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The social situation at the European Patent Office has been frankly disastrous for several years.

U4U has questioned the Commission about its responsibility in this situation, without any response to date (22/02/2016). It is intolerable that the EU, with its democratic values, can accept at the EPO, as in other bodies even more directly under its responsibility, practices directly contrary to the most elementary rights of workers.

Is the EPO a lawless zone?

Organizations that have impunity and act outside international (ILO), Community (EU) and national legal frameworks… and sit on a court conviction. All this with the passivity of the Commission and the complicity of democratic Member States. A drift that must be denounced.


Message from P. Cordery (Feb 2016): A black day at the European Patent Office (EPO)

The anti-social management of the EPO, led by its president Mr. Batistelli, has reached new heights today. Unprecedented sanctions have been imposed on three staff representatives: the president of Suepo Munich has been dismissed, with a 20% reduction in her pension entitlement as a bonus; the former president of the same organization has been dismissed; and its treasurer has been demoted by 8 steps, the equivalent of losing 15 years’ work. The reason? For having deigned to publicly represent their colleagues in an attempt to defend their rights.

These authoritarian and arbitrary decisions are outrageous. The most elementary rights of employees, in force in every country in Europe, are being trampled underfoot at the EPO without any national or international jurisdiction being able to take action. Immunity is not synonymous with impunity.

For too many years, the social situation of this organization has been deteriorating. Enough is enough. All member states must act, and quickly, following the example of France, which has repeatedly called for a social audit. I have again asked the government to do so. We urgently need to put an end to arbitrariness and revitalize this organization, which is so important for Europe as a whole.

I would like to assure all our staff, and their representatives in particular, of my full support. We remain vigilant and will do everything in our power to ensure that democracy and justice regain their rights within the Office.

On January 27, I was in The Hague to lend my support and solidarity to the employees of the European Patent Office, who have been subjected for too long to authoritarian and arbitrary management. The previous week, two staff representatives had been dismissed. This must stop. Immunity does not mean impunity.