It is my great pleasure to announce that following the election of a new board for Generation 2004, Łukasz Wardyn has been elected chairman of the organisation and Eva Lieber vice-chair. The other members of the new board are: Mathieu Fichter, Ibolya Mile, Mira Nesheva, Lia Potec, Ondra Pravda, Fabrício Santos and Claus Schultze. I wish the new board and its new chair/vice-chair all the best for their mandate.
While I will remain active in the organisation, I believe it is for me a good time to look back and remember the first days of Generation 2004.
I served as vice-chair of the organisation for the first 5 years of its existence and then as the chairman since 2018. In our previous newsletter we told you of the sad news of Fernando Sanchez Amillategui’s passing last April, following a long disease. Fernando was one of Generation 2004’s founding members and initial driving force. With him, everything started for Generation 2004 when Commissioner Šefčovič, then Commissioner in charge of Human Resources, announced a re-opening of the Staff Regulations in 2011. Those of us who had been recruited after 2004 had more or less come to terms with the reform. However, as we were slowly accepting the unfair treatment that had been imposed on us, DG HR embarked on yet another reform and Fernando thought this was not justified and that the Commissioner had been misled by DG HR. As a response, him and a group of likeminded colleagues decided to launch a petition and then ask for an appointment with the Commissioner to explain the situation to him.
Many of you signed this petition. I have removed the names for confidentiality, but we got more than 600 signatures when our objective had been 100.
The success of this petition made us realise that we were onto something and that we had to do more. We created Generation 2004 in 2012, the same year we ran for the staff elections in Brussels, and got 20% of the votes.
Unfortunately, it turned out that Commissioner Šefčovič was not on our side and DG HR got the upper hand. Worse, the institutions carried on with their policy to sacrifice the many in order to protect the “acquired rights” of the few who had been recruited at the right time. As a result, we now have a growing army of Contract Agent colleagues who are treated as second-class employees, pension rights that are utterly unfair and the “camel back” career structure is still there.
We need to keep fighting. Some worrisome noises come from the Member States that they want to open the Staff Regulations again. With your support, we will make sure the interest of the many, not the few, are better defended this time around!
Pascal Le Grand
Outgoing Chair of Generation 2004