Newsletter – 2020-07-03

Newsletter editorial – 3 July 2020

Welcome to the 3 July 2020 Generation 2004 Newsletter.

Summer is coming! Except, of course, if you are posted in an EU Delegation in the southern hemisphere! But before you go on a well-deserved break: vacation or staycation, we would like to cover a few issues.

First and definitely foremost we cover the recent opening of a new Commission club called “TAs club! CAs and ASTs not allowed!!!” Yes, we are obviously referring to the ongoing Internal Competition, open only to Temporary Agents. To celebrate the event we have launched a long overdue petition in support of Contract Agents and also sent a note to DG HR raising the frustration of both Contact Agents and Assistants, who were summarily excluded from this competition.

We continue with the follow up on the Chafea drama and then, surprise, surprise we cover the fate of our British colleagues in the aftermath of Brexit. Yes, we feel this saga will never end!

We also cover how, no matter what, the Commission bureaucratic cogs and wheels can’t stay still, and despite the COVID-19 crisis still manages to develop and implement rules for missions in a time where these are for the most of it at a standstill…

To cheer us up we do have some good news coming from DG FISMA, where following Generation 2004’s intervention a too restrictive interpretation of the rules on the summer teleworking  from abroad  was corrected. Thank you DG FISMA!!!

To close this issue, if you are a Commission colleague working in EU Delegations to third countries we invite you to fight for your rights… The EEAS is forcing some colleagues to take annual leave when this shouldn’t be the case.

Finally… Have we mentioned summer is coming? Oh well! Conditions to enjoy it may not be the best this year given the tragic COVID-19 pandemic, but try to enjoy your break as best as possible. To get you started, here is a timeless summertime classic interpreted by Ella and Louis!

Meanwhile, at the Generation 2004 Newsletter headquarters we are also taking off and will be back in September! So long and thank you for all the readings!

Forced leave, a dream… err… a nightmare come true…

Are you a Commission colleague posted in a EU Delegation to a third country and are you coming back to the EU for vacation?  Or perhaps you already came to Europe for a short vacation and got stuck due to COVID-19 related travel bans and as a consequence you were put on forced annual leave? Do you feel discriminated when your treatment is compared to the same situation of Commission staff residing in the EU? Continue reading Forced leave, a dream… err… a nightmare come true…

Latest news on the missions perimeter

Coronavirus or not: a serious bureaucracy will not be deterred by such a thing when it comes to inventing new regulations with doubtful benefits and uncertain costs. Never mind that all but essential missions have been cancelled for the time being and that complementary measures – with unknown costs – are still in the making, mission perimeters of various configurations will now be introduced for all JRC sites outside Brussels. Continue reading Latest news on the missions perimeter

Summer teleworking from abroad at DG FISMA

Following Generation 2004’s constructive note to Mr John BERRIGAN, Director-General of DG FISMA, on a too strict interpretation of the DG HR rule allowing teleworking from your “home country” during the summer period , we are glad to inform that DG FISMA has decided to change its position, something we very much appreciated.

In a message recently circulated to FISMA’s staff, a restriction not intended by the general DG HR policy was introduced: Continue reading Summer teleworking from abroad at DG FISMA

Petition in support of Contract Agents!

The recent announcement that the internal Administrator (AD5) competition is tailored to temporary agents is, for the vast majority of EU staff, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Many Contract Agents (CAs) – the most neglected staff category, Assistants (AST) and Secretarial and Clerk Assistants (AST/SC) fulfil the criteria for the competition; excluding them from this career advancement opportunity is a major loss for the European Commission and a major source of frustration for these categories of staff. Continue reading Petition in support of Contract Agents!

The EEAS under the EP’s microscope

On 13 May 2020 the European Parliament (EP) granted discharge to the EEAS and most other EU institutions for the year of 2018.

Despite granting discharge, the EP didn’t stop short of immediately calling for a stronger protection of EU spending against fraud, corruption, conflict of interest, intentional misuse and organised crime, as well as for EU money to be distributed more fairly and transparently. Continue reading The EEAS under the EP’s microscope

Chafea II: the final countdown?

After 15 years, from Luxembourg to Brussels in 7 months, really?

Remover Roma con Santiago [a Spanish idiom for the greatest possible effort – Ed.] but for what gain? Where is the win-win?

Out of the blue, in the middle of the worldwide Covid-19 health crisis lockdown and despite a reassuring draft work-programme promising growth and modernisation (4 May), our colleagues in the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) received the news that Chafea (Luxembourg, the only executive agency based outside Brussels) is to be disbanded and its programmes reabsorbed by Brussels in the space of 8 months (of which less than 6 are now left). Continue reading Chafea II: the final countdown?

Were British Hats really left at the door?

The result of the June 2016 Brexit referendum was a massive shock for all colleagues in the EU institutions, but it was even more of a shock for British colleagues in terms of both the impact on their country and on their careers.

On the very dark day after the referendum one tiny glimmer of light for British colleagues was the message received from ex-President Juncker offering solidarity, saying that upon joining the institution we had left our “national ‘hats’ at the door”. Continue reading Were British Hats really left at the door?