Brussels, 23 March 2023

Note for the attention of Ms Gertrud INGESTAD,

Director General DG HR

Subject: YOUR decision to set up a Listening Chamber (“Chambre d’écoute”) at the PMO

It is only when reading your communication to PMO staff on 28 February, that we were informed of YOUR decision to set up a Listening Chamber (“Chambre d’écoute”) in order  to provide clarity on the allegations raised by the unions and the staff committee

On the one hand, we note that through this somewhat ‘pilatesque’ attitude, DG HR is disguising itself as a ‘mere clerk’, simply taking note of the criticisms of staff representation.

This attitude is all the more unacceptable as DG HR is fully aware of the extent of the problems concerning the management of this office, being also responsible for ensuring its proper functioning, by also chairing its management committee.

On the other hand, we invite everyone not to continue to pretend that this Listening Chamber (“Chambre d’écoute”) would respond to a request made in this sense by the staff representation.

In this respect, we would like to remind you that in its Communication on 10 February to the PMO staff, the Common Front had stressed that the setting up of a simple Chambre d’écoute could, at most, satisfy the wish of the Director of the PMO, but could in no way be an adequate response, given the seriousness of the problems affecting the functioning of this office:

“The urgent need for action

With the current PMO management clearly unable to grasp the extent of the difficulties, let alone remedy them, we stressed the need to bring in an independent external actor who could provide a rigorous analysis of the situation and reassure colleagues that any information passed on would be protected.

Contrary to what the Director of the PMO seems to believe, this intervention cannot in any way be limited to a simple chambre d’écoute organised by the PMO…according to his personal vision of dialogue ….

Taking into account the best practices of application in situations of this type and the opinions of the best experts in the field, this intervention should take the form of an independent (“external”) analysis of the work situation in each PMO unit, including a study of the relevant indicators (staff turnover, sick leaves, resignation, etc.), accompanied by listening to the staff to enable them to speak out, in order to assess the psychosocial risks within each unit, their origins as well as their consequences on the health of the staff and the organisation (e.g. the impact on the health of the staff). ), accompanied by listening to staff to enable them to speak out, in order to assess the psychosocial risks within each unit, their origins as well as their consequences on the health of staff and the organisation (working conditions, relations within the service, recognition, etc.).

Subsequently, it will be necessary to draw the necessary consequences”.

This being the case, regarding the established Listening Chamber (“Chambre d’écoute”), we ask that:

1) the deadline for colleagues to request to be added to the list should be extended so that it is possible to make such a request within the two months foreseen for the activity of the Listening Chamber (“Chambre d’écoute”)  and that, if necessary, its work can be extended in order to hear all the colleagues who would have made the request;

2) colleagues can be accompanied by a staff representative or a colleague they trust when they appear before the Listening Chamber (“Chambre d’écoute”) ; 

3) colleagues who have left the PMO, as well as staff representatives who have collected complaints from PMO staff or any other useful and relevant information, may request and be heard in their turn

The Common Front

C. Sebastiani / R.Trujillo, Alliance

E. Lieber, Generation 2004

N. Mavraganis, USF

G. Vlandas / H. Conefrey, RS- U4U/USHU


Mr D. Müller, Head of the Cabinet Hahn

Ms S. Bikar, Member of the Cabinet Hahn

Mr Ch. Roques, Deputy Director General DG HR

Mr A. Gemberg-Wiesike, Director of PMO

Ms D. Enjolras and J. Marteau, Members of the listening room

Mr L. Duluc, Head of Sector HR. F.4

PMO staff