Brussels, 10 November 2020

The reform of the Junior Professional Programme

“Eppure si muove ” (and yet it moves)

Our Programme 2018-2021 Junior Professionals Programme: “buddies first!”
Our Actions
11/7/2018Junior Programme—Model of complaint
4/7/2018Note from to the Alliance to the attention of Mr OETTINGER Commissioner in charge of Budget and Human Resources
18/6/2018“Junior Programme” aka “buddies first”!
11/6/2018“young – Junior professionals” programme a scandalous approach!
8/3/2017Creativity in the EC recruitment process DG HR breaks all records and… the approach «Happy fews » also for CAs!

Recall of facts

First, let us recall all the communications and other R&initiatives denouncing the unacceptable and heinous nature of this programme, as well as the intolerable discrimination it has created, in particular towards our CA, AST, and AST-SC colleagues ( our communications )

In particular, we denounced that this programme, aka “friends first”, was the triumph of the fait du prince (or princess), and the open door to nepotism and favouritism!

Despite all our warnings, DG HR continued to move forward for two years!

All our criticisms and all our requests have been rejected and almost ridiculed by DG HR with an inquisitive, haughty and contemptuous tone

In particular, by having recourse  to pseudo-legal arguments, the administration claimed that our requests aimed at allowing all colleagues meeting the eligibility conditions to enrol in this programme, without prejudice to the nature of their contract, were outright inadmissible.

In response to these unreasonable DG HR’s proclamations, we refused to recant our claims, we confirmed all our criticisms and our legal analyses.

The changes all of a sudden introduced by DG HR to the JPP

Now, all of a suddenDG HR is proposing a new generation of the programme … recognizing the merits of the criticisms made by R&D, after probably realizing, without a shadow of a doubt, that maintaining the current approach was simply indefensible.

Faithful to its highly selective approach aimed at enhancing and amplifying opinions which go in the desired direction and simply ignore those which do not correspond to its priorities, DG HR has just published a communication announcing these changes, specifying that they aim to respond to requests from staff and their representatives…. which would have been, for once… and after two years and five exercises, finally heard!

In particular, as we have constantly requested, the JPP will henceforth be open to officials and to temporary staff in Categories AST and AST-SC, as well as to ALL fellow contract agents, both for function groups I, II, III than IV.

However, the condition remains of having a university degree and meeting the other selection criteria, in particular the maximum duration of 3 years of professional experience.

Candidates will have to pass the CBTs in order to be shortlisted by the DGs.

This is still an umpteenth pilot exercise and a consultation process will be organized to address, before the launch of the 2021 exercise, all the other aspects that remain unchanged at this stage concerning in particular the length of the professional experience required. , the number of candidates…

And DG HR must also explain how they want to duly compensate colleagues who were ineligible at the time under the old selection criteria and who are now ineligible again because they have exceeded the maximum duration of professional experience!  

Regarding the communication from DG HR ( lien ), we could note, echoing the responses of colleagues, that:

1) we are still waiting for the necessary reforms of the EPSO selection procedures, which are nevertheless the real deep root of the recruitment problems;

2) in the consultation with DG HR, a proposal entitled “Keep the Junior Professionals Programme” was the one that obtained the worst score among colleagues, coming down to -640 votes;

3) DG HR is the big winner of the competition ““making decisions while consultations with staff related to the“ modernization ”of Human Resources” are still ongoing” ;

4) social dialogue in the new DG HR’s style now seems to be a painful chore that they need to get rid of as much as possible: it is better to limit ourselves to a simple communication sent a few hours before the official announcement;

5) we take care of that poor and unfortunate DG HR’s colleagues who are thus entitled to announce exactly the opposite of what they had so proudly indicated so far and, as if that were not painful enough, they must also getting the heated criticism of staff representation about the lack of any real social dialogue;  

6) aware of their sincere embarrassment, we propose to grant these colleagues an allowance for such strenuous work!

7) the candidates’ selection procedure remains absolutely unacceptable and should have been corrected without delay since it lacks all the necessary guarantees of transparency and equitable treatment, and also because of the least parity-based dimension, under which the staff representatives are relegated to the role of simple obser­vers;

8) It is still unacceptable that our colleagues in the Executive Agencies continue to be excluded;

9) these changes will not be enough to stem the criticism relating to access to AD civil servant posts under condi­tions which are not even comparable with those of an open competition and which candidates for these competi­tions, including colleagues excluded from the JPP because of the eligibility criteria with regard in particular to the maximum duration of professional experience, will see their chances further reduced due to the quota of posts allocated to the JPP;

10) despite these changes, this programme risks remaining one of the primary sources of demotivation for many colleagues.

But, in spite of all this…, let us rejoice that our administration finally begins to recognize the merits of our criticisms that, without in any way refusing to recant our claimswe had always confirmed by repeating… “And yet it moves!

And we must recognize that this is a significant change as compared to the “change – a real masquerade” – concocted in the past by the DG HR by “moving” from the “Junior professional” to the “Junior programme” … namely the triumph of “changing everything so that everything stays the same“.

True to our ever-constructive spirit, we remain hopeful that within the framework of the next “social monologue” that DG HR announces in this regardfor the next exercise, it will be possible to correct the remainder of the subsisting critical aspects.

Thus, we remain online, in front of our PCs, awaiting a convocation, in 2021, of course…a few hours before the launch of the next exercise.

Cristiano Sebastiani,