New President at the EPO

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USF

New President at the EPO (Den Haag)

Mr Campinos will be our President from July 2018 onward. We congratulate him on his election.

While the previous election required many rounds of votes, he was promptly selected in a single vote and with a very comfortable margin. We believe this is a testament to his competence and to the trust which the Administrative Council puts in him.

We have noted that the vacancy notice listed unprecedented requirements: to lead the EPO with modern management techniques and an outstanding ability to engage in social dialogue. We believe this indicates the Council’s desire to re-establish harmonious working conditions and to dissipate the atmosphere generated over the past few years.

We want to express our wholehearted support for this endeavour. We are ready to embark on a road to fruitful cooperation with Mr Campinos – a road which we know to be steep and time-consuming, as a long list of tasks lies ahead of us.

Unfortunately, on taking up his post, the new President will inherit the following problematic legacy:

    • violations of fundamental rights and an apparent systematic disregard for the rule of law;
    • management by fear, isolation and punishment championed by the current higher management;
    • a culture of arbitrariness and repression, targeting not only outspoken union leaders, but also the most vulnerable members of staff: the old and the sick. They are now branded by the appraisal system as “lazy” or “incompetent” and placed on a fast-track for dismissal;
    • a code of silence that makes it is impossible to raise awareness of a problem (particularly if it is due to the actions of top managers) without the fear of reprisal.
      This same culture also emerges in the EPO’s unwillingness to investigate properly the six suicides that occurred during the current presidency. Fortunately, a potential seventh suicide was miraculously averted only two weeks ago a culture of repression and impunity worthy of the most autocratic of regimes and curiously reminiscent of the scandal currently afflicting WIPO.

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