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Rights & Privileges

Succession of contracts and place of origin: pay attention!

When you sign a contract with an institution, certain financial entitlements (annual travel expenses, removal expenses, etc.) depend on your place of origin, as defined in the first subparagraph of Article 7(3) of Annex VII to the Staff Regulations.

What are the rules?

On the basis of Article 2 of Decision C(2013)8982, which lays down the procedures for determining or reviewing the place of origin, the place of origin is presumed to be the place of recruitment on taking up employment.

At the express request of the person concerned, made within one year of taking up his duties and supported by documentary evidence, the place of origin shall be determined as the centre of his interests where this is not the same as the place of recruitment.

The place of recruitment shall be the place where the official has his habitual residence at the time of recruitment.

Centre of interests” shall mean the place where the person concerned has his interests:

  1. the principal family relationships represented,save in duly substantiated exceptional cases, by:
  2. his father and mother, or either of them; or, failing them, his grandparents, or either of them; or, failing them, his parents-in-law, or either of them; or, failing them, his brothers, and sisters.
  3. the residence of the spouses, subject to two conditions:
    1. their common permanent residence before the first of the spouses entered the service of the European Union as an official, member of the temporary staff or member of the contract staff, and,
    1. It consists of a property to which one or both are attached.

b) Heritage represented by built assets.

c) essential interests of a civic nature, both active and passive.     

If the three criteria referred to in (a), (b) and (c) are not met in the same place, the centre of interest shall be deemed to be the place where at least two of these three criteria are met or, failing that, the place where the main family ties are located, represented in this case exclusively by the father, mother or children of the person concerned.

In the absence of a centre of interest, the place of origin shall be determined by the place of recruitment.

In the event of transfer from one European institution to another, the official or other servant shall retain his place of origin as determined by the previous institution.

What’s going on?

When a person moves from one contract to another (e.g., from a DG to an executive agency or from a contract to a temporary contract), the PMO, which knows that you live in Brussels and is aware of your family situation, which may have changed since your arrival in Brussels, redefines your place of recruitment in Brussels and de facto cancels your entitlement to the annual trip.

Concrete examples

  • Mr X, Lithuanian, changes from an AC contract to a TA contract without any days of interruption. The new contract was concluded on 22.4. He expected his rights to be renewed identically by the PMO and did not think to check. On 15.7.23 he discovered that his travel expenses had not been paid. However, he had the arguments to keep his original place of origin based on his centre of interest. But it was too late! The one-year deadline had passed.
  • Mr Y, French, moves from one AC contract to another AC contract in a new institution, but there is a break between the contracts and the place of origin is redefined as it is not a transfer.
  • Mr W, Romanian, was surprised to discover that, as a result of his change of status, with a time lag between the two statuses, his tax domicile, initially in Romania, was now in Belgium, since, according to Article 13 of the PPI, the tax domicile often coincides with the place of recruitment.

Deadlines: Reminder

The one-year deadline is strict. Even if you’re right, even if you signed on the assumption that your rights would be renewed, if you miss the deadline, they won’t even look at the merits: this is known as inadmissibility for delay. All courts apply this concept.

If the PMO has rejected you and you have good arguments, you can appeal under Art. 90.2 within 3 months of the date of the decision you contest. Not one day more.

Article 90.2 is not a request to the PMO contact. It is a preliminary request. You must therefore draft your request for review carefully, including the relevant annexes and, where possible, legal arguments. This applies to all 90.2 articles you wish to introduce: refusal of prior authorisation for a health issue, refusal of reimbursement, etc.

A few tips

  • Keep your eyes open! Don’t take it for granted that your rights will be extended! Check, check, check.
  • Plan ahead: If you’ve kept your parents’ hometown as your polling place, but have a flat in a completely different town, get your affairs in order well in advance. If possible, vote where you live.
  • Think about the documents you are likely to produce: be meticulous and submit only impeccable documents to the PMO, without rushing: whose name, is it? when is it dated? etc. The criteria are clear. The criteria are clear; they are strictly applied by our PMO colleagues, who have no choice but to apply the criteria.
  • Avoid conflict of contracts between institutions. Take a holiday before or after!
  • If you need help, contact us at  as long as you start early enough and make your case short, clear and complete.

School allowances

Reminder of the rules for the start of the school year and school allowances s for future pupils

As the school year begins, some of us will see our children off to university. Well done to them and their parents. But we think it’s important to point out a few rules that apply to all of us.

We receive a dependent child allowance and an education allowance for children attending an educational establishment. However, the Staff Regulations lay down rules on the cumulation of family allowances received from other sources (Articles 67(2) and 68(2) of the Staff Regulations), which officials must declare to the administration, and which will be deducted from the allowances paid to them by the EU.

When the child turns 18, there are two possible scenarios:

  • The child stops studying. The dependent child allowance ceases. In this case, JSIS cover will also cease. For children who are not in paid employment or who are undergoing a probationary period in order to obtain national social security cover, a request can be made to the Settlement Office to extend the cover for a maximum of 12 months.
  • The child continues to study. There are two possible scenarios:
    • If your child is studying in the country where you work, you will receive EUR 311.65 per month. 
    • If your child is studying more than 50 km from your place of work AND you receive the expatriation allowance, the allowance is doubled.

As always, it is important to be familiar with the additional terms and conditions:

  • Course attendance must be ‘full-time’. This condition is automatically deemed to be met if the institution provides the student with at least 16 hours of instruction and/or work experience per week.  In cases where this number of hours is not reached, the condition is considered to be met if the studies are complete, i.e. have a purpose recognised by the State, and the person concerned follows the normal timetable for this type of study.
  • Benefits automatically cease at the latest on the child’s 26th birthday.
  • Benefits are paid monthly. If your child over the age of 18 interrupts his/her studies, e.g. for 6 months to go on a trip, he/she will not be considered a student and therefore not dependent on you and will not be covered by JSIS for those 6 months. However, the rules for extending health insurance cover apply on request, particularly in the case of a waiting period under the new insurance scheme.
  • The student must still be dependent on you. If your child earns an income, you must inform your administration as this will affect your child’s entitlement to benefits. In practice:
    • Notice 223/04 sets a maximum limit of 40% of the basic salary of an AST1 (=1308 euros/month on 01/01/2023) for a child aged over 18 and 25% of the basic salary of an AST1 (=817 euros/month on 01/01/2023) for a child aged under 18.
      • If your child has a paid internship or student job during the summer, you should declare the amounts to the authorities.
      • If your child receives a scholarship/grant for any reason, you should declare the amounts to the authorities. In practice, this often means that doctoral students who receive a grant are no longer considered dependent children. You will therefore lose the allowances for that child and he or she will have to be covered by a scheme other than JSIS. Note that Excellence Scholarships are an exception to this rule.
  • The PMO tends to cut rights as quickly as possible. Why is that?  In reality, the intention is good. When benefits cease to be payable, they quickly add up to substantial sums which are automatically deducted from your pay in the following months (this is the famous “recovery of undue payments”). For this reason, they prefer to cut your benefits automatically and reinstate them if you appeal, rather than put you in a difficult position. So don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to. This will enable us to confirm or refute the PMO’s interpretation of your particular case. After all, sometimes you need to be able to explain the situation correctly. After all, we need your feedback if we’re going to be able to pinpoint any confusing situations. But be careful (again) not to forget the time limits for appeals, which apply in all cases: 3 months after the decision giving rise to the complaint. Since appeals must be handled carefully, it is imperative that you do not wait until the last moment to contact us.