The Common Front – Note for the attention of Mr. Johannes Hahn
Commissioner for Budget and Administration, and further
Vice-Presidents and Commissioners responsible for EAs
Subject: Request for your intervention for equal treatment of the staff of the executive agencies
We ask for your intervention to ensure that the staff of the executive agencies are no longer treated as second-class staff.
The staff of the European Commission’s executive agencies have suffered a deterioration in their working conditions over the years. Agencies are facing a reduction in the number of jobs, while the budgets they are responsible for are ever increasing. The workforce as a whole
(+/- 3500 staff) has already had the opportunity to express its dissatisfaction with the precariousness of their status, in particular the limited possibilities for career development and mobility as well as the unfavourable salary conditions compared to colleagues working in the central services.
Although the efforts made in the framework of the social dialogue have made it possible to take steps in the right direction, much remains to be done and your political impetus is essential.
As an example, the staff of the agencies operating in the Covent Garden buildings are confronted with the problem of the canteen not reopening. Closed since the COVID crisis, it is essential for the quality of life at work of colleagues who are returning to the buildings in large numbers, albeit because of the sharp rise in energy prices. It is equally important for the proper functioning of the agencies’ activities, enabling to host in the best conditions the numerous experts who come to carry out their appraisal duties.
We ask for your intervention to put an end to the saga of the “relocation of the executive agencies” to the North Light building set up by the Director of the OIB!
Indeed, staff are also extremely concerned about the plan to forcefully move from Covent Garden to the North Light building near the North Station.
As the Directors of the Executive Agencies concerned by the relocation had pointed out, the solution envisaged was not suitable for many reasons, as it did not meet the needs of the Agencies and there was a clear risk of disrupting their operations at a crucial stage of their mandate.
Similarly, they had pointed to the undeniable security problems related to the new location proposed, the lack of adequate access to public transport and the lack of adequate catering facilities in the proposed new building.
In the framework of the social dialogue, the directors of these same agencies had proposed an ambitious alternative plan in terms of space reduction, asking to remain in the Covent Garden premises. The staff committees, the trade unions and the Directorates-General concerned supported this proposal at the time.
In this respect, a petition was signed by more than two thirds of the staff asking the OIB and the Commission to consider this proposal.
The OIB does not listen, does not take seriously the arguments and figures put forward, ridicules the objections raised, imposes its decisions and forces its way through, claiming to have the Commission’s endorsement…and even changes its plans along the way…always without the slightest consultation!
During a meeting on 10 November between the OIB and DG HR and DGs RTD and SANTE in the presence of the directors of the executive agencies, the OIB suddenly announced that ALL executive agencies will have to leave the Covent Garden buildings (COV2 and COVE) which will be closed for renewal and will have to move from summer 2023 onwards to the North Light building at the North Station – including those which were not part of the previous scenarios.
Ensuring the safety of our colleagues is not an option but an obligation of our institution!
This new decision adds to the fears that have been expressed and gives rise to deep concern on the part of the staff, not only about their future working conditions, but also about the climate of insecurity in the neighbourhood.
A year ago, the three mayors of the North Zone (Schaerbeek, Saint-Josse and Evere) wrote to the Interior Minister to inform her that the area had gone out of control and threatened to “requisition the federal police if the federal government did not provide more resources to secure the area” and “close certain entrances to the North
Ever since, the situation has continued to worsen due to the murder of a police officer in Schaerbeek on 11 November.
As trade union organisations and staff committee representatives, we oppose the forced relocation of executive agency staff to the North Station and call for the reopening of the Covent Garden canteen as soon as possible.
Given the sensitiveness of these issues and their impact on the working and living conditions of staff, it is important to pursue social dialogue in a transparent manner with the services concerned in order to find alternative solutions to these urgent issues. We value the support that has already been given to the parent DGs and ask for your support in this process in order to address the difficulties faced by the staff of the executive agencies, in the general interest of our Institution and to give concrete application to the setting up of a real “culture of trust”.
|C. Sebastiani / R.Trujillo
|G. Vlandas / H. Conefrey
|Generation 2004 (signed)
|RS- U4U/USHU (signed)
Ms. M. VESTAGER, Executive Vice-President – Europe fit for the Digital Age, and Commissioner for Competition
Mr. F. TIMMERMANS, Executive Vice-President – European Green Deal, and Commissioner for Climate Action Policy
Ms. M. GABRIEL, Commissioner – Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Ms. E. FERREIRA, Commissioner – Cohesion and Reforms
Ms. S. KYRIAKIDES, Commissioner – Health and Food Safety
Ms. K. SIMSON, Commissioner – Energy
Ms. Y. JOHANSSON, Commissioner – Home Affairs
Ms. A. VALEAN, Commissioner – Transport
Mr. T. BRETON, Commissioner – Internal Market
Mr. V. SINKEVICIUS, Commissioner – Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
Ms. G. INGESTAD, Director-General – Human Resources and Security
Mr. M. BECQUET, Director of Office / Head of Department – Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels
Mr. R. CARLINI, Director – Directorate of EACEA
Ms. L. MOREAU, Director – Directorate of ERCEA
Mr. J-D. MALO, Director – Directorate of EISMEA
Ms. M. ZANCHI, Director – Directorate of HaDEA
Mr. M. TACHELET, Director – Directorate of REA
Mr. D. BECKERS, Director – Directorate of CINEA
Parent DGs and Staff of the agencies