Brussels, 4 November 2020


R&D salutes the Hamiltonian emission of the SURE Bonds and calls the European Commission to support the European Parliament in increasing the next MFF

Dear Commissioner Hahn,

In our five previous communications (link), R&federal,the largest Trade Union representing the staff of the EU Institu­tions, Executive and Decentralised Agencies and other EU Bodies, has called upon the President and the College to go against the grain and put on the table effective proposals to fight the recession.

We once again would like to thank sincerely the hundreds of colleagues who constantly show us their full support and encourage us to tirelessly monitor to what extent the various European Institutions live up to the expectations of millions of citizens in every corner of the Union.

Along these lines, R&federal therefore salutes the Hamiltonian emission of the SURE bonds that will keep hundreds of thousands of people in work via topping up various furlough national schemes.

Looking back at the pre-pandemic world, such a historic step would have been unimaginable both technically and politically.

Once again, though, the EU has cleared the cards by both showing resilience against any prediction and indicating that it is precisely when threatened by an existential threat that it can perform at its best.

By registering at a subscription rate 13 times higher than its demand when launched last week, the social bonds have, in particular, demonstrated three things.

Firstly, they have showed the appeal and the solidity of the European block as a whole, the multi-annual yields offered to investors being a clear sign of this.

Secondly, they have paved the way both for the NextGenerationEU emissions and, possibly, for even more innovative macroeconomic tools to be launched in the future, as our economists taskforce has since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic pledged for.

Lastly, they have demonstrated the incredible adaptability of our staff. That same staff, whom you recently thanked in a series of video messages on the Intranet and showed your appreciation for, and who juggles since months between Teams meetings, home schooling and strict sanitary measures.

We believe this is the right way staff should be addressed and supported.

We would hence like to thank you for that and sincerely trust this approach will be consequential to invest in the European Institutions most hidden gem: its people.

Danger escaped? Not quite…

Regardless of these rays of light, R&federal remains realistic and still believes that – unlike the proclamations of many politicians- that the worst is, unfortunately, yet to come.

The skyrocketing infection rate all around the Europe in these very days and the concrete prospect of an imminent – and generalised – harsh lockdown risk to leave even deeper scarves and wounds that the first lockdown.

In this respect, it is understood that the stall in the negotiations for the adoption of the next MFF is even more inexplicable in the eyes of the citizens, who need immediate answers to their daily issues and are tired of the old Brussels’ political drama.

Since weeks now, the big three (EC, EP and the Council) are, indeed, fighting on a € 39 billion increase across various headings of the next MFF (a rather marginal adjustment over a 7-year period in a Union of 27 member states!) with the serious and concrete risk to enter a provisional exercise.

We are quite sure you and the College appreciate that, the more time it passes, the less effective the approved package risks to be in its countercyclical effects.

We are conscious that with so many involved parties it is rather hard to find a compromise and that no involved stakeholder possess a magic wand.

Yet, we fear that the longer we wait the easier the tipping point will be reached.

It is indeed imperative that the positive change in the EU’s public opinion, which followed the lengthy approval of last summer package, is not thrown away and that we speed up on this credibility capital.

The European Institutions, whose staff works on many different strands (from a vaccine to promoting intra-EU solidarity and coordinated EU responses, from medical equipment procurement to border controls, from helping SMEs to saving the tourism industry), need now to provide immediate economic relief.

That is even more necessary since the unemployment schemes in some Member States do not last much.

This is why, R&federal is:

  • · Calling on you and the College to work tirelessly to find as soon as possible an ambitious outcome to the current Trilogue negotiations in view of a substantially increased budgetary envelope;
  • · Calling on you and the College to keep on investing on the European Institutions staff who has proved to be able to deliver meaningful results in very challenging circumstances;

On behalf of  R&D FEDERAL

Cristiano Sebastiani, R&D Commission, Executive and Decentralised agencies, other EU bodies

Beatrice Postiglione, R&Council

Pasquale Ciuffreda, R&European Parliament

Oren Wolff, R&D EEAS

Dimitrios Katsanidis, R&D CoR and EESC 

1: Hamiltonian – From Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father of the US who fought to increase the Federal power by co pleting the monetary union under George Washington Presidency.