake of the election held before the summer holidays, on September 11 the Commission Staff Committee in Brussels Suite elected a president. The Committee elected the candidate put forward by the US with support in particular of the Generation 2004 representatives by 14 votes to 12 for the candidate supported by the Near You list (there was one absence).


This election was made in the absence of any agreement regarding a programme. This being the case, it is hard to tell on what basis and with what work programme some organisations supported the proposal made by our US colleagues.


U4U regrets that the candidate presented by the Near You list (made up of R&D and U4U), supported by FFPE and the Conf SFE, did not receive more support, given that she was a female, post 2004, a national from one of the new Member States and that she was in favour of a basic programme which took account of the signal sent by the electors on the question of the growing disparities among the personnel and in opposition to undesirable reforms.


Nevertheless, U4U wishes the new president, supported in particular by the US and Generation 2004, the best of luck. If the new majority on the Brussels Committee will allow it, our representatives will cooperate in a constructive spirit with the new team.


EPSO competitions published in the Official European Union Gazette


- EPSO/AD/244/12 – Croat administrators (AD 5)

- EPSO/AD/245-246/12

- Croat speaking heads of  unit (AD 9/ AD 12) in the field of translation.


Publication: September 13 2012 – Official Gazette C276 A

Final date for on-line registration: October 16 2012


For more information, please consult the EPSO website

EPSO competition training


U4U suggests training given by the National School of Administration (École Nationale d'Administration - ENA, France).

These courses are taught in Brussels and Luxembourg


Preparation for spoken tests (structured interviews) for AD.

Small group courses for candidates invited to come to the assessment centre during October.


Initial training session of the pre-selection tests for the AST level competition

Pre-selection test courses at the end of November, early December


Our courses have a high success rate – register as soon as possible to reserve your place.

Information and registration

Publisher: Georges Vlandas
Editor in chief: B. Thomas
Editing committee J.-P. Soyer, F. Andreone, R. Marquez García,
A. Islamaj, S. Vlandas, A. Hubrecht

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