A Commission which must commit itself to defend staff with utmost determination

Wednesday, June 29, adopting its proposal of financial framework for 2014-2020, the European Commission also adopted and communicated to staff a first comprehensive proposal for profound changes of the Staff Regulation, although it had just announced to the OSP(s) some simple “guidelines” for minimal changes.

On 30 June President Barroso and Vice President Šef?ovi? had received all OSP(s) and representatives of former civil servants for presenting to them the proposals of the College.

The President affirmed that the College’s proposal on the financial framework 2014-2020 was “ambitious and realistic” as it would allow to invest in important policies. The President also pointed out his will to show the solidarity of the European civil service with the population of the Member States. Therefore, he proposes a reduction of staff and changes of Staff Regulations. (http://myintracomm.ec.europa.eu/net/Reform/En/Pages/index.aspx)

All OSP(s) challenge this approach:

The European civil service has already shown solidarity in 2004 and its current Staff Regulations are “adapted” to the 21st century. ”

If savings are to be made, other measures concerning the organisation of the Institutions and services would be more pertinent for achieving this goal.

The OSP(s) have unanimously emphasised the dangers behind these proposals, including the ones resulting from a simple opening of all aspects of the Staff Regulations, thus allowing the Council to plunge into it and carve up at ease.

The OSP(s) have unanimously called on the President and the Vice President to confirm three guarantees:

1) The Commission must confirm that the dialogue starting in early July and continuing in September will be a real negotiation and that all elements of the proposal may be questioned.

2) The Commission must commit itself and guarantee that, once a proposal has been sent to the Council and the European Parliament, it will not accept any changes without dialogue with the OSPs and will withdraw it, if the Council would try to distort it.

3) The Commission must commit itself to defend until the end of the negotiation the unity of the Staff Regulations, the attractiveness of our European civil service including its working conditions, the careers, salaries and pensions, which it supposedly confirmed to preserve through this proposal.

These elements are essential and are a prerequisite for beginning a real social dialogue. Otherwise, a major social conflict could not be avoided in our Institution and there is no doubt that it will spread to all other Institutions and bodies of the Commission.