During this meeting at Berlaymont on 14th of June 2022, various topics were discussed, including the new budget and human resources strategy.

  • Budget

The current context is not favorable. Inflation, which is rising above 2%, GDP drop, Ukraine war and the rise in gas prices will have an impact on the budget for the coming years.

As a result, budgetary constraints are weighing on the administration. Some Member States could put the debate on retirement age on the table…

  • Contract agents

The staff representatives welcomed the new HR strategy and stress the need to support contract agents, who should have access to internal competitions and thus be able to progress in their careers.

Furthermore, in order to motivate the staff of the delegations, including local and contract agents, it is proposed to reflect on other opportunities and to review methodology for EPSO test.

  • Hybrid working

Staff representatives asked Commissioner Hahn to push EEAS to publish its own rules and emphasized the role that DG HR should play to avoid micromanagement and that each DG should establish its own rules on this matter.

  • Real estate policy

On the real estate policy in Brussels, buildings should be reduced from more than 50 to 25 by the end of the decade, thus reflecting the occupancy rate observed before the pandemic (70% of the staff were in the office, the rest on mission, leaves and so on, etc.).

In addition, staff representatives regret the relocation to the Gare du Nord area, which is not very secure. They call for consultation with the staff and the CCPT (Committee for prevention and protection at workplace) before any occupation.

  • Commission’s attractivity in Luxembourg

The Commission is not an attractive place for staff in Luxembourg. For 4000 employees in Luxembourg there are 200 vacancies, in comparison, in Brussels for 22000 employees there are 320 vacancies. The main reason for this is that the salaries are below the national minimum wage. An immediate intervention of Commissioner Hahn is requested to go to Luxembourg and meet the staff on this issue.

  • Governance of the agencies and cybersecurity

Commissioner confirmed his attachment to the agencies and representations and his willingness to find solutions for them. He praised Agencies should be independent on the substance but that a stronger presence of the Commission on administrative, budget and IT issues should be foreseen. The cyber-attacks suffered by small agencies due to their clear deficiencies on this point were also mentioned as a main concern.

An observer from the executive agencies asks Commissioner Hahn to have a social dialogue in the agencies.