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New External Service – meeting the challenges
Raison d'être of the EEAS
The EEAS assists the High Representative who conducts the Union's common
foreign and security policy. The HR is in charge of proposing the development of
that common policy. The EEAS helps the High Representative ensure the
consistency and coordination of the Union's external action as well as prepare
policy proposals and implement them after their approval by Council. The EEAS
works in cooperation with the diplomatic services of the Member States.
It is therefore essential that processes are put in place for the co-ordinated
development of such policy proposals and, after their approval, for a co-ordinated
implementation in all of their aspects, meaning actions undertaken by the EU as
a whole (EEAS, Commission, Council and Member States when they act within the
framework of these policies).
Effective communication of decisions, objectives but also of reports and policy
evaluations is essential if the EU is to speak with one voice.
The EEAS is a European Civil Service, supporting the development of a highly
sensitive new area of European actions. European officials are the backbone of
this Public Service. NEAR will serve the interests of staff rightly concerned about their future
in this new structure – everything will be done so that these interests are
defended in the best possible manner.
The philosophy behind our program
Defending an independent, high-quality European Civil
Service. The EEAS is the diplomatic service of the EU. It has to fully respect the rules applicable to a European Public
Service. This is the pre-requisite for its necessary independence in the
Solidarity and non-discrimination of all EEAS
staff. The coherence of staff is a major goal to be achieved, eliminating all
unnecessary distinctions and petty discriminations. A common implementation on
the statute across all institutions should create a common basis for all
personnel in delegations regardless if they are from the EEAS or the Commission.
We do not accept precarity. Contract agents
should have access to internal competitions. We reject the proposal that
secretaries will only be recruited as Contract agents. The situation of Local
agents must be vastly improved.
The EEAS is part of the European family of
Institutions. This is why close contacts, in particular with the Commission,
must be maintained with a view to ensuring coherence of policy objectives,
proper coordination of programs and actions on the field.
The EEAS is also part of the European diplomacy.
Relations with national diplomatic services have to be fluid (training,
The reform of Staff Regulation will affect everybody
and may have a disproportionate effect on the EEAS. There is a need to
coordinate closely the response of all trade unions from all institutions to this threat.
NEAR will fight against arbitrary decisions
The EEAS, created in the beginning of this year, is
already in the middle of a screening exercise aimed at making 10% savings.
This speaks volumes about the management skills of the decision-makers.
NEAR will push for a due and fair process,
according to the Staff regulations:
no one should be pushed aside
new affectations should take into
account professional skills and not be arbitrary
concerned person have to be duly
informed and heard before decisions are taken
New system of promotion and
evaluation : The EEAS management must recognize the particularities of
this institution where mobility is much higher than in other institutions
and where there will be a quick addition over a short time period of at
least 30% of AD staff coming from MS diplomatic services. A new
system shall be devised to prevent the damaging effects of mobility on
Staff's career and to ensure a normal career path to all. We will
see that the collective guaranties are applied (promotion rates) and
fairly distributed without discrimination between staff coming from the
Commission and staff coming from the Council.
Rotation : Staff representatives should actively participate in the decision making process
in order to ensure transparency and avoid arbitrary decisions by the
Return to HQ (Rotation) must be
properly organized as in major diplomatic services. Colleagues must be
provided with posts in line with their career and skills. Returning Heads
of Delegation must be reassigned in HQ management positions.
Staff coming from the Council
No discrimination in working conditions and career
development. Their experience is an important asset to the EEAS.
Guaranties must be applied to avoid discrimination with
their different evaluation system and attestation procedure.
Maintaining their access to the Council crèche.
A vade-mecum on the intranet should explain the main
processes relating to staff administration and identify contact points,
helping them in daily administrative problems.
Staff coming from the MS’ administrations
Staff coming from Member States should enjoy the same
rights as EEAS Staff in all aspects of their working conditions.
END should have voting rights to the Staff committee,
after 2 years.
Mitigation of the disparities in
career development created by the 2004 Staff Regulations, in particular
through the organization of internal competitions.
Establishing a clear career development
path for EEAS staff (AD & AST), including rotation of postings abroad and in
HQ, change of geographical zones.
Experience in a delegation must be an eligibility criteria
for management posts.
Accelerating the pace of
career advance in an objective and transparent way.
Enhancing the prestige of jobs and responsibilities of
colleagues who do not hold managerial posts, but who form the very
foundation of the effective functioning of the EEAS.
Ensuring the use of the list of successful candidates
after certification in order to cover AD posts
Clarification of the ASTs' career, who should have
clear career development perspectives, without artificial ceilings.
Establish an EEAS attestation procedure which permits to
improve the AST's career prospects.
Safeguarding the secretary category.
Assistants having a management role in delegation should
be recognized and offered a full career growth.
Limiting forced mobility to a number of sensitive posts.
Prepare staff for future responsibilities and duties with
quality training and guaranteeing better access to training.
Represent staff concerns during all the stages of the EPSO
selection board and selection panels, to ensure that these kept fair and in
Put an end to the 'twelve years
Outside Union' from the status and favorize the nomination of the
best-suited persons without taking care of the priority 1 or 2.
NEAR will fight for improvements to the working
Staff is currently frustrated by
a lack of top-down communication relating to political and diplomatic
orientations making the definition of Unit or personal objectives almost
The definition of personal
objectives mimicking the practice within the Commission is not adapted to
the EEAS : a new framework has to be defined
Performance evaluation : the system proposed by the administration has been pasted from the Commission’s and
is wholly inadequate for a diplomatic service
Staff is currently frustrated by
the lack of bottom-up communication, where issues reported from field are
not acted upon or are totally ignored
The management style should evolve
towards building a true team spirit within units and enabling efficient
coordination at the EEAS level
Access of EEAS staff to consular/diplomatic
training organized by Member States for their own staff
Access to intensive non-European
languages training, as part of a lifelong training program aiming at
improving professional skills.
Mobility should take into account
the professional skills and be part of an individualized career plan, for
the benefit of both the EEAS and the staff member
Local Agents should have better access to
relevant training, conferences, events that will improve their
All staff with limited
duration contracts should be informed about termination or prolongation decisions at least 6
months before the term.
|Access to the social interinstitutional infrastructures
|Respect of the safety and the standards of cleanliness
of all EEAS buildings.
Open space offices should not be
forced upon individuals : staff members should have the right to work in a
Flexitime and work duration : the
proposal by the Commission would be applicable to all institutions : it
won’t fit with the particularities of the EEAS.
Compulsory management training to
manage a Division with staff, including harassment procedures.
All forms of harassment within the service
have to be fought and effectively followed up. Set up
a proper process and nominate counselors.
Staff of the EEAS should have at least the same working conditions as their
previous institution and not less (good point of contacts of Commission
services like PMO, Social service, training unit, security service etc.)
Implementation of Human Ressources policies in Delegations
NEAR will push for improvements the following areas:
a) Full respect of Health and safety policies;
b) Best possible medical coverage of all staff in
Delegations and Head Quarters; creation of an own EEAS medical service, able
to deal with the specific needs of the EEAS staff working around the world
and facing special risks
c) Correct implementation of Flexitime ; some Heads of Delegations
actively discourage the use of flexitime policy and impose restrictions,
which are not in line with HR policies. NEAR objective is to make
flexi-time work in all delegations.
d) Application of parental leave to all staff in
e) Monitor the proper implementation of training policies
f) Unmarried couples should not be bound by local law for
allowances: equal benefits should be granted upon a self-declaration.
NEAR will demand a transparent promotion and evaluation
process in the line with annex II of the statute, meaning 85% of the
personnel should have a normal career
Management positions in Delegations should be recognized
as 'prior management experience' for accessing to management posts in HQ.
Administration sections in Delegations are
overburdened and would enjoy real and adequate support from HQ. They should
be properly staffed and expertise needed for the requested tasks should be
recognised by the creation of AL Group 1 posts. HoA having been certified
should be able to stay on an AD post.
Security in delegation should be treated
seriously. LSO should have access to more training, the training programme
being adapted to local circumstances (petty criminality, urban violence, ).
Ensure the follow-up of the MDR/A.40 Infrastructure
division reports on Safety and
Health in Delegations. Offer support to HoA for writing and managing the
call for tenders aiming at revamping the offices.
Foresee a budget for CP members who have to visit
delegations, as part of their duties.
Building a true European
Public Service spirit
NEAR will push for building a common identity where all
EEAS staff will enjoy equality of chances.
Promotions : career promotions
should be tackled with : it is not acceptable to block 2/3 of the careers
as a result of higher posts being reserved
Defining and implementing a common
career structure notwithstanding the professional origin of individuals
Favoring internal promotion, with
a view to allowing a fair career progression to all EEAS staff
Asking for an even quota policy
where the repartition between Commission staff, Council staff, National
diplomats is spread across the whole structure rather than some of them
being concentrated at the upper levels of the hierarchy
Organizing systematic mobility or
secondments of EEAS staff to national diplomatic services, Commission (in
particular within the ex-RELEX family) and Council services with a view to
creating eventually a common spirit amongst all who serve the European
Granting a European diplomatic passport to
all EEAS Statutory Staff
Unite forces with other institutions
Unite forces and create
synergies both in HQ and in delegations with colleagues who stayed in
the Commission RELEX family - be it at Trade Union level and/or
Unite forces at
interinstitutional level. Many issues - salary adaptations, working
environment, 2013 reform ... are common to us all.
NEAR will ask for rules aiming at reinforcing a
common Public Service spirit :
Having had a successful and
meaningful experience in delegations should be an advantage for getting
access to management posts in HQ
Careers should not be affected by
the consequences of a Member State action or inaction. In particular,
security clearances should be granted within 4 months and, in case of
rejection, the Member State should offer explanatory motivation to the EEAS
NEAR will advocate and support any initiative pursuing
improvements in the following critical matters:
Current recruitment and employment rules for posts in
delegations do not foresee any career development perspective, prohibit
reassignments to HQ, lack a rotation mechanism, deny access to internal
competitions and establish a disputable reclassification procedure. In this
respect, NEAR intends to battle for a modification to the staff regulations
and/or their implementing provisions.
Professional tasks and responsibilities:
In order to clarify the current ambiguous instructions
regarding grading, tasks and responsibilities NEAR will demand for an
unequivocal re-definition of professional requirements, tasks and
responsibilities. Such an exercise will also include a steady follow-up on
the disputes regarding equal work - equal pay, and permanent contracts for
Rotation and work in HQ:
NEAR considers negotiations on the rotation policy for CA
an absolute priority. The whole exercise may become unmanageable given that
currently EEAS CAs cannot be posted to HQ. It is necessary to re-negotiate
the regulations in this respect. Access to internal competitions must also
be allowed. Recruitment grades for Delegation posts must be identical to
recruitment grades applied to posts in HQ.
Equally, Contract Agents, like Officials, should also be
eligible for secondments to the Section and trade unions and need greater
representation as they look set to become more numerous in Delegations in
Improve rapidity and quality of the union's assistance
in terms of legal, technical and arbitration advice
Until now, staff in delegations did not have the same
access to legal support and advice as their colleagues in HQ. NEAR will push
that all possible means to defend staff in delegations including legal
support at central and local level are explored.
NEAR will quickly react to your requests and provide
access to the legal services of the trade unions. Each NEAR candidate is an
expert in one or several staff-related matters which assures the union's
capacity to provide quality service to all categories of staff.
We see you as our clients and we
like to help and support you where needed.
NEAR will push for concrete actions aiming at
developing a common identity but also at making economic quick-wins and
reasonable use of the European tax payers money:
Avoiding overlapping, incoherence
or duplication between the EEAS and Commission’s procedures and programs
Avoiding duplications or
inequalities between EEAS and Commission Staff in delegations, such as
establishing common processes for medical benefits
Designing processes for speeding
up the allocation of some benefits (medical expenses, education allowances)
which are currently suffering from intolerable delays, possibly including
the set-up of a local focal point for these administrative issues and an
Staff coming from the Commission
Implementing the Right of Return of the Staff from the
Commission, during two years, as already agreed.
Improvement of the working conditions for Local Agents.
NEAR fixes as its priorities:
revisions of the grading in terms
of reduction of groups and steps;
re-evaluation of the nature of
tasks attributed to local agents in particular in administrative jobs,
information sections and in groups III and IV. Local Agents Group IV
working as secretaries in reality very often perform the same tasks as
Local Agents Group III. The same concerns Group III LAs working in C&F as
accountants and procurement officers who are doing the same tasks as Group
a fair and transparent system of
evaluation and promotion/reclassification must be introduced for LAs.
For the coming period, NEAR will ensure that the
Administration provides better financial arrangements for the existing
Medical Insurance Scheme
Medical insurance Scheme must be improved, in particular:
ceilings for medical expenses must
be adjusted to reflect adequate the country context;
medical coverage must cover all
countries, not only the country of employment, or neighbouring ones;
medical coverage after retirement
must be introduced.
Proper pension and invalidity coverage
Pension and invalidity scheme must be introduced for LAs.
Political commitments of the Commission must be fulfilled. NEAR will use all
means at its disposal to turn political declarations into reality.
Pensions for Local Agents : Transform the lump sum paid at
the end of the service in a monthly installment and pay the remaining
capital to the family at the death of the beneficiary.
Application of the new Method for salary adjustment
The old Method was a big step forward in bringing systemic
changes to the key exercise. The new one is a further step in the right
direction. Though not perfect – and one can hardly expect to develop a
single method that will be perfect for more than 130 delegations all at once
– the new Method is now agreed, and NEAR will fight to have it in place as
quickly as possible and implemented in accordance with the agreed rules.
Staff in delegations still do not have appropriate means
that would allow them to work effectively as staff representatives. Such
effectiveness requires permanent involvement of the elected representatives
in the daily work of the trade unions and the CCP.
Local agents, representing over10% of EEAS staff and 60%
of Commission staff in delegations, should be better represented. Therefore,
in order to better perform their duties, elected Local Agents should be
seconded to Brussels during their electoral mandate.
NEAR will provide specific training and assistance for
staff representation in delegations.
Do you wish to comment or propose changes to this draft programme ? Please
use our forum.