Statement of principles
The “Renouveau & Démocratie” trade union, Section Commission-Brussels, hereinafter referred to as “R&D“, takes its inspiration from pluralist, progressive and democratic trade unionism.
It defends the individual and collective interests of staff employed in European Institutions and/or other European bodies, and of people who, although they work for European Institutions, have no statutory links with them. It defends equality of treatment and of working conditions.
Its aim is to achieve a more egalitarian and fairer society. In particular, R&D is committed to defending the aspirations of the most under-privileged. It is opposed to all forms of exclusion, and of discrimination based on gender, religion or membership of political (so long as it is democratic) and/or philosophical movements.
R&D is keen to emphasise and maintain its pluralist character. Its priorities include the achievement of trade union unity within European Institutions.
R&D Section Commission – Brussels is made up of all its members, whether active or retired, who are members of the Commission’s services working in Brussels or in a Commission office even outside Brussels, as well as all members, whether active or retired, working in an Agency governed by the same Statute as the Commission and which does not have its own R&D Executive Committee.
The Section Commission – Brussels is itself a member of the R&D Trade Union, which is a federation of R&D unions of the European Institutions and European agencies.
R&D is committed to promoting:
- all initiatives aimed at promoting unity of action with other representative trade unions with a view to such activity becoming increasingly stable;
- the setting up of workers’ representative structures based on General Meetings, and on delegations democratically chosen by the members themselves;
- all forms of solidarity with the trade union movement.
R&D’s independence is guaranteed, and this is articulated through the exercise, in the broadest sense, of freedom of expression, of democracy, and of members’ active participation in the life of the union and of its statutory bodies.
The General Meeting, the democratic operation of all of the union’s bodies, and respect for majority decisions form the basis for this independence.
R&D takes its responsibilities seriously, and determines its actions fully independently of hierarchical, political and economic authorities.
Article 1 – Union Actions
R&D Section Commission-Brussels supports action looking to broaden members’ involvement in the various statutory and/or staff representational committees that currently exist , or will be set up in the future, within the European Institutions, and to defend the interests of staff :
- by negotiation on bodies set up under agreements with the Commission and/or European agencies;
- by actively participating in bodies referred to in Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities;
- by supporting bodies representing different categories of staff in all places where the services of the Commission and/or European agencies are established;
- by promoting social and/or economic structures that support the interests of staff in the Commission and /or agencies.
In order to strengthen its resources for action and negotiation, R&D may:
- set up collaboration structures with other bodies that represent staff in Community Institutions,
- establish forms of collaboration with national and international trade unions.
Article 2 – Rights and obligations
Any official, agent or person retired from the Commission who works or had worked at Brussels or in a Commission office even outside Brussels, as well as in an Agency governed by the same Statute as the Commission and which does not have its own R&D Executive Committee, may request membership of R&D Section Commission – Brussels.
Other forms of association with R&D may be offered to people who, although they work for European Commission, have no statutory links with it.
Application for membership of R&D must be made in writing. Membership implies acceptance of this Statute, and an obligation that the member may not belong to any other trade union(s) or professional organisation(s) operating in European Institutions.
Membership of other trade unions operating outside European Institutions is permitted so long as the objectives of these organisations are not incompatible with those of R&D.
The Executive Committee of the Section Commission – Brussels rules on all applications for membership to this Section. In the event of an application being turned down, the candidate for membership may refer the matter to the Appeals Commission.
Members have the right to be kept regularly informed of R&D’s activities. They may also receive legal assistance over any problem linked to their employment in the Commission and/or European agencies. Having regard to Article 6 below, the Executive Committee rules on any other types of legal assistance.
Members’ spouses/partners and the children of deceased members also qualify for litigation and other legal assistance.
All fully paid-up members of R&D Section Commission – Brussels who have been in compliance for at least six months have voting rights, and may be elected onto the union’s management bodies, for which the conditions are set out in Articles 6, 7 and 8.
By taking part in meetings and in union elections, all members have the right to help determine union policy, become members of union bodies, and make known their positions on all matters which concern R&D.
Members may ask the Treasurer in writing for the union’s financial situation at any time; the Treasurer must reply within 30 days.
Members may resign in writing to the Executive Committee at any time. Non-payment of two consecutive dues, following formal notice by the Executive Committee and in the absence of an explanation within 15 days of receipt of the formal notice, results in withdrawal of membership.
Notices may be sent by electronic mail.
The Executive Committee may ask the Appeals Commission for the expulsion of an R&D member for serious reasons; the Appeals Commission gives a ruling within one month of hearing the parties. Where the decision is taken to expel, the member may make a final appeal to a General Meeting, which gives a final ruling on the expulsion by a two-thirds majority of those present.
Serious reasons for expulsion include, among others:
- using union office on bodies referred to the Staff Regulations for personal gain;
- non-compliance with decisions reached by the Executive Committee.
Article 3 – Finance
The rate of dues is set by the General Meeting; following a proposal of the Executive Committee, R&D may accept gifts, but the General Meeting must be informed. R&D may both organise activities specifically designed to raise money, and raise levies from members and any other staff employed in the Commission and/or European agencies.
R&D may acquire goods in order to achieve its objectives and/or guarantee its work. The administration of resources and of goods is conducted transparently and solely in the interests of R&D. To this end, the accounts are published annually.
Article 4 – Bodies of Section Commission – Brussels
- the General Meeting;
- the Executive Committee;
- the Supervisory Committee;
- the Appeals Commission;
- (the Honorary Presidence and Honorary Members)
Article 5 – General Meeting
The General Meeting of members of the Section Commission – Brussels is the union’s supreme body.
A written notification of such a General Meeting shall be sent to members at least ten working days before the date of the General Meeting. It will be accompanied by the agenda and, if possible, by supporting documentation.
The General Meeting may amend the agenda by a majority of two thirds of those present. However, if it decides that new issues need to be addressed, another meeting shall be organised within the next 15 days, and all members shall be invited under the same procedure.
In a duly justified emergency, a meeting may be convened within a shorter period of time by the display of posters.
Decisions of the General Meeting are taken by a majority of members present at the meeting.
Amendments to the Statute are only valid if the majority of members voting represents at least 12.5% of the entire membership. If such a quorum is not in achieved, another General Meeting shall be convened to decide by a majority of members present.
The General Meeting decides mainly on:
- R&D policies;
- amendments to the Statute;
- electoral rules;
- discharge of the outgoing Executive Committee after the Supervisory Committee has presented the Financial Report;
- the promotion of social and/or economic structures that support the interests of staff in the Commission and/or European agencies;
- the Supervisory Committee’s report;
- the Appeals Commission’s report;
- methods of funding the organisation, and particularly the rate of dues;
- all serious disputes, and particularly any strike action;
- the setting up of a “strike solidarity fund” and of ways of funding it.
General Meetings are categorised into Ordinary General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings.
Members’ General Meetings take place on the first Monday in February, or, if this is a public holiday, on the following Monday. If a quorum is not achieved, a new General Meeting may decide with a majority of members present.
The following items appear on the agenda as a matter of priority:
- the management report,
- approval of the accounts,
- the report of the Supervisory Committee,
- the report of the Appeals Committee.
Article 6 – Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is elected every three years under the procedure set out in Article 9. All fully paid-up members of Section Commission – Brussels who have been in compliance for at six months have voting rights and may stand for office.
A member of the Executive Committee may not be a member of:
- the Supervisory Committee,
- the Appeals Commission.
The Executive Committee has the task of implementing political directives determined by the General Meeting.
- It has responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the union. It informs members of the union’s policies.
- It lets members know of the policies followed by the union.
- It defends the legitimate interests of all staff employed by the Commission and/or European agencies, and of people who, although they work for the Commission and/or European agencies, have no statutory links with them.
- It presents the General Meeting with an action plan for the coming period together with a projected budget.
The Executive Committee is made up of a maximum of 19 members. It elects from its number a President, a Vice-President, a General Secretary, a Treasurer, an Organisation Secretary, an Information and Membership Officer, and possibly deputies. Within the Executive Committee an Office is set up whose sole function is to prepare for Committee meetings. The Office comprises the President, the General Secretary and the Organisation Secretary.
The quorum consists of half of the members plus one. Decisions are taken on a simple majority of those present, the chairman having a casting vote if the vote is evenly split.
Meetings of the Executive Committee are open to all members, except where there is a need for confidentiality.
The Executive Committee takes decisions on all forms of assistance, including legal assistance, in support of members and of people who, although they work for the Commission and/or European agencies, have no statutory links with them.
Article 7 – Supervisory Committee
The Supervisory Committee is elected every three years. All fully paid-up members of Section Commission – Brussels who have been in compliance for at least six months have voting rights and may stand for office.
The Supervisory Committee is made up of five members, and is mainly responsible for:
- ensuring consistency between the union’s policies decided by the General Meeting and the action of the Executive Committee;
- administering R&D’s money, and ensuring that this money is spent in areas prioritised by the General Meeting.
The members appoint a President.
The President attends meetings of the Executive Committee with no voting rights.
Article 8 – Appeals Commission
The Appeals Commission is elected for the same period of time and under the same procedure as the Supervisory Committee. It is made up of five members and rules by a majority decision on all internal union disputes. The Commission rules lawfully if re-convened by at least three members.
However, expulsions from the Union must be approved by at least six of its members.
Matters may be raised with the Appeals Commission by the Executive Committee, by the General Meeting or by a fully paid-up member.
The members appoint a President.
The President attends meetings of the Executive Committee with no voting rights.
Article 9 – Elections
The Committees designated above in Articles 6, 7 and 8 are elected according to procedural rules approved by the General Meeting.
Article 10 – The Honorary President and Honorary Members
In order to recognise and thank a member who has greatly contributed to the creation and/or development of the union, the General Assembly may award the title of Honorary President and/or Honorary Member, at the moment a member of one of the R&D bodies retires.
The Executive Committee or the General Assembly may call on their advice and expertise.
Article 11 – General Conditions for the Statutory Bodies
One nationality may not hold more than one third of the elected positions in each statutory body.
All staff categories should, as far as is possible, be represented at the Executive Committee.
The arrangements for organising and conducting elections are detailed in the Rules for Elections and Statutory Bodies, Section Commission- Brussels, which is approved by the General Meeting of the members of the aforementioned Section.
Article 12 – Dissolution
A decision to dissolve the union may only be taken by a majority of at least four fifths of the entire membership.
In the event of dissolution, it is the responsibility of a duly convened General Meeting to decide on the use of the union’s assets by a simple majority. The Supervisory Committee has ultimate responsibility for financial management, it determines the amount of total assets, and uses them for the purposes determined by the General Meeting.
Article 13 – Civil responsibility
The civil responsibility of the union and of its members is in all cases limited to the financial assets belonging exclusively to the union.