Newsletter #33 – March 2019

Operation “Quick Fix”

You might have heard already of the launch of the new OIB service “Quick Fix”. It is supposed to be a fast-track system of smaller building repairs, that often pass unnoticed or simply do not get reported to the 55555. Generation 2004 appreciates very much the new OIB approach and hopes that colleagues will use it. Please share with us your experience. Continue reading Operation “Quick Fix”

Did you know? – Presidency of the Council of the EU

As you probably know, the presidency of the Council rotates among the EU members states every 6 months. However the member states are working together in so called »trio« over the period of 18 months in order to be able to set longer term goals. Based on that then each state sets its more detailed 6-month programme.  This system was introduced back in 2009 by Lisbon treaty. Continue reading Did you know? – Presidency of the Council of the EU

Climate Change, 15 of March 2019

Greta Thunberg during a visit to Brussels

When Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish girl first appeared in front of delegates to the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, not many people knew her. She spoke on behalf of Climate Justice Now. In her three and a half minute speech, she spoke about climate change and absolutely nailed it. She attended the conference in the capacity of being the child who started the movement of school strikes over climate change. Since then she became a well-respected figure seen everywhere around Europe where those Friday strikes take place and was even invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos this year where she dared to tell political and business leaders: “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.” Continue reading Climate Change, 15 of March 2019

CO2 emissions from different transport modes

In a previous issue of our newsletter, we discussed the feasibility of travelling from Brussels to main cities in the EU by train and concluded that Brussels was quite central within the EU railway network and will remain so even after Brexit moves the centre of gravity of the EU eastward. An interesting article was recently published in the Belgian press which confirms our analysis and gives indications with regard to the CO2 emissions associated with different transport modes. Despite underestimating the CO2 emissions of air travel (it looks like the figures quoted in the article are based on the assumption that airplanes fly with 100% occupancy rates, which is not always the case), the article confirms that travelling by train is by far the most efficient transport mode.

Staff representation reform – state of (no) play…

After several months of complete silence, DG HR has finally unveiled its revised proposal for a reform of Staff Representation. The document, which was circulated shortly before Christmas and formally presented on January 17, before being discussed with unions, foresees only one single staff committee, located in Brussels composed of members directly and simultaneously elected in all Commission sites and delegations. Continue reading Staff representation reform – state of (no) play…

DG RTD reorganization presented at the LSC Brussels

DG RTD Reorganisation and delegation of projects to Agencies discussed at the Local Staff Committee

There is a reorganisation ongoing in DG RTD. Its Director General, Mr Jean-Eric Paquet, is determined to make it more flexible, agile and efficient, closer to the Executive Agencies and ready for the European Innovation Council, as explained to members of the Local Staff Committee on 5th February. Continue reading DG RTD reorganization presented at the LSC Brussels

Betrayal and humiliation or the advantage of having friends in high places

It is a truth universally acknowledged that cabinet colleagues at the end of the Commission term must be in want of a parachute. Therefore, despite some promises made 5 years ago after the last paratrooper airborne insertion exercise that there would be future limits on “parachutage”, it seems nothing has really changed. Continue reading Betrayal and humiliation or the advantage of having friends in high places

Sick Leave before or after annual leave

Imagine you are off for a month over summer… You are having the holiday of a lifetime but it is coming to an end. You really cannot face going back to the office just yet, but you have no more annual leave. Isn’t it tempting to change your flight and call in sick for a couple of days? DG HR thinks you might be tempted and created a specific rule requiring a medical certificate for any sick leave before or after annual leave. Continue reading Sick Leave before or after annual leave