The Commission adopted a proposal including a series of changes to the European staff regulations

The European Commission adopted a series of proposed changes to staff rules which would lead to savings of more than €1 billion by 2020. Among the changes proposed, a 5% reduction of staff in all categories in all institutions over the period 2013-17.

The Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has been authorised to start consulting staff representatives on draft proposals from the European Institutions in order to reach an agreement on the changes. The latest reform took place in March 2004. On this occasion, the Commission will present a formal proposal for the Staff Regulations to the Council and European Parliament later this year.

Among the reforms proposed it includes a 5% reduction of staff in all categories in all institutions over the period 2013-17, through normal turnover of staff (retirements and restraint in concluding new contracts). In addition, there will be an increase in the minimum working week for all staff in all institutions from generally 37.5 hours to 40 hours, without compensatory wage adjustments. On the other hand, access to all top of career grades to depend on success in a selection procedure. With regard to the retirement, the normal retirement age will increase from 63 to 65 with the possibility of working voluntarily until 67. The minimum age for early retirement with reduction of acquired pension rights will increase from 55 to 58.

As of 1 January 2013, Sweden and Poland will be added to the basket of eight Member States used to track the evolution of national civil servants' spending power and the method used for annual adjustments to salaries and pensions will be simplified and extended for another 8 years. A new exception clause will allow the institutions to react appropriately to an economic crisis when considering the annual adjustment. This method would be accompanied by a new solidarity levy of 5.5%, applicable from 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2020.

In the staff rules, according to the proposal adopted there will be the possibility for each institution to establish flexible working arrangements, in order to bring more clarity to the debate about family-friendly working conditions. Management will not be allowed to participate in these general arrangements. Moreover, the maximum number of leave days granted to staff for their annual trip to their home Member State will be reduced from 6 to 2 (standard in other international organisations).

Administrative expenditure represents around 6% of the EU's budget, which itself represents roughly 1% of EU GDP. The measures would not only allow the EU to freeze the administrative expenditure for the functioning of the institutions until 2020, but also to reduce the administrative cost of agencies and other bodies of the EU which are financed from other parts of the budget.