Newsletter #34 – April 2019

A beautiful mind – a beautiful heart – a beautiful soul

Fernando Sanchez Amillategui

25.08.1962 – 30.03.2019

Fernando Sanchez Amillategui – the inspirational founder of Generation 2004 – passed away peacefully in the early hours of last Saturday 30 March.

Fernando, a Spaniard, joined the Commission in 2004 and spent his entire career in the JRC.

Whilst his work in the JRC has been described as exemplary by his hierarchy and colleagues alike, Fernando took also another courageous initiative which has touched the lives of many and indelibly marked the “staff representation” in the European institutions, most notably the Commission.

Indeed, Fernando was the brains and soul behind what started as a tiny group of colleagues, meeting sporadically in various pubs and cafes in the European quarter, and which was eventually to become Generation 2004. Continue reading A beautiful mind – a beautiful heart – a beautiful soul

Land Art Association – An EU minded forest-planting NGO

Photo by Ildiko Nagyalmos

The aim is to do afforestation projects with a twist, wherever the size of the area permits it, they are going to plant giant forest pictures (Nazca line style) displayed by the use of different tree species. This spring we have already planted a thousand sessile oak trees  in a project nicknamed ‘The Forest of Family and Friends’ where the bulk of the donations were offered to create a living and everlasting memento of life’s big events (Birth of a child, marriage, retirement, birthday etc).

Our forests are being planted not in far flung places but in the EU. The exact location of each future forest is displayed on Google maps in the project’s description. We actively encourage our donors to visit the forests they helped to create. Continue reading Land Art Association – An EU minded forest-planting NGO

On (mis)managing recruitment of European Schools teachers

Let us not kid ourselves. It is a widely known fact that the reforms of 2004 and 2014, and the lowering of working conditions for EU staff, drastically reduced the attractiveness of the European Civil Service.

However, working conditions are not the only attractiveness factor. Another important aspect of the offering is the European Schools system. This is indeed a valuable card in the effort to improve attractiveness of the European Civil Service. Its proper management is therefore a must to make sure its functioning is as good as possible so that it is an effective tool in attracting new colleagues. Continue reading On (mis)managing recruitment of European Schools teachers

Commissioner Oettinger on taxation of EU Officials

Last month, in her reply to President Emanuel Macron’s address Pour une Renaissance européenne (also in English at the site), CDU’s leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK) mentioned the need to end anachronisms and called for taxation of EU officials… This prompted an immediate reaction from Commissioner Oettinger who came out in the defence of staff and reminded Mrs. AKK that EU officials DO PAY taxes and, on top of it, they also pay a Special Solidarity Levy of 6 to 7%. Continue reading Commissioner Oettinger on taxation of EU Officials

Generation 2004 deals with harassment

Harassment is a complex matter. What one person considers as proper behavior, another may perceive to be harassment. In many cases, the lines are not sharply defined. Psychological harassment can take various forms, such as: degrading comments often in public, offensive behavior, refuse to communicate or threatening remarks. So, how can we judge if a situation in the EU workplace is harassment? According to the Staff Regulations, Article 12a: „Psychological harassment always involves persistent and repetitive actions; targeting one person in particular, serious impact on the victim in terms of physical and mental health.” Continue reading Generation 2004 deals with harassment

On brutality

Open letter to Mr M. Selmayr, Secretary-General of the European Commission

Dear Mr Selmayr,

Some two weeks ago, the fate of a colleague who recently passed away unfortunately landed in the press, casting a scary shadow on the European Commission as a working place.

We take the opportunity of this message to first publicly express our sympathy to our deceased colleague’s closest colleagues, friends and family, and our deep regret that the worrisome elements that have been reported may have happened. Continue reading On brutality

Article 90 complaint on Internal competitions

Following our advice and using the template for the Art. 90 request that Generation 2004 provided, many colleagues have made a request to DG HR to be admitted to one of the ongoing internal competitions. Since those requests were answered by the very same DG HR directorate, which had concocted these internal competitions in the first place, it is not surprising that the request was rejected.

A preliminary analysis by Generation 2004 indicates, however, that the reasons put forward by DG HR do not hold enough water. Generation 2004 is therefore preparing the launch of an Art. 90 complaint against the eligibility criteria and, at a later stage, either involve the Ombudsman or go to court if necessary. Continue reading Article 90 complaint on Internal competitions

The promotion exercice of 2019 is on!

DG HR has just announced the start of the 2019 promotions exercise.

The annual promotion decisions are taken by the Appointing Authority (AIPN), on the basis of 1) proposals by each DG; 2) recommendations by a Joint Promotion Committee (JPC).

DGs and JPCs must determine who deserves a promotion on the basis of a comparison of merits. All officials take part in the appraisal exercise. But only those who are eligible for promotion, i.e. have been in the grade for at least 2 years take part in the promotion exercise.

The comparison of merits on which the promotion procedure is based takes into account:

  • the appraisal reports since the last promotion or, failing that, since recruitment
  • the use of languages in the execution of duties

the level of responsibilities exercised (to be taken into consideration on a systematic basis alongside the two other elements and not just “where applicable”, as stated in the 2004 version of Article 45)..

The promotion exercise step by step

Generation 2004 representatives will be present at dialogues with DGs before promotion proposals are published in June. Equally or maybe even more important Generation 2004 is appointing colleagues for both the AD and AST promotion committees. These colleagues will look carefully after every appeal which is submitted by staff members. Please contact us if you need help.

As usual, the Contract Agents reclassification exercise will start a few weeks later but we will also participate in it. We will let you know when it comes, stay tuned!