Friday, 11 December 2009

Employment conditions: EU new top jobs

The Lisbon Treaty created the new top posts of the President of the European Council, the “double-hatted” High Representative and the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union.

Implementing the treaty required decisions on the pay and perks of the new office-holders.

The decisions concerning the conditions of employment have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).



Lisbon Treaty

As always, we have to start with the Lisbon Treaty, in this case Article 243 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/155):


Article 243 TFEU
(ex Article 210 TEC)

The Council shall determine the salaries, allowances and pensions of the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Members of the Commission, the Presidents, Members and Registrars of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the Secretary-General of the Council. It shall also determine any payment to be made instead of remuneration.




President of the European Council




Council Decision of 1 December 2009 laying down the conditions of employment of the President of the European Council (2009/909/EU), published OJEU 9.12.2009 L 322/35.


Here is the substance of the decision:


Article 1

1. The provisions of Council Regulation No 422/67/EEC, 5/67/Euratom of 25 July 1967 which apply to the President of the Commission shall apply by analogy to the President of the European Council.

2. The basic monthly salary of the President of the European Council shall be equal to the amount resulting from application of 138 % to the basic salary of an official of the European Union at grade 16 third step.



High Representative




Council Decision of 1 December 2009 laying down the conditions of employment of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (2009/910/EU), published OJEU 9.12.2009 L 322/36.


This is what the decision tells us:


Article 1

1. The provisions of Council Regulation No 422/67/EEC, 5/67/Euratom of 25 July 1967 which apply to Members of the Commission, including those applicable to Vice-Presidents of the Commission, shall apply by analogy to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

2. By derogation from Article 2(1) of Council Regulation No 422/67/EEC, 5/67/Euratom of 25 July 1967, the basic monthly salary of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy shall be equal to the amount resulting from application of 130 % to the basic salary of an official of the European Union at grade 16 third step.



Secretary-General



Council Decision of 1 December 2009 laying down the conditions of employment of the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union (2009/912/EU), published OJEU 9.12.2009 L 322/38.


The decision concerning the Secretary-General is lengthier:



Article 1

The Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union shall receive a basic salary equivalent to that of an official of the European Union at grade 16 third step multiplied by 100 %. He or she shall receive the family allowances and other allowances provided for in the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union.

He or she shall also be entitled to arrangements for the reimbursement of expenses and for social security fixed by analogy with those provided for in the Staff Regulations and Article 17 of Annex VII to the Staff Regulations shall apply to him or her by analogy.


Article 2

The remuneration referred to in the first paragraph of Article 1 shall be subject to the weighting determined by the Council pursuant to Articles 64 and 65 of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union for officials employed in Belgium.


Article 3

The Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union shall be entitled to a residence allowance fixed in accordance with Article 4 of Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 2290/77 of 18 October 1977 determining the emoluments of the members of the Court of Auditors, and to pension arrangements and a transitional allowance in the case of termination of service fixed by analogy with those provided for in that Regulation.


Article 4

Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 260/68 of 29 February 1968 laying down the conditions and procedure for applying the tax for the benefit of the European Communities shall apply to the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union.


Article 5

Except where otherwise stated in this Decision, Articles 11 to 14 and Article 17 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and all the relevant provisions of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union, with the exception of Article 52 thereof, shall apply to the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union.



Good governance?


From a bureaucratic point of view, it makes sense to tie in the new top jobs with existing ones. Once the salary and other emoluments have been pegged, they rise with the tide, without the need for separate decisions. This is an example of simplification.

If we include communication to the citizens of the European Union in the criteria of good public governance, these decisions are disasters.

On their own, the decisions are incomprehensible for the citizen. As far as I know, the Council has issued no explanatory information to bridge the gap.




Ralf Grahn



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