Project Description

Ignazio Iacono
and the CCP

“I have never considered adversity as an enemy. On the contrary, it has been a partner in life that has helped me to progress a lot…”.

Ignazio Iacono’s stature and presence are imposing. He leaves no one indifferent. Those who do not know him well will find that he talks a lot, that he impresses with his “shouting”, his mood swings, or even with the language he used, sometimes louder than others… Those who, like me, know him very well will say that he is a talented, relentless and meticulous worker, with an excellent command of personnel policy and its multiple files.

It is through his hard work and concentration that he has carried out not one but two terms of office as President of the Central Staff Committee. In addition to solid skills, this position requires remarkable qualities: it is one thing to bring together the demands of all the trade union organisations. Managing their egos, moods and unexpected about-turns is something else. Finding a compromise so that no demand is forgotten, without offending one or the other small group, requires a great deal of patience, perseverance and perspicacity. Thus, for more than seven years, Ignazio loyally and with dignity represented all the Staff of the European Commission on the Central Staff Committee, for which he gained respect.

When as he was appointed (in 2014), success was far from certain but he did not let himself be ground down. He quickly managed to establish the necessary balances to ensure the proper functioning of the CCP. Some files that had been frozen for many years were closed thanks to his perseverance. Without abnegation, the negotiations on the important files mentioned above would never have been able to come to a successful conclusion. During his presidency, Ignazio succeeded in maintaining and even strengthening trade union cohesion, which is indispensable in the face of the machinery of the Administration, by associating valuable colleagues from other trade union organisations such as Pierre-Philippe Bacri and Lorella Cattaruzza. All of which did a lot, in particular, for the reputation of Union Syndicale. Pierre-Philippe Bacri, who for many years was Vice-President of the CCP, said: “with Ignazio, we have found a great deal of complementarity and complicity during our long 

cooperation. We have accomplished a historic feat: to provide the CCP with its first rules of procedure. It was adopted by forceps, but this text now provides a more serene framework for the functioning of the Committee.”

Ignazio has a global vision of staff representation. Thanks to him, no one is excluded from dialogue and negotiations. As such, Lorella and Pierre-Philippe like to point out that under his presidency, some meetings have also been organised in EU delegations and representations. This has allowed all members of the CCP to better understand the daily life and problems of colleagues working outside the traditional locations based in Brussels, Luxembourg and the Joint Research Centres. Trade union links with colleagues in Delegations, Representations but also in the various agencies that need the support of the CCP have been strengthened. It goes without saying that “outside the Union” has become an important asset for Union Syndicale.

There have certainly been failures; there have certainly been regrets, but the record of the CCP under Ignazio’s chairmanship speaks for itself, and the progress made for the staff has been significant. Examples are the regular negotiations with DG HR and with the Cabinets of “Kristalina Georgieva” and then “Günther Oettinger” on the promotion procedure, which have led to a large number of additional promotions over the years of the mandates; the position of the CCP on the launch of internal competitions for the establishment of many assistant and contract agent colleagues; on the new General Implementing Directives (DGE) ensuring greater transparency and trade union presence, in particular during administrative procedures, during the evaluation and promotion procedure; the negotiations on the Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) and on improving the reimbursement of certain medical benefits (some ceilings had not been revised since 2007); the follow-up of the DGE JSIS for a better recognition of serious illnesses, etc. Finally, the exhausting negotiations on Brexit which started with Commissioner Günther Oettinger and ended with Commissioner Johannes Hahn. Our British colleagues were finally assured that all their rights as civil servants would be preserved.

I would also like to recall Ignazio’s unfailing commitment to various social and humanitarian actions. For example, at the request of the CCP, Commissioner Oettinger has increased the support budget for associations working for a better follow-up of people with disabilities. The “Give Europe Hope” action in favour of refugees (2015/2016) raised almost 400,000 euros from the public. This sum has enabled the Red Cross to open a medical centre and improve living conditions in camps in Greece. Commissioner Georgieva, who sponsored these actions, was amazed at the scope of the solidarity provided there. Generosity and sensitivity are human qualities that make Ignazio a humanist, a poet in spite of himself, a true trade unionist who gives his all!

Knowing you for an eternity, I know that in addition to being a great professional, you are a faithful friend and the most loyal ally I know.  Dear Ignazio, all the comrades of Union Syndicale thank you from the bottom of their hearts for your dedication, for all that you have brought to the CCP, and for what you will continue to bring to Staff Representation and Union Syndicale.  Together, they wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Pietro Rossi

He is an official at the European Commission since 1984 (DG Grow, Devco and Trade)
and seconded to the staff representation (USB) since 2017.
He is also president of the AiSBL “la maison de l’Union syndicale”.

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