2018 promotion exercise: first analysis


“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is: Never try.” (Homer)

On Monday, 18 June, promotional proposals have been published in Sysper.

Unfortunately, all the malfunctions that we announced in our flyer (link) are being confirmed … R&D can however already provide you with some information to help you prepare your appeal.


R&Ds analysis:

Each exercise brings us its share of surprises engineered by DG HR: this year is a great vintage!


The counterproductive effects of the lottery of allocating quotas between DG, organized by DG HR

Unsurprisingly, the feedback received confirmed R&D criticisms about the consequences of allocating quotas organized by DG HR, which fundamentally calls into question the fairness of this exercise and makes it resemble a lottery.

The refusal by DG HR to take into account the permanence in the grade causes absolutely random career accelerations or delays which are in no way related to the merits.

This year’s losers seem to be SCIC, RTD, ENV and SG, this of course without any connection to the merits of colleagues.

number of additional promotions needed to ensure similar treatment to that of DG”X”










It is striking that DG RTD should have received dozens of additional quotas in order to ensure a (very generous) treatment similar to that received by DG “X”!

R&D does not call into question the merits of DG colleagues who win the lottery and can take advantage of these opportunities for rapid promotion, but the unequal treatment throughout the Commission imposes an impossible burden on superiors who will be called upon to motivate and explain their decisions to colleagues…


The lack of quotas in the AST1 and AST2 grades, or how to demotivate colleagues from the beginning of their careers

Again, based on feedback from colleagues and services, it is clear that quotas in these basic grades were insufficient in a large number of Directorates-General and did not cover the legitimate expectations of colleagues who achieved the average grade permanence and whose merits were confirmed by their evaluation reports.

Yet, DG HR had promised an adjustment of these quotas in grade AST2 in the background note sent to all Directorates-General. This does not seem to have had any effect.


Excess quotas in relation to the number of civil servants with 2-year permanence in their grade

In this same background note, taking for once into account R&D and staff representation recommendations, DG HR finally ensured that “systematically if after having proposed for promotion all eligible officials in a grade, the quota available would require proposing  officials who would not have reached a 2-year permanence as of 1January 2018, this available quota would be eliminated“.

Is it still necessary that these instructions are taken into account in practice….

In particular, it will be necessary to check whether after having proposed all the officials having reached 2 years in a grade, a Director-General might have been obliged to propose colleagues with less than 2 years of permanence on 1 January 2018 …an impossible scenario according to the note from the Director-General of DG HR.

And in such a case, it goes without saying that R&D will ask this Director-General to report its decisions to the Joint Promotion Committees and to Mrs Souka.


The strange case of AD13 quotas at the Legal Service

As colleagues from the Legal Service tell us, the quota allocated by DG HR in grade AD13 seems to have been largely insufficient this year and calculated according to a “mysterious” formula.

It will be up to the AD Joint Promotion Committee to check whether the treatment of this grade in the LS this year has been radically different from what has happened in the other Directorates-General.

Indeed, we must dispel all fears that this might not be a random effect of the quota lottery but a sensitive reaction after the success of our colleagues against the Commission before the European Union Civil Service Tribunal (link).

Worse yet, some people believe that it could even be the first step towards the dismantling of the Legal Service that R&D has already denounced (link) having received assurances that are vague and far from having dispelled all fears.


The credo of DG HR: “Tout va bien Madame la Marquise, je vous le dis tout va très bien!”   

May we remind that R&D and staff representation proposals to correct the undeniable failures of the system, starting by modifying the formula of quota distribution between DGs, have so far been completely ignored?

On this matter, as on all others indeed, the only credo that DG HR repeats on a loop is the now legendary “Tout va bien Madame la Marquise” or “Circulate, there is nothing to see, all rules have been religiously respected!”

In terms of policy and staff management … these refrains will forever be the legacy of the Juncker Commission, even though it was the last chance Commission.


How can R&help you?

If you recognize yourself in one (or more) of the above scenarios, or more generally if you consider that your merits have not been recognized at their fair value: you then have 5 working days to submit an appeal.

Although each case is different, R&D has brought together the most typical reasoning that could help you to successfully submit an appeal before the Joint Promotion Committees.

You will find attached to this message the forms that can serve as a basis for preparing your appeal text.


How to prepare your appeal?

Be brief and concise (2 pages maximum). Keep in mind that the Joint Promotion Committees have access to all your evaluation reports.

Highlight your merits as reflected in your evaluation report, as well as your responsibilities and the languages used in the service.

R&D has also set up a Help Desk – e-mail: OSP-RD@ec.europa.eu

Once again, we would like to thank the services and our colleagues for the appreciation they showed for our communications, for the requests for advice addressed to us and for the constant exchange of information that allows us to refine further our analyses and to better assist colleagues.


R&D representatives will defend the principles of fair and equitable promotions at all stages of the exercise.