The lead European Parliament legal affairs committee today voted on the proposed reform of the EU staff regulations, the rules governing the employment of EU officials. The Greens voted against the final report due to the failure to introduce a progressive levy on the salaries of higher-earning EU officials, which would help adapt the pay of EU officials to the current fiscal realities in Europe in a more socially-just way. However, the group welcomed the adoption of a number of important Green amendments on conflict of interests and whistleblower protection. Commenting after the vote, Greens/EFA co-president Dany Cohn-Bendit said:
"With public spending under pressure across Europe, it is clear that EU officials cannot be immune to the economic reality in Europe. The Greens have advocated the introduction of a progressive solidarity levy, which would ensure higher-earning EU officials contribute their share in the context of efforts to adapt the EU budget to the changed fiscal landscape in Europe. Regrettably, the committee failed to support this approach, and - as a result - our group opposed the final vote in spite of some important Green amendments ensuring more transparency for EU officials being adopted."
Green legal affairs spokesperson Eva Lichtenberger added:
"MEPs supported Green proposals that would ensure greater protection for whistleblowers, as well clear rules to prevent the practice of 'revolving doors' under which senior EU officials can switch directly to private sector employers in spite of clear conflicts of interest. These proposals would be a major step forward for the transparency and integrity of the EU administration and we hope that EU governments will also support their introduction.
"The Greens will continue to work to ensure the final reform of the staff rules includes both a socially-just approach to adapting high-earning officials' salaries to the current economic reality, as well to ensure greater transparency in the EU administration."