A New HR policy ? 

Brussels, 3 July 2020

A New HR policy ? 

quite the opposite of the” happy few “  approach from the”Junior Professional “programme, of which the internal AD5 competition, which has just been published, constitutes the last step!

In our communication of 16 June ( New HR strategy ) we set out the necessary conditions and prerequisites for the implementation of a real new HR policy that the staff deserves and that our institution absolutely needs.

Many of you have expressed your support to us and we thank you very sincerely.

Faithful to its always constructive approach, R&D will be very happy to contribute to this exercise and to give our administration sources of inspiration through a series of communications entitled “A new HR policy is …“.

A new HR policy is quite the opposite of the “happy few” approach and

therefore of the “Junior Professional” programme

After the internal competitions addressed to cabinet members, the Junior Professional programme, is still placed alongside new “happy few”, … in themselves … more equal than the others …

We noted that our administration, increasingly passionate about an elitist approach, obviously could not be satisfied with the real scandal of parachuting and tenure of cabinet members at the end of each college …, had indulged in this new feat.

In particular, we immediately denounced the unacceptable nature (Junior Professionals Programme: “buddies first!”) of the Junior Professional programme, in particular by highlighting:

  •  the discriminatory nature of the conditions established for the eligibility of candidates, which was a real insult to thousands of colleagues, notably CA, who were improperly excluded from it;
  •  the absence of transparency and gender balance in the initial selection procedure, which enabled the DGs to select the “happy few” from the hundreds of blue book trainees;
  •  the obvious risk of opening the door to favouritism and nepotism…seemingly being the real basic principles of this project, from the start.

We had added that to justify this procedure, it was intolerable that DG HR suddenly discovered and exploited the indisputable limits of EPSO competitions, namely the problems that R&D has denounced for years and that DG HR has always firmly denied.

While it is permissible to caricature the CBTs organized by EPSO by claiming that they are also based on “spinning squares”, it is nonetheless incontestable that these squares spin much slower than the opinions of DG HR.

R&D has always supported with conviction any effort aimed at opening up the possibility for young candidates to continue their experience as trainees by putting their enthusiasm and skills at the disposal of our services, but on condition that this is done with the utmost transparency and the greatest respect for equal treatment with the rest of the staff.

On the contrary, this new “first-class” recruitment channel is actually reserved for a few Blue Book trainees to whom the Commission offered a route of absolute privilege, namely:

  • 2 year as TA AD5 and then, directed towards the last stopover… with
  • internal competitions for appointment as AD5 official…

This is exactly the internal AD 5 competition that has just been published!

R&D shares the anger of colleagues expressed by the messages posted on the intranet (link) as soon as the internal AD5 competition is published and their disappointment with the explanations provided by the administration.

Indeed, the statutory limits to which DG HR refers to justify the exclusion of CA colleagues from this competition, are precisely the same statutory limits from which the “happy few” of the Junior Program have been removed and which will not apply for this internal competition.

This thanks to the discovery concocted at the time by DG HR services, namely the granting of a TA AD5 contract to ALL candidates selected in the context of this program.

This benefit is not granted to other CA colleagues who continue to travel in “low cost” or downright in the hold … and remain subject to the statutory constraints recalled by DG HR.

And the fact that this internal competition is also open to other TA AD5 candidates, or even in higher grades, is not the result of an effort of transparency on the part of the administration, because it would have been simply legally impossible to exclude them.

How to explain that this « first-class » treatment allowing highly facilitated access to AD 5 civil servant posts is not accessible:

–  to the thousands of CA colleagues who already work in services… in a class lower than “low cost”?

–  to our permanent official colleagues who have more than remarkable training and professional experience, who have passed very selective open competitions, not even comparable to the “selection” organized within the framework of this programme and who:

  • · as AST-SC are deprived of any real career development perspective and even less of any chance of becoming an AD;
  •  as AST are eligible for the certification procedure allowing them access to the AD category only after long years of service, after a selection which leaves a very wide margin of appreciation to the hierarchical superiors and after having successfully completed a panoply of exams… whereas the same possibility is now so kindly offered to young trainees after such short seniority within our institution;
  •  why does the Commission not follow the example of other institutions and does not allow AST colleagues access to internal AD competitions?

Since the HR wants “talented young people”, why not look for them among the thousands available in AC, AST, AST-SC, who are already in the house and who have already earned their spurs?

A new talent managemlent policy begins with the abandonment of empty slogans, worthy of a supermarket advertising campaign and with the clear political commitment to end once and for all  any privileged treatment benefiting some happy few”, at the expense of the rest of the staff!

Cristiano Sebastiani,