PURPOSE: to amend the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union.
PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.
BACKGROUND: the Staff Regulations constitute the legal framework for employment and working conditions for the approximately 55 000 officials and other agents employed by more than fifty institutions and agencies located in different places of employment in the European Union and in third countries.
Recent events in the global economy as well as the subsequent need to consolidate public finances cannot fail to have an impact on the European civil service and the administrations of all EU institutions, bodies and agencies.
In this context, it is important to take account of a certain number of elements weighing on the administrative budget, in particular:
The main amendments concern in particular the method of calculation of pensions, given that the current system weighs heavily on the administrative budget.
The Commission proposal strikes the balance between cost-efficiency and the needs of the institutions in the field of human resource management. The European Commission considers that, if this proposal is adopted, the EU institutions will continue to be assisted by an independent, efficient and modern European civil service that will allow them to fulfil the tasks which they have been entrusted with by the treaties.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT: no impact assessment was carried out.
LEGAL BASIS: Article 336 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 12 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union.
CONTENT: the main elements of the proposal are as follows :
- reducing staff by 5%: it is proposed to reduce the staff of each institution and agency by 5%, and this would be done by not replacing a certain number of departures, i.e. those who retire and those whose contracts come to an end;
- method for adjusting salaries and pensions: the new method would preserve the principle of parallelism between the evolution of salaries of national officials and that of the EU officials, and would address the shortcomings of the current method:
- solidarity levy: since 1982, the method has been linked to an additional tax on salaries, due to the effects of the oil crisis. Despite the improvement in the economic situation, this additional tax has not been phased out, but has become a measure linked to the automatic application of the method. It is suggested that, for the duration of the proposed method, the solidarity levy be increased at the rate of 6%;
- modifications to the pension system in order to keep pace with demographic developments:
- adapting the conditions of employment: it is proposed to:
- allowances and entitlements: staff members are currently entitled to a maximum of six days per year of travelling time to their place of origin. It is proposed to limit the annual travelling time to a maximum of three days. The annual travel allowance is based on kilometric distance by railway, which is often not the most habitual route to travel to the place of origin. Therefore, the distance would be calculated as a great circle distance, which would have an effect of decreasing individual allowances. Furthermore, the payment of annual travel expenses would be limited to territories of the Member States of the EU.
In order to reduce the administrative burden both for the staff members concerned and the administration, the rules on the reimbursement of removal costs should be simplified. It is therefore proposed to introduce cost ceilings which take account of the official's or agent's family situation and of the average cost of removal and associated insurance.
The rules on mission should be adapted in order to take account of the specific need of an institution whose staff members must frequently go on mission to the principal places of work of their institution. It is proposed to allow in such cases the reimbursement of accommodation costs on the basis of a flat-rate sum;
- transparency measures for Institutions and agencies: the Staff Regulations are implemented through a series of measures adopted by the Institutions and agencies. In order to ensure coherent and harmonised
implementation of the Staff Regulations and for reasons of simplification, the Commission implementing rules would apply by analogy to agencies. However, in order to take account of the specific situation of agencies, they will be able, after receiving an authorisation from the Commission.
- career of assistants, new career stream for secretaries and more flexibility in recruiting contract staff:
- increasing efficiency in staff management for the agencies: today there are 45 structures (32 regulatory agencies, 7 joint undertakings and 6 executive agencies). In total, they employ almost 8 000 members of staff, mostly engaged as temporary agents. However, the provisions of the Staff Regulations and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants are not fully adapted to the needs of small structures such as agencies. For this reason the Commission suggests introducing a new category of temporary staff for agencies. They would be recruited following a transparent and objective selection procedure and could be engaged for an indefinite period of time. If necessary, agencies would be able to second them in the interests of the service. Also, temporary staff in agencies could take unpaid leave up to a maximum of 15 years throughout their entire career.
BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: the proposal would have a budgetary impact on the expenditure and revenue of the European Union. Due to transitional provisions, the financial impact of certain provisions would gradually increase and would reach its full effect only in the long term. The savings over the next multiannual financial framework are estimated to exceed EUR 1 billion. In the long run, the savings from the proposed amendments would be 1 billion Euros per year. More details are provided in the financial statement, which is annexed to this proposal.