Brussels, 22 February 2024


 Dear colleagues at PMO,

Many of you have told us about your difficulties, we have been very sensitive to your requests for help and we would like to thank you once again for your confidence.

On the occasion of the appointment of the new Director, we feel it is important to report to you on the actions taken in response to your calls for help.

All the staff representatives, more than ever united in the Common Front, were there to assist you!


We have guaranteed your right to speak, with all the necessary precautions.

We worked to ensure that you were able to express your concerns and worries in the absence of any pressure exerted or simply perceived by management. We were at your side to provide you with personal and legal assistance, respecting the strictest rules of confidentiality when dealing with the questions and complaints you addressed to us during this period.

We have referred the matter to DG HR and Commissioner Hahn

Following your many worrying alarm signals, it was our duty to draw the attention of DG HR and Commissioner Hahn to the need and urgency of adopting, without delay, all the necessary measures.

We have requested that DG HR and the PMO Board play their role to the full by ensuring effective governance of the Offices, urgently tackling the PMO’s management and resource problems so that the situation is not left solely in the hands of the Director without due consideration of the consequences for working conditions and staff health.

To this end, thanks to the insistence of staff representatives on the PMO Board, colleagues’ complaints have been addressed at meetings and a fixed item has been included in the agendas of Board meetings relating to staff issues.

We reiterated that it was up to DG HR, as the guarantor of the smooth running of the Offices and the protection of the health and well-being of our staff, to consider any measures that would protect PMO colleagues, thereby ensuring the effective and independent application of the procedures in force.

We succeeded in getting an urgent meeting chaired by the Deputy Director General of DG HR organised to address these problems in the presence of all the players concerned. 

On this occasion, it was absolutely astonishing to see the extent to which both the Director of PMO and his unit heads, who spoke at the meeting, were able to deny the existence of the slightest difficulty, the slightest concern, the slightest climate of fear…

We pointed out that all this was all the more serious and worrying with a middle management team that was almost completely renewed after the Director’s arrival and which showed itself to be absolutely incapable of any effort at moderation, by constantly playing the role of a mere sounding board for the Director’s wishes.

We confirmed that this type of management was all the more unacceptable in that it was imposed on colleagues on contract with a precarious status and limited possibilities for mobility.

We have defended your right to be heard and respected by putting an end to this dialogue of the deaf!

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

We emphasised that,taking into account best practice in situations of this type and the opinions of the best experts in the field, this intervention should enable an independent analysis of the work situation in each PMO unit, including a study of the appropriate indicators (staff turnover, sick leave, resignations, etc.), 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 for the health of staff and the organisation.

In response to our request, we took note of DG HR’s decision to set up a listening room in order to “bring full clarity to the issues alleged by the trade unions and the Staff Committee“.

In this respect, we have asked that all guarantees be put in place to ensure that any PMO colleague who so requests can give his or her testimony in complete confidence when heard by the listening room.

We also asked that the initial deadline for hearing colleagues before the listening room be extended to allow all colleagues who so requested to be heard, and that these colleagues be able to be accompanied by a staff representative or a colleague they trust, as well as colleagues who have left the PMO.

In addition, we have asked that staff representatives who have received complaints from PMO staff or any other useful and relevant information and who so request, be given the opportunity to be interviewed.

We were delighted that all our requests were accepted.

Throughout the work of the Listening Room, we answered your questions and allayed your fears. We were reassured by the positive assessment of the quality of the welcome you received during your hearings with the listening room.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the colleagues who were responsible for setting up the listening room.

On 31 January, we took note of the Commission’s decision to appoint the former Director of PMO to the post of Principal Adviser in DG CONNECT and in the interests of the service, to transfer Christian Levasseur to this post with an effective date to be decided at a later date.

We wish our two colleagues every success in their new roles.

WHAT REMAINS TO BE DONE: we are aware that much remains to be done! 

We are confident that, with the greatest respect for roles, it will be possible to establish a much calmer and more effective dialogue with the new Director of the PMO.

All the more so as the PMO’s problems will by no means be resolved by simply replacing the Director.

Much remains to be done, and we are committed to defending your rights and legitimate expectations by continuing to work as a united front for staff representation.

We are committed to ensuring that your work is recognised and valued.

It is vital to put an end to derogatory attitudes by paying tribute to your dedication and the quality of your work because, often under difficult conditions, you continue to provide a fundamental service to the institutions which deserves to be highlighted, and whose quality cannot be constantly called into question by a lack of resources and by ill-considered reorganisations.

We are committed to improving your working conditions by ensuring that the PMO is provided with the necessary resources.

Undeniably, the problems encountered in PMO management often stem from the hasty introduction of theoretical management concepts which, unfortunately, do not seem to have been translated and validated in the specific organisational environment of PMO management.

No detailed analysis seems to have been carried out prior to any changes in the management of the PMO, the responsibilities of its Units and its staff, which has not enabled all aspects of the future organisation to be marked out and cemented.

All the changes that have been implemented by imposing them on PMO colleagues seem to have been adopted in haste in application of abstract principles, theoretical concepts and above all the supposed infinite flexibility and adaptability of the PMO’s human resources.

However, in terms of human resources, it is indisputable that the resources made available to the PMO and the shortage of staff in certain sectors make achieving the objectives a mission impossible.

At a time when the number of rights beneficiaries and members of the JSIS continues to grow, the successive staff cuts made under the management of recent Directors have led to an inordinate increase in the per capita workload of our colleagues, overlooking the systemic turnover that has led to the loss of expertise linked to the complex nature of the PMO’s tasks.

The solution can in no way be the inordinate ambition of the PMO’s management, which is  using a paradoxical injunction to demonstrate at all costs that they are capable of “always doing more with always less” in order to be cherished by the political authorities, without worrying about the consequences for the health of our colleagues, who are duly intimidated and frightened in order to prevent them from complaining.

This truly disgraceful approach has even gone so far as to suggest that colleagues who are not in perfect health and efficiency would not be well placed to meet the challenges of working at the PMO!

We undertake to request an ex-post risk analysis followed by an action plan.

Indeed, as soon as the reorganisation of the PMO was announced, without any real dialogue, we asked for a rigorous and independent risk analysis for each PMO unit.

We will reiterate our request for a qualitative and quantitative ex-post risk analysis to be carried out globally and within each PMO unit, in accordance with current legislation.

We are committed to demanding better career prospects.

Similarly, recognition of the work accomplished also involves valuing duties, which is why it is important that the function group assigned to contract staff corresponds to the tasks performed and the level of responsibilities.

It is therefore important to continue the screening exercise, effectively but also fairly, avoiding any perception that the choices have already been decided in advance by the “fait du prince”.

Similarly, reclassification quotas need to be increased to recognise your merits.

Finally, we need to organise mobility between the Offices, and also towards the Executive Agencies to offer you career prospects and to enable you, if you so wish, to take up new challenges. This is all the more important given that, following the Picard ruling, there will no longer be any penalty in terms of your pension rights in the event of mobility.

C. Sebastiani / R.TrujilloT. WeberN. MavraganisG. Vlandas / H. Conefrey
AllianceGeneration 2004 USFRS- U4U/USHU