Saturday

22nd Feb 2020

EU officials: 2,500 jobs to go in austerity deal

  • EU officials went on strike as leaders gathered for lat week's summit (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

Two thousand five hundred EU officials are set to lose their jobs in the next four years as part of new austerity measures for EU institutions.

Under the deal announced on Friday (28 June) by MEPs and ministers, the job cuts, which represent a 5 percent reduction of staff across the 50 EU institutions and agencies dotted around Europe, will be imposed gradually between 2013 and 2017.

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Meanwhile, remaining staff will see a two-year pay and pension freeze alongside a small increase to the minimum working week from 37.5 hours to 40 hours.

The planned overhaul of the so-called "method," which calculates the pay and pensions of officials based on the wages paid to national civil servants in 11 member states, will also be suspended until 2015.

The retirement age will increase from 63 to 66 for new staff, and 65 for existing staff, while officials will face a new "solidarity levy" of 6 percent, to be paid on top of existing income tax rates.

In another cost-cutting measure, the institutions will be encouraged to make more use of staff on temporary contracts by extending the maximum duration of contracts from three years to six.

The average monthly salary of an EU official is €5,000, with a tax rate of around 20 percent - far lower than in Belgium as well as most other member states.

Law-makers struck a "reasonable compromise," said Maros Sefcovic, the commissioner responsible for administration and human resources.

"Whoever goes through one of the tough recruitment procedures must be ready to work hard for Europe and its citizens, including longer working hours and a higher retirement age," he added.

The agreement brings to an end more than 18 months of negotiations on the pay and conditions of EU staff.

The talks have seen some member states demand more austerity measures and a series of walk-outs by EU trade unions.

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