EU Commission Downsizes

Written by | Friday, June 13th, 2014

The European Commission is downsizing. It is about to cut 368 job positions across all its operations as part of the EU’s 2015 expenditure plans. Brussels announced that there would be no redundancies and quotas would be filled by not replacing personnel that leave the Commission. The EU executive body said that the ongoing downsizing would go up to 508 officials through the delegation of tasks to affiliated agencies, which will help the Commission run EU projects for designated time periods. The ongoing downsizing is only a part of the Commission’s plan to lower staff numbers by 1 percent every year until the 5 percent overall target is attained. This is expected to save about 23 million EUR. Since 2013, more than 1,000 people have been laid off as redundancies are part of a response to the call for a greater efficiency in the aftermath of the euro crisis.
EU budget spokesperson Patrizio Fiorilli said that more work would be done with less staff as the reduction coincides with more duties for the EU such as supervision of the EU’s banking and financial sectors. Already last year, the Commission changed the rules and working conditions for its employees. The minimum number of hours was increased to 40 without any further compensation. Retirement age was also increased and wages and pensions are to be suspended in time of economic crisis. The draft budget encompasses expenditures worth more than 142 billion euro, which is an increase from the projected 2014 level of 1.3 billion euros. 40 percent of the projected expenditures will only go to cover debts for EU funded projects over the 2007-2013 period. The total budget is 145.6 billion euro including legal pledges. The Commission commented that the envisaged increase of 2.1 percent in commitments and 1.4 percent in payments is virtually absorbed by the estimated inflation rate for 2015.

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