Brexit

Farewell UK, and thanks for all the stress…

In 1973, when the United Kingdom (UK) was about to join the EU, Yogi Berra, a famous American Baseball star coined the phrase: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Today, just a few days after the UK has effectively left the Union, the same may be said of Brexit.There is still a plethora of Brexit related topics to be solved in the near future and, perhaps, even in years to come. As we said back in 2016, Brexit can last for years and, if on one side this prediction was confirmed – 3.5 years have passed since the June 2016 referendum – on the other hand it looks like this will continue to be the case. Continue reading Farewell UK, and thanks for all the stress…

Brexit news for British staff

There will be no forced resignations (FR) of UK officials who lose their EU citizenship when the UK leaves the EU, or hardly any, according to a decision from the Commission just published.  So thanks to the College for that, and no doubt a great relief for those British colleagues fortunate enough to have a permanent contract.

But what about temporary and contract agents?   Sadly  the Commission only promises  “d’effectuer une analyse au cas par cas afin d’autoriser des exceptions dûment justifiées à l’exigence de nationalité prévue par le régime applicable aux autres agents’- and – ‘ à conclure des contrats qui fassent un usage généreux et transparent de cette possibilité de dérogation”.   Judging by the ‘generosity’ previously shown towards staff on all matters contractual this is hardly reassuring. Continue reading Brexit news for British staff

Brexit and Staff Cuts

The prospects for the EU and the UK reaching an agreement on the financial settlement of Brexit do not look good at the moment. Among many other issues, the issue of the UK contribution to the payment of our pensions is a topic of debate (See copy of Times article– obviously, the article makes no distinction between the extremely generous pensions of staff recruited before the 2004 reform of the Staff Regulations and the rest of the staff). Continue reading Brexit and Staff Cuts

Pensions and Brexit

Generation 2004 regularly alerts the staff with respect to the sustainability of our pension scheme. Commissioner Oettinger seems to agree with us (“He therefore recommended a rigorous [budgetary] approach, particularly as there would be a considerable increase in the cost of EU officials’ pensions in the coming years“, see middle of page 14 in the Minutes of the last meeting of the College in May). Some more reasons to worry according to an article in The Guardian: an “EU diplomat” is quoted as saying “we cannot trade pensions for the MFF” [during the Brexit negotiations]. Let us hope that this diplomat really means what (s)he said. The fact that the Brexit Task Force has so far not bothered informing the staff about what is in preparation with respect to the employees of the institutions, not even those who have British origins, almost a year after the Brexit referendum, is not a good sign. The article in The Guardian emphasises that the EU has promised transparency, as opposed to the UK negotiators who apparently want secrecy. We have some doubts about this transparency pledge by the EU, see top of page 4 of our May newsletter. Continue reading Pensions and Brexit

BREXIT

Join the G2004 discussion!

Some see Brexit as a sign to build the EU – and the EU civil service – stronger and better.

Others see it as yet another opportunity to cut pay and conditions for staff.

One thing is clear, Brexit affects everyone.

Generation 2004 is planning to organise a discussion session on 16 May to take stock of the situation and to identify the most burning issues on which we need to intervene in the coming months.  If you would like to be part of the G2004 Brexit discussion then send an email to: REP PERS OSP GENERATION 2004. We will get back to you with details of how to take part. Continue reading BREXIT

Let’s play chess (with a little bit of Poker)

According to Wikipedia: “Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. Chess is played by millions of people worldwide, both amateurs and professionals.”

   Chess, originated in India in the 3rd century    and ever since evolved into the game we         know today. For some it looks boring, for         some it is brilliant but for the vast majority       it  is simply not very well known or too               complicated for today’s arguably little brain   involvement brought about by the (so                called) “smart phone”. Endless possibilities of combinations, different strategies, turn ups, attacks, defends, loosing or sacrificing pieces (btw – Queen is the most powerful piece), all for one goal, WINNING.

Now, let’s try to transfer a game of chess in a real life, just to make it more clear and understandable. Let’s try to compare this game with what is known as BREXIT.

To do so, we need to know that Brexit started as a poker game but magically transformed into a chess game (and no, it was not done by Harry Potter). Why do we say so? Well, bluffing might be better known in poker however it can also be present in chess. And this was undoubtedly a bluff from the beginning.

However let’s go back to the real life. In BREXIT for instance, bluff just went wrong and the game of chess just started with the worse possible opening. Suddenly, new strategies must be adopted and new moves invented in order to continue the game. Lucky it is still an early stage of the game and both of the players bluffed. So the game is still on and might finally get the “beautiful” one. The public is interested although its great expectations might not be fulfilled at all. Everybody is cheering passionately, almost like in a football stadium in a match between England and Scotland, forgetting it will not last only 90 minutes. Yes, the chess game can sometimes last days, months or even years. And Brexit definitely looks like the last option. Anyway, prepare your drinks and sofa, buy pop corns and try to enjoy in this battle of chess. It is a long way to the end and victory might also turn to a draw as this is possible at this game.