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2013.09.25 – The end of the College is near, and the parachuting season is ...

The end of the College is near, and the parachuting season is starting : R&D is setting up its radar!

Traditionally, we witness some administrative acrobatics at the end of each College’s mandate. Although we have been led to believe, up until now, that this College is more virtuous than its predecessors and that the first cases of misbehaviour that we have seen were just isolated cases, it now seems to be a veritable coordinated strategy of parachuting, appointments and establishments and that, alas, the worst is still to come.

As parachuting is a high-risk sport, R&D has thus decided to put in place an operation called “safety for our parachutists”. You suspect the arrival of a parachutist in your DG? Don’t hesitate to let us know about it so we can update the map you can find on our site (link) so as to make sure he or she lands quite safely. We will then be able to congratulate him or her together for his or her successful aerial baptism!

R&D wishes to point out that it is not a matter of denying the merits of our colleagues who work in the cabinets, nor to heap abuse on our institution by playing the same game as its opponents, but simply to avoid that the overweening ambitions of a few and the lack of courage of others do not result in grave consequences for all of us. We have been able to count on our institution’s capacity to correct its own problems by bringing to heel several over-imaginative artists in the past (link). However, in the current political phase where our Civil Service is the object of the most violent attacks we have had to suffer, where the European project is going through its most critical phase and has lost the confidence of its citizens, our institution owes it to itself to be exemplary and irreproachable including in the rigour of its administrative procedures.

How can we now dream of defending this credibility when we see published in the British weekly magazine “The Economist” the vacancy notice for the post of Director of the PMO with selection criteria so targeted on our internal procedures that you can’t really see a candidate who is not already a staff member who would be able to fill them? Is it necessary to be Eurosceptic to brand this charade of a procedure irresponsible and in poor taste if ever – as it would seem - it should result in the selection of a citizen or Civil Servant working in a cabinet who responded to the notice published in the press and not to the internal vacancy notice – to be recruited in the framework of the external procedure when he or she would in ineligible in the internal phase?

How can we wish that staff passively watch changes to organigrams which flourish in each DG allowing the reception of parachutists by removing obstacles from the terrain or staff loyally carrying out their duties up to that point, often keeping the post warm for several months in acting roles? How can we not understand the demotivation of the staff which sinks into resignation and blasé attitudes?

How can we tolerate that a member of the elite can rise in one day the four grades that require 20 years of career for other members of staff and become Director a few months later without a vacancy notice (link), with no competition, a practice which has already had the Ashton treatment (link)?

How can we not be indignant in the face of the shameful manipulation of trade unions’ demands and the expectations of post-2004 staff, with internal competitions worthy of the civil service chamber of horrors and which to all intents look to add another element to the quasi-military arrangements put in place to ensure an optimal and ordered management of the end of the College’s mandate?

R&D is asking the Commission to put in place and to discuss with staff representatives a real management plan for the end of the College’s mandate with transparent and credible arrangements. Let us remind the Commissioners who wish to recognise, certainly with justification, the merits of their collaborators that the Commission is going, but the staff is staying…and is paying dearly for the damage done!

While we wait for their response, we launch with immediate effect our operation “safety for our parachutists”: don’t hesitate to consult our radar which functions 24/7 !