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Contract agents

See also the website of the Contract Agents Action Group

Vidéo : Contract Agents of the EU Delegations : New DGE (conditions of employment)  (Octobre 2017)

SEAE : note du CP sur le projet de décision sur la DGE ‘Agents contractuels’ 21/11/2017

Contract agents at the European External Action Service

While negotiations on the new contract staff policy for the Commission (headquarters, representations, delegations and offices) are dragging on, the issue of internal competitions for contract staff under the new Article 82.7 of the CEOS is fortunately progressing more quickly.

At least at the Commission and the European Parliament, with varying results, and more recently at the EEAS.

Negotiations over the next round of internal competitions at the EEAS show the extent to which the division of appointing authorities between “institutions” is leading to a fragmentation of contract agent populations, and to widely unequal regimes in the final analysis.

In fact, NEAR and the administration continue to disagree on three key points:

  • The number of successful candidates is very low, and does not take into account the population of civil servants who can also take this competition.
  • The time limit for eligibility – 42 months – excludes certain CAs from the benefit of a single competition, which is not fair. What’s more, it’s not clear why this eligibility has been extended by 6 months beyond the limits laid down in the Staff Regulations.
  • Finally, it appears that GF IV contract agents can only apply for AST posts, which amounts to making them functionaries while downgrading them and disregarding the policy of talent utilization so vaunted by the Juncker Commission, of which Ms. Mogherini is First Vice-President. The same Commission competition allows GF IV contract agents to take an internal AD6 competition: why the double standards?

On all these points, NEAR is committed to defending the future of SEAE contract agents.

A joint agreement has been reached with US and PLUS on the first two points, but unfortunately not on the second. These three unions have made a request to the administration to this effect.

We believe that it will be useful to launch external generalist and specialized competitive examinations fairly soon, to enrich and rejuvenate the existing staff with human resources from outside the EAE, and also to enable TAs and CAs GF IV who so wish, to join the institution at a level that takes account of their qualifications and experience.


Internal competitions

Note to staff on internal competitions (June 2016)

Concertation on the organization of internal competitions. March 7, 2016 :

Note for the attention of Mr Larsson
Subject: AC concertation

The trade unions Near You, Union Syndicale, PLUS and The Union would like to inform you of their wish to continue the concertation on AC at a higher level. We are not satisfied with the outcome of the last social dialogue meeting, for three reasons:

  • The number of successful candidates does not take into account the population of civil servants who can also take this competition.
  • The time allowed for eligibility – 42 months – excludes certain ACs from the benefit of a single competition, which is not fair. From this point of view, either we provide for a 36-month period, or we extend the submission period so as not to exclude these CAs from the benefit of the competition. According to our calculations, an additional 3 months would be sufficient to allow all CAs to take part in at least one competition.
  • Finally, we are not happy with the treatment of function group 4 CAs. We would like to review this point.

P. Mavromichalis, B. Soret, T. Palma, N. Bracke

NEAR writes to SEAE: note to B.Larsson on internal competitions at SEAE

On the other hand, this competition is reserved for contract staff with 4 years’ seniority in the same post within the EEAS. Yet the EEAS is a very recent institution, having started up in 2011, just 5 years ago. Many of the contract staff have previous experience at the Commission or another institution, and have not yet completed the 4 years at EEAS. We therefore ask that the notice of competition take account of previous professional experience in institutions before starting at the EEAS.

Combating inequalities and disparities

The institutions are mobilizing to give new impetus to the construction of Europe, and to meet the expectations of European society. This cannot be achieved without the mobilization and motivation of their staff.

Yet staff suffer from disparities and job insecurity. The appeal below does not provide a complete answer, but puts forward demands that could solve immediate problems, while motivating staff.

What are the immediate demands?

In the current political and economic context, there is no miracle solution. What is needed is a combination of measures to be implemented rapidly:

  • Internal reclassification competitions for ADs and ASTs;
  • Internal competitions for ACs (see below) and reclassification exams for ACs;
  • Specialized external competitions for CAs towards AD and AST grades (useful for highly qualified CA staff on delegation, with a lot of professional experience);
  • Maximum use of the opportunities offered by certification instead of the current Malthusian policy;
  • Transparent management of access to career ends;
  • Full use of budgetary resources for promotions.

U4U supports the call of the Collectif des contractuels

Call from the contract staff collective:

Our demands and results must now be applied in all institutions and departments!

Let’s unite to “make it happen”!

The mobilization of staff in response to the call from the contract staff collective has borne fruit (see appendix), one of the few positive aspects of the latest reform of the status. However, emergency measures must be taken before substantive dialogue can take place.

Adopting emergency measures

Pending the conclusions of the social dialogue and the definition and implementation of political outcomes, this is a vital emergency:

  • to preserve the jobs of all CAs currently in service (including during mobility operations involving agencies, if necessary by organizing full CASTs and/or other additional skills tests), in line with the commitments made by the Vice-President in charge of personnel;
  • to announce the organization of internal competitions for permanent positions, as provided for in the Staff Regulations, starting in January 2015;
  • provide for specialized external competitions, e.g. in AD7 and AST 5, for more experienced CAs, e.g. in delegations, the EP, agencies, etc ;
  • increase reclassification quotas for promotions;
  • introduce category change tests in 2015 to gradually reduce the under-classification of contract agents;
  • extend the maximum recruitment period for non-civil servants (8 years instead of the current 7) to enable all CAs to have access to internal competitive examinations.

The contract agents’ collective calls on all unions to support the above emergency measures, and urges the institutions to open a substantive dialogue on these demands.