Brussels, 17 December 2018
Note for the attention of Mr Brunetti
Secretary General of EESC
Subject: Management of harassment cases in the EESC
R&D, leading Union of the European civil service, denounces all cases of harassment in all institutions.
It was with great surprise, not to say a real disappointment, that we have seen your replies to the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee at the hearing on 27 November 2018 on the 2017 discharge during which you represented the EESC.
Having been alerted by officials and agents working in your institution and having followed several cases for some time now, and also having read recent press articles from sources which are well known and reputable at Community level, R&D, leading Union of the European civil service in all institutions, cannot remain a silent witness. As you know, when one of the EU institutions fails to fulfil its obligations, the reputation of all European institutions is tarnished.
As we have said in our note to Ms Ingeborg Graessle, President of the Committee on Budgetary Control (see annex), there is an untenable situation in the EESC.
In addition to the two articles cited in that note, a third one, which appeared in Politico on 11 December 2018 (read), goes even further and provides many details that it would be impossible for you to continue to deny.
While you specify in your written replies to CONT members that there was no formal procedure in 2017, despite the fact that 25 people have put the matter before the network of confidential counsellors, a EESC member had to act on her own so that the reality of the facts and the seriousness of the situation finally begins to be taken into account. Ms Madi Sharma, a British member of the Employers’ Group I, has herself lodged two internal complaints, alerted the European Parliament and referred the cases both to OLAF and to the European Ombudsman.
And yet for years, the many cases involving at least “misconduct” on the part of some members of the EESC were made known to you when you were Director of Human Resources in this institution.
Judgments of the Court on cases dating back to the early 2010s reflected the situation.
You knew that on many occasions colleagues had found themselves in great difficulty and that you, as Director of Human Resources, had to find ad-hoc solutions at your level, for which we would like to thank you.
However, nothing has been done to address the factors lying at the root of these serious problems under the pretext of the impunity of EESC members, with the risk of endangering the well-being and the health of colleagues who are victims of these abuses.
What more is needed? An irreversible act to occur to a colleague?
As the Secretary-General of the Institution, you now have the power to intervene to change things. It is up to you now to act as quickly as possible in the face of the gravity and the urgency of the situation.
Not only an end must be put to the impunity of members working in your institution with officials and agents subject to the Staff Regulations and the CEOS, but reparation actions must be undertaken for those who have suffered real prejudices, without waiting for years for sanctions to be imposed on those responsible.
It goes without saying that we remain at your disposal to give you all the support necessary to resolve as quickly as possible a situation that has persisted and endangers a certain number of colleagues.
Mr L. Jahier, President of the EESC
Ms E. O’Reilly, European Ombudsman
Ms I. Graessle, President of the Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament
Staff of the EU institutions