The competition, exclusively reserved for Directors-General, consisted in a single test: “Who can steal the most promotions to its competitors?” No holds were barred: hyper-fast promotions (with bonus promotions with less than 2 years in a grade), inadvertent “deflagging”, not taking into account the distance from the threshold of officials close to promotion thresholds, exceptional requests to the Promotion Committees, autocratic decisions without taking into account the opinion of heads of units, etc. And R&D is forced to recognize that its forecasts made last June have proved to be accurate: the magic that we denounced worked (unfortunately…) and DG CONNECT wins this competition hands down !
How come some DGs were able to steal promotions? It’s very simple: Promotion Committees must compare, grade by grade, the appeals and propose for promotion to the most deserving colleagues within the quotas allocated to the Committees by DG HR. When one (or more …) DG applies a policy favouring very rapid promotion, it automatically leads to a significant number of appeals from officials with very good reports who have reached or exceeded the average seniority in their grade. These very good colleagues will be de facto selected primarily by the Committees in charge of the comparative examination of appeals … at the expense of good colleagues from DGs that applied the spirit and the letter of the promotion system. And thus, at the end of this appraisal exercise, DG CONNECT should get 12 more promotions than it would have obtained if the quotas allocated to the Promotion Committees had been distributed equitably according to the number of colleagues in the DG. In these top performers, we also find DG ESTAT, ENTR that applied the policy that R&D has so strongly criticised, while at the other end of the scale, DGs which have implemented a fair policy (DGT, AGRI, REGIO) will be robbed, and even doubly robbed: in fact, as if that was not enough, the top performers (CONNECT, ESTAT, ENTR) will receive more promotions next year, because they have more officials with a high seniority in their grade!
We must not believe, however, that all colleagues working for DG CONNECT have won something in this story: the promotion committees AD and AST can only allocate 5 % of the total number of promotions, and a significant number of deserving officials in DG CONNECT, and of course the other DGs, will not get promoted this year because of such actions. Quotas of these committees are expected to decrease by 20 % for the next exercise and R&D asks DG HR not to reduce them: these committees must keep some room for manoeuvre in order to correct this manipulative behaviour and act as a safeguard in the present promotion system. R&D also urges DG HR to exercise its role as coordinator and ensure that dysfunctions in DG CONNECT do not occur in the future.
R&D is not against a certain number of fast promotions: there are officials who, for various reasons, have earned fast promotions. But R&D is against a ridiculous application of the system under which some DGs propose more fast promotions than promotions for officials having reached the average seniority, or, like DG COMP, proposed for promotion a large number of officials that did not have yet the statutory two years seniority in their grade !
As it has done throughout the year, R&D will continue to participate actively in meetings with DGs, in promotion committees, and meetings with DG HR, so that the current promotion system is one in which deserving officials get their rightful promotion: R&D considers that the promotion system in force in the European Parliament is a good example on which the Commission should base itself.
R&D will continue to monitor this issue very carefully and will defend – during the on-going negotiations with DG HR – the interests of all colleagues, including those recruited after the 2004 reform whose professional experience was not recognized, and those who will see their careers blocked at AD12 and AST9 in the 2014 reform. R&D will continue to urge Commissioner Šef?ovi? to ensure that his guarantees as well as guarantees under Annex IB of Staff Regulations are respected. We will, of course, keep you up-to-date on what happens next!