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new f2Parliament approves European Union staff reform

 
More than a year and a half after the Commission presented a proposal amending the European Union Staff Regulations with the aim of making savings and modernising the European Union civil service, Council and Parliament reached an agreement which Parliament has ratified.


In order to respond to the current crisis, staff remuneration and pensions will not be updated for two years, 2013 and 2014. The minimum number of working hours will be raised without financial compensation.

Higher retirement age

The retirement age is raised from 63 to 66 for the new staff and to 65 for those already recruited. The possibility of working until 70 years old is introduced, if it is in the interest of the service and the institution agrees.

Solidarity levy

A "solidarity levy" will be reintroduced, to be paid on the top of existing income tax. All officials will pay a levy 6%, with the exception of those in the top two grades who will pay 7%.

Salaries and pension adjustment method


The reform includes a new method with full automaticity, with the calculations based on real remuneration of civil servants in 11 Member States (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Sweden and United Kingdom) and the use of a Joint Index composed of the Belgian Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (BHCIP) and the Luxembourg CIP.

"Crisis" clause

The new rules also include a "crisis" clause that allows wage and pension updates to be partially suspended automatically in case of negative macroeconomic indicators. This clause would have been triggered in 2009, for instance.

Careers

A stronger link is established between grade and responsibility in the Administrator and Assistant careers. Promotion rates are reduced for higher grades, but increased for the starting grades. A new category of staff for secretarial and clerical staff is introduced.

The legislative resolution was approved by 522 votes in favour 150 against and 39 abstentions. The new rules will take effect at the start of 2014.