The big day finally arrived. On 23 January 2020, the until now severely neglected Social Dialogue in the Executive Agencies (EAs) was finally resuscitated through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by all the Directors of the EAs and all the trade unions and staff associations of the Commission.
The MoU was achieved in a relatively short period and following numerous meetings and discussions where the input from the Staff Committees (SC) of the six EAs: EACEA, EASME, ERCEA, CHAFEA, INEA, and REA was particularly important.
The MoU is a first step in the right direction to frame the discussion of issues affecting the working conditions of EA staff. The real novelty of this agreement however, is the firm engagement of the trade unions and staff associations of the EC to oversee a fair application of the General Implementing Provisions and the Staff Regulations.
The MoU creates big expectations that should materialise in benefits for the staff and for the functioning of the EAs. An immediate and tangible effect of the document’s signature is that it ensures members of the EAs SCs get the appropriate resources and that clear rules are set in every EA to facilitate SCs to raise the views of staff they represent. This will lead to a more efficient governance of the social dialogue within the EAs.
However, the new framework established by the MoU should not replace the existing consultation fora in every EA between their SCs and the Directors. The SC of each EA must continue being the main consultation body in accordance with the Staff Regulations. They possess the democratic legitimacy vis-à-vis the EAs staff and administrations. Generation 2004 will be on guard to make sure that SCs are not bypassed and their rights of representation are not undermined.
Also, the Commission’s trade unions and staff associations will (continue to) welcome the input and participation of the agencies’ staff in their internal discussions. Generation 2004 will do whatever in our reach to facilitate their active participation in the Social Dialogue with DG HR at Commission level, i.e. where and when the more important decisions on the overall framework that is later transposed to the agencies take place.
Generation 2004 will also continue to support the SCs’ legitimate ambition of reaching a stable and legally binding Framework Agreement. This objective, foreseen in the MoU, should materialise in 2 years-time.
Generation 2004 will continue to work very closely with all staff working in the agencies, CAs, TAs and officials. We pledge to do so by maintaining constructive but firm positions when negotiating with DG HR and other trade unions; or with the hierarchy and HR departments of your respective agencies.