Brussels, 2 June 2017



Note to the attention of

Mr Selmayr, Head of President Juncker’s cabinet ,

and Mr Italianer, Secretary-General of the Commission



Subject :    Appointment of a member of Mrs Jourová’s Cabinet to a management post at DG Justice, Freedom and Security (DG JLS)

Ref:            Our notes to your attention of 06 February and 22 March

Your statements under item 7.12 of the minutes of the Heads of Cabinet’s meeting held on 30 January 2017 concerning the appointment of Cabinet members to    management positions


By our above mentioned notes, we wished to thank you for your statements, which aimed at highlighting the unacceptable nature of the “parachuting” by members of cabinets, which R&D has always denounced, and we have asked you not to stop there.

Despite your commitments made at the weekly meetings of Heads of Cabinets of 30 January 2017 in which you confirmed that :

“Shall not be allowed”:

“the appointment of Cabinet members to management positions in the Directorate-General operating under their portfolio and placed under their direct supervision.”

In support to these instructions, you pointed out that:

“These practices are demotivating for the rest of the staff who doesn’t get promoted as fast as the Cabinet members.”

Despite the more than sceptical staff’s reactions

We had told you about the deep scepticism of our colleagues as to the effective scope of your statements: their reactions allowed us to gather a fairly complete collection of proverbs on the credulity topic… “we no longer believe in Santa Claus”, “promises are only valid for those who want to believe it” …

In other words, nobody could believe that things were actually going to change…

And despite the R&D response

In response to this lack confidence from the staff, R & D had indicated that we could not imagine that the Head of President’s Cabinet and the Secretary General could engage in such clear positions which would not be implemented.

Moreover, in our note of 27 March 2017, we reported that staff was not confined to expressing scepticism: many colleagues had told us that the inability to believe in your commitment and the extent of this “parachuting” was confirmed by the fact that “landing posts” were already blocked or released for this purpose, sometimes very expeditiously, in the flow charts.

It should be noted that, to date, TWO APPOINTMENTS of Cabinet members on management posts of the DG operating under the Commissioner’s portfolio have been approved…

In our note of 16 May 2017 ( lien ), we had already asked you to explain how the appointment of a member of the Moscovici’s Cabinet on a management post in DG TAXUD could be compatible with your abovementioned instructions.

As we were waiting for your response , it was now up to a member of Jourová’s Cabinet to be appointed to a management post of DG JUST!

Mrs Jourová is the Commissioner responsible for DG JUST (link), whose services operate on her portfolio and are under her direct supervision.

I should like to remind you once again that in your abovementioned statements you indicated that “the appointment of Cabinet members to management positions in the Directorate-General operating under their portfolio and placed under their direct supervision” were not allowed.

Needless to mention that this decision once again undermined the confidence of staff in the highest authorities of our institution who are engaged in establishing very clear instructions to put an end to practices which they acknowledge to be “demotivating for the rest of the staff who doesn’t get promoted as fast as the Cabinet members” while thereafter everything continues as if nothing had happened.

A demotivating “Double standards” staff policy?

On the one hand, the administration continues to engage in vague promises, without the slightest practical effect, aimed at setting up a “Talent management” policy guaranteeing each staff member a career development equal to his merits and skills.

On the other hand, as you can see, cabinet members are initially promoted at a much higher speed than the rest of the staff and then propelled to management posts also in a DG depending on their Commissioner portfolio.


In view of the above, and in order to answer the more than pertinent questions of our colleagues, we would be grateful if you could inform us as to whether you feel that this appointment would be in any way compatible with your statements.

We would like to remind you once again that for R & D, as in the present case, it was never about doubting the merits of our Cabinet colleagues, but about defending the credibility of our institution and its procedures, as well as taking into account the devastating effects of these practices on the motivation of the rest of the staff as you have so clearly highlighted in your statements.

Cristiano Sebastiani


CC :  M. Oettinger,  membre de la Commission

Mrs Souka, Mr Levasseur, Mr Roques DG HR


Commission staff