All we are saying… is give AST-SCs a chance!

There is no doubt that AST-SC colleagues are constantly being let down by our institution’s staff policy and this is no longer acceptable!

Enough is enough! AST-SC colleagues have always been treated as “Children of a lesser God”, by our administration, whether in terms of promotions or opportunities for career advancement through internal competitions.

R&D has always been a vocal opponent of this scandalous practice  ( R&D alongside AST/SC colleagues! – Renou­veau & Démocratie (, by putting all its skills and efforts at the service of AST SC colleagues and with the help of leading experts in all fields.

As the FIRST trade union of European public service, we have always used the best practices also of other institu­tions to fight the bad practices of the Commission and reject any unreasonable decision of our administration.

The NON-PROMOTION EXERCISE: a catastrophic three-act saga for AST-SCs! 

First act: “Sorry dear colleague, your performance has been outstanding! We would have proposed you for promo­tion, but there was not a single quota in our DG for your grade”.

Every year, around the month of June, the Administration publishes in SYSPER2 the list of colleagues that are proposed by their Directors-General for a promotion to the higher grade. Unfortunately, very few AST-SC colleagues are on this list!

When most of the AST-SC colleagues meet with their line managers in order to understand why they didn’t get the desired promotion, they always receive a very frustrating reply, confirming the very high quality of their performance without being able to reward them the due to the desperate lack of promotions’ quota (or very limited) in the DG for AST-SCs! And unfortunately for us, this disappointing response is not the typical excuse given often by managers, but absolutely true, be­cause in many DGs the Available quotas are 0 or 1, for all SCs categories together.

Second act: “An appeal is your only option!”

Following the non-proposal for a promotion, the DGs and HR correspondents encouraged the outstanding AST-SC col­leagues who could not even be considered for promotion due to a lack of quota to go on launching an appeal, while them­selves would support the colleagues by sending an exceptional request to the administration in order to increase the SCs’ promotion possibilities.  Too good though to be true…

Third and final (?) act: “Adding insult to injury!!”   The (NON) promotions exercise is concluded at the beginning of November, where the additional list of successful appeals is added to the list of June. For the 2023 the publication of the proposals for promotion in June and the final published list in November included the following results for the entire Commission: 

Proposed for promotion (June 2023)403490
Finally promoted following also the appeals exercise (November 2023)493690

A first visual inspection of this table shows that DG-HR reserved just eleven (11) quotas for the promotion of SC colleagues during the appeals phase. In these circumstances, it is clear that despite all its more than admirable efforts, the Joint Promo­tions Committee has no way of providing a satisfactory response to colleagues’ more than legitimate expectations. And, within this “War of the poor”, out of these 11 quotas, nothing was given to SC4s or to SC3s. Just two SC2 colleagues and 9 SC1s. That is why, even the encouragement to appeal, wasn’t but an additional disappointment to the already extremely frustrated colleagues.

R&D wonders? In the end, is the letter and spirit of article 45 of the Staff Regulation really applied for AST-SCs?

In fact, when an entire DG is not given any quota for a given grade and it is not possible to get quotas down from higher grades, it means that for our AST-SC colleagues, in these grades and in this specific DG, the Article 45 of the Staff Regula­tions is not really applied. And while, DG-HR will always find a way to (try to) convince us that the AST-SC promotions “algorithm” respects the Annex I of the staff regulations, the truth is probably far from that.

Not all algorithms are the same, obviously…

Worse still, every year it becomes clear that some highly visible AD colleagues, “sitting close to the sun” are promoted with much less seniority in their grade compared to the seniority provided for in Annex IB. 

Internal AST-SCs competitions –

NOT THE FOURTH ACT of the story but a real opportunity for our colleagues, which we are going to defend!

However, this file had already got off a very bad start: as soon as the Commission’s new policy on internal competitions was announced, R&D stated that it was incredible that there should be ABSOLUTELY NO provision for the AST-SC!

The administration’s response was that the Staff Regulations did not permit the organisation of such internal competitions. R&D immediately supported the petitionorganised by our colleagues in TAO-AFI, members of the Alliance to which we be­long, asking for internal competitions to be organised for AST-SC colleagues. 

The immediate consequence of this unacceptable approach was, of course that many AST-SC colleagues left the Commis­sion to join other Institutions that were more responsive to the legitimate demands and expectations of our colleagues.

With the aim of countering the administration’s arguments and proving that they had no basis, R&D presented the ‘good practices’ that our R&D’s sections in other institutions had negotiated, namely at the Committee of the Re­gions, European Council, European Parliament, etc…  that had actually organised such internal competitions for AST-SC under the same Staff Regulations.

Better late than never: reason has finally prevailed!

We are pleased to say that we have won a battle here and that our advocacy has tipped the scales, as the administra­tion has finally announced that an internal competition will be held to allow AST-SC colleagues to access the AST career will be published before the end of 2023.

However, R&D deeply regrets to see the departure of highly qualified AST-SC colleagues as a result of the administration’s refusal to accept immediately the legitimate requests to rectify this injustice.


Making big announcements is no longer enough! Action must be taken. And it’s not enough just to act; it’s all about doing the right things.

Thus, finally announcing that these internal competitions will be organised for AST-SCs is not enough.

These internal competitions must finally meet our colleagues’ AST-SC more than legitimate expectations concerning: 

  • – how many posts will be on the reserve list, 
  • – the grades of access,
  • – the frequency of their organisation.

R&D will ensure that all these requirements be duly taken into account in the internal competitions organised for AST-SC.

Enough of a piecemeal strategy! 

R&D calls on the Commission to meet our demands and the expectations of our AST-SC colleagues by offering them real career development, while at the same time repairing the damage caused by delays in their careers for which the Commission alone is responsible;