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The EU must protect its local staff in Afghanistan (Situation of local interpreters on the EUPOL mission – July 2021)

New conditions of employment for local agents

The EEAS has now officialised the new conditions for employment for Local Agents.

You may opt-in or decide to stay within your current employment contract, depending on your own particular situation. You have 5 months to make a choice.


Message from EEAS to Local Agents on 12 June 2020

Dear colleagues,

We write to you today with important news concerning the reform package on conditions of employment that entered into force on 1 June 2020.

We are pleased to share with you 17 decisions that have now been adopted to accompany the reform package on conditions of employment for local agents that entered into force on 1 June 2020. These are available here.

This is important news. These decisions provide almost all the essential details of the reform that were not included in the Joint Decisions adopted in August 2019. Many of them codify rules or practices with which you are already familiar. Some of these decisions, however, bring new benefits in addition to those included in the Joint Decisions. Based on the needs and the experience that we will gather together, these decisions can be reviewed and amended through a more streamlined and simpler process than in the past.

In the meantime, colleagues are continuing work to prepare Delegation-specific decisions based on the requests from your different Delegations for local practices you wish to see recognised by the EU under the reform. You will be kept informed of progress on the decision applicable to you through your Delegation’s management.

As already promised, you will have five months starting from today to decide whether to sign up for the new conditions of employment or remain with your current ones.

This reform, which is the first one since 1989, is the result of an impressive collective work over the last three years. We are grateful to Koen Doens, Christian Danielsson, Hilde Hardeman, Gertrud Ingestad, Vivi Michou and Sabine Weyand and their teams, the colleagues in the EEAS DG.BA as well as the Staff Representatives for their valuable inputs.

We would like to thank you for your constructive engagement in this process, which we believe will bring you positive results.

With our warmest appreciation for your valuable contributions in support of the EU around the world.

Helga Maria Schmid and Ilze Juhansone

Conditions of employment for local agents

An administrative consultation has been opened on the revision of the Conditions of Employment for Local Agents, in the second half of 2017.

Stop discrimination against Local Agents

The new EEAS has to take the issue of Local Agents in Delegations seriously. Majority of trade unions have achieved, during the latest modification of the staff regulation before establishment of the EEAS, to introduce a legal basis in the staff regulations, stipulating the establishment of a social security system for local agents.

It is time now for the institutions to start implementing its obligations!

This is why the following is unacceptable:

Local Agents work anything from 30 – 40 years in a Delegation and leave with no medical cover. We consider this a flagrant disregard of human rights.

Local Agents retire with 35 € as their main pension – Proof that the European Commission and the EEAS do not respect the basic human dignity of Local Agents.

Salary adjustments have not been implemented in Delegations and there are huge delays. In this manner neither the Commission nor the EEAS respect the legitimate expectations of its local personnel, by treating it inequitably.

In crisis cases, they are left alone in third countries, where their lives are at stake (e.g Belgrade during the bombings or Afghanistan in case the Taliban return to power)

Local Agents are obliged to take annual leave at the same time when for other staff categories the same days are considered as “holidays”. The European Commission and the EEAS do not consider Local Agents as respectable people.

When therefore will the European Commission and the EEAS change and show Local Agents in third countries the respect and dignity that they deserve?

When therefore will the European Commission and the EEAS start putting their words into action and comply with their own declarations?