Temporary Agents

Catch-22: Do as I say, not as I do

Here is a good example for a Catch-22 situationStaff on fixed-term contracts excluded from potential roles due to their fixed-term contracts. 

Generation 2004 again challenges the unequal treatment of staff, this time coming from what would ideally be the most unlikely of sources, the Local Staff Committee (LSC) in Brussels, which refused to interview those candidates who had ‘only a year left’ before hitting the arbitrary 7-year rule for their recent vacant post since it would be a ‘waste of time’. It is most unfortunate that an LSC would choose not to lead by example, choose not to seize this opportunity to take action and fulfil their declared responsibility to ‘represent the interests of the staff ’. But what can we expect from from Union for Unity (U4U) and Alliance, a coalition representing the interests of the already-relatively-well-looked-after?  [1]

Continue reading Catch-22: Do as I say, not as I do

Contract Agents’ and Assistants’ access to internal competitions: Reply by Director-General Ingestad

In early July, following the announcement of an internal Administrator (AD5) competition tailored only to temporary agents, Generation 2004 addressed a note on Contract Agents’ and Assistants’ access to internal competitions to the Director-General of DG HR, Gertrud Ingestad.

At the same time, we also launched a petition in support of contract agents [1]. Continue reading Contract Agents’ and Assistants’ access to internal competitions: Reply by Director-General Ingestad

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!

Social dialogue on Temporary Agents

The Decision on Temporary Agents (TAs) has been reported to the next Commission.

Last May, Director of HR.B ‘Talent Management & Diversity’, C. LEVASSEUR presented and hastily pressed for approval of the draft decision on TAs at the European Commission (EC), a proposal setting out new selection procedures and working conditions. The initial draft decision was not a mere update of the current GIPs for the purposes of the service, but a radical change on our institution’s HR policy. Continue reading Social dialogue on Temporary Agents

7-year rule for non-permanent staff – What does it imply?

Generation 2004 has clarified the new provisions following the Social Dialogue with HR and trade unions!

The 7-year rule applies to non-permanent staff for specific tasks or for specialised tasks (if the skills are not already available within the institution):


  • temporary agents (TAs)
  • contract agents (CAs)
  • agency staff (‘intérimaires’) (up to 3 years of services are not taken into account for the 7-year rule)

Continue reading 7-year rule for non-permanent staff – What does it imply?

The 6-year rules

There are two 6-year rules in the Commission:

  • The 6-year rule for Contract Agents (CAs) – which makes it impossible for a CA 3b to work for more than 6 years in the Commission. This rule is enforced very strictly, no matter how hard you work(ed), you are fired after 6 years if you are a CA 3b.
  • The 6-year rule for the Staff Representation – which imposes that staff representatives cannot be seconded to the staff representation for more than 6 years over a rolling period of 10 years [1]. The purpose of this healthy rule is to ensure that staff representatives stay in touch with the services of the Commission. Indeed, the staff representation benefits from 41 full time secondments which allow them to sit the joint committees where staff issues are discussed with DG HR but also to represent the voice of the staff. When a staff member gets a secondment, they leave their service for a period of time during which they work for the staff representation, just like when someone is seconded to another organisation in the interest of the service. The danger of course is that he or she may lose touch with reality, which highlights the need and importance of the 6-year rule. Generation 2004 has always been worried about these secondments, we know too well that the staff representatives of 2004 did nothing to defend us back then and instead traded our rights against access for them to grades that they would not have been able to reach beforehand. In the end, we have, however, taken the secondments because if you are not present in the relevant meetings, things proceed without you.

Continue reading The 6-year rules

Social Dialogue on “External Activities”

Update 21.02.2022: Check out the rules as they stand in 2022.

The Commission is currently revising its implementing rules on so-called “external activities”. These rules are meant to prevent conflicts of interest, either real or perceived, when active or former EU officials take on jobs or other duties outside of the institutions. Generation 2004 has been the most vocal staff organisation during the negotiations to denounce the fact that the rules proposed by the Commission make no distinctions between staff categories and between precarious staff and permanent staff: whether you are a former Director General looking for activities to keep yourself busy during retirement or a CA3b who is being kicked-out of the Institutions because your contract has reached the 6-year cliff makes no difference in DG HR’s mind. Continue reading Social Dialogue on “External Activities”