While reading the Baroness ASHTON’s Paper on the draft decision establishing the EEAS, one can only notice that there is no mention whatsoever of local agents as a staff category in the new service. Is it an omission made on purpose, or was it an unintentional negligence? Is there another explanation of a more legal nature?
R&D has also noticed this lack since the very beginning. R&D drew the Commission’s attention to this unforgivable negligence since we are taking about 3600 colleagues and 80% of the current work force within EU delegations.
R&D was present when, asked by the European Parliament to cut LA jobs, Baroness ASHTON reminded MEPs that LAs were the backbone of the EU Delegations and there was no intention on her side to change their statute, their number and/or their contracts.
The only change proposed by the Commission at this stage is to set up within the staff regulations a legal basis on which to build a social policy, a pension scheme, an invalidity insurance and an insurance scheme for retired LAs that have been waited for more than 20 years.
So far, the administrative set up of the new service is unclear. Some fear that LAs will split into two different categories: those under the Commission direct authority (budget and project management) and those under the EEAS authority (press, “political” work).
R&D will of course resist this division not only because it will create an extra and unacceptable layer of bureaucracy (both Commission and EEAS will manage separately 135 different particular conditions of employment, a framework regulations, all the procedures applicable to local staff) but also and more importantly because it will create within delegations a huge mess and a source of permanent conflicts between staff.