Important legal notice
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Privileges and related rights of staff members - up to 30th April 2004

Individual rights of officials Top

Training: Always up-to-date in a fast developing world Top

The fundamental objective of staff training is to expand and improve individuals' competencies so that each staff member can contribute optimally to achievement of the Institution's goals.

The guiding principles are

Annual Training Map for each official

Training is an integral part of the Commission's human resources policy and it has been decided that, at the occasion of the annual Career Development Review exercise, a training map should be completed for each official.

The training map records learning needs identified and training solutions agreed between the official and his/her line manager.

The training map can be completed or modified during the year to take account of newly identified learning needs, newly organised training courses or changes in circumstances (e.g. change of job, etc.).

Organisation of training in the Commission

Responsibility for the organisation of training in the Commission is shared as follows:

Training is organised centrally by DG ADMIN for the whole Commission.

Training is also organised locally by DGs or services, usually focussed on specific themes or on existing teams. Each DG/service has a Training Manager.

Gender mainstreaming: Equal opportunities Top

The Commission plays a leading role in the Community policy of equal opportunities in the workplace, i.e. the fight against discrimination on grounds of gender, race, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation. As an employer, it must offer its staff at least an equivalent level of protection. Under the current administrative reform the Staff Regulations should be amended to ensure full compliance with that principle, for example by granting (subject to certain conditions) members of staff in a recognised partnership certain advantages originally reserved for married members of staff.

In April 2002, 45.6% of Commission employees were women. The proportion of women in category A was 21.8% (2001: 20%). However, among the newest A officials (A 8) this rises to 43.2%. In senior management positions the share was 6.9% of directors-general (grade A 1: 4 women out of 58) and 11% (13%) of grade A 2 staff (29 women out of a total 265). By contrast, 57.3% of LA officials are women.

In category B, at 40.8% equality has almost been achieved, while women dominate category C (81.3%). Category D on the other hand is predominantly male, with just 22.1% women.

Since equal opportunities are a central element of the Commission's staff policy, special action programmes are in place to promote equal opportunities for men and women. Under this framework, since 1995 the Commission has fixed annual targets for the number of women officials to be recruited to category A and for the number of women to be appointed to middle management posts (heads of unit/advisors) and to senior management posts. Thanks to these initiatives, the representation of category A women within the Commission has improved considerably over recent years.

In a memorandum adopted at the end of 1999, at the start of its period in office, the Prodi Commission set itself the aim of doubling the number of women in senior management (grades A 1 and A 2) to 20% by 2005. The intermediate targets for 2000 and 2001 were achieved in full.

The target for 2001, to appoint 4 women to senior management, either as A 1 (director-general) or A 2 (director/principal advisor), was surpassed with 5 women appointed to grade A 2. In middle management (heads of unit/advisors: A3/A4/A5), too, the 2001 objective to fill 20% of posts with women was almost attained at 19%. The target was also attained for entrants into category A (the highest category - administrators): women made up 34.8% of new officials appointed from the reserve lists in grades A 8, A 7 and A 6, a rate significantly higher than the 27.3% women applicants accepted onto those lists.

Trade unions: Right of Association Top

Since the very beginning of the EU institutions, many staff members have been affiliated to trade unions, which represent the staff in negotiations with the Commission.

Article 24a of the Staff Regulations stipulates that staff members shall be entitled to exercise the right of association. They may in particular be members of trade unions or staff associations of European staff members.

The new Framework Agreement 2002 on relations between the Commission and staff organisations/trade unions stipulates that these must act in accordance with the statutes laid down. Recognition as staff organisation or trade union is given if these declare their statutory objective to be the defence of the interests of all members of staff, regardless of their category, nationality or contractual status. They also must have received at least 10% of the votes in the elections to the Staff Committee and have at least 1 000 members by the end of 2004. Up to this date a transitional period is applied.

Representative organisations may conclude agreements with the Commission. In this context the Social Dialogue unit is responsible for establishing an inventory of issues to be raised during concertation and for ensuring their preparation and follow-up.

Concertation operates on three levels:

In the event of serious and persistent disagreement at political level, either the Member of the Commission or the representative signatory organisations may propose the opening of a conciliation procedure involving:

1) A cooling-off period of at least five working days during which the Commissioner shall report on the matter to the College.

2) The convening of a conciliation meeting, which shall take place at a concertation body meeting in restricted format.

Where particular difficulties are encountered on an issue of major importance in the field of staff policy and after all the concertation procedures have been exhausted, the entire staff may be consulted directly.

Specific rules are applied for DG RELEX family and staff working in DGs, Research and Joint Research Centre.

Proposals under administrative reform

The Commission has proposed to introduce a new paragraph under Article 24 of the Staff Regulations, which will mention that trade unions and staff associations may negotiate and conclude agreements with the institution on behalf of the staff.

Work stoppages Top

In the event of a labour dispute, the decision to withdraw labour is possible only when all the possibilities of concertation have failed, save in exceptional circumstances.

The trade unions involved must serve notice five working days before the planned start of the strike stating the reasons for the concerted withdrawal of labour and the form it will take.

The period of strike notice is to be used by both parties to negotiate a settlement of the dispute at Commission level.

The Central Staff Committee Top

According to Article 9 of the Staff Regulations a staff committee is set up and elected by staff of the institution. It has to represent the interests of the staff vis-Ó-vis the institution. Within the Commission, staff committees are elected by the staff on local level (e.g. for Brussels and Luxembourg) dealing with matters of local interest. On the level of the Commission as a whole delegates from the local staff committees form the Central Staff Committee (CSC) dealing with matters of interest to all Commission staff.

The SC advises and discusses with the Commission administration almost all issues related to the application of rules on careers, working conditions and social policy. These cover inter alia promotions, social policy, telework, European schools, local staff, changing categories, secondments, invalidity, discipline, incompetence, leave on personal grounds, sickness insurance, training, equal opportunities, recruitment, safety and health at work, etc. So-called Joint Committees, bodies constituted by the administration and the staff committee in parity, deal with many of these issues.

Trade unions usually submit lists for the elections of the Staff Committee. The Staff Committee comprises the members thereof, together with their alternates if any, whose term of office is three years. Every official of the institution (and other staff under certain conditions) is entitled to vote and stand for election.

Annex 2 of the Staff Regulations provides details on the composition of the Staff Committee. (PDF)

The duties undertaken by members of the Staff Committee shall in no way be prejudicial to the person concerned.

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