Annex to the Letter to the College and to the Presidents of EU Institutions


Twelve key principles that should govern
control of working time, staff mobility and professional incompetence policies


For mobility

(1) Ensure that mobility policies facilitate the acquisition of the knowledge and expertise needed for the development of the political role of the institutions and the full expression of the Commissionís right of initiative.

For the control of working time

(2) Base the control of working time on trust between colleagues and on the managerial responsibility of team managers, while avoiding the risks of arbitrary and excessive checks.

(3) Avoid the systematic use of electronic supervision, which is unsuitable for the flexible working arrangements of a dynamic, modern organisation having political responsibilities beyond its administrative role.

For professional incompetence

(4) Promote early diagnosis to avoid situations of professional incompetence and limit penalties affecting careers exclusively to serious cases that are objectively justifiable.

(5) Ensure that the professional incompetence diagnosis concerns only elements already identified and notified at the time of the assessment and for which the individual concerned has been given the opportunity to respond and remedy any shortcomings, with the appropriate support.

(6) With the exception of duly justified cases, limit the professional incompetence diagnosis to individuals not having been promoted on the basis of their professional qualities. Any other type of professional incompetence is probably the result of poor career guidance or poor leadership.

(7) Treat professional incompetence separately from the traditional annual appraisal, both in terms of the procedure and content, and ensure that all final decisions are taken by a joint committee, i.e. half of its members should be staff representatives.

(8) Ensure that the person instituting the procedure gives details of the grounds, to be shown to the joint committee.

(9) Take account of the career record of the individual concerned. One personís opinion must not be allowed to undermine anotherís career: this would introduce considerable insecurity by focusing on a negative development. It is important to allow the positive aspects of a well-conducted career to be taken into consideration.

(10) If requested by the person concerned, the opinions of colleagues should be taken into account.

(11) Provide for procedures instituted to be monitored, and educate assessors about their responsibilities in order to avoid abuses.

(12) Ensure that a person who has had a problem cannot suffer from the consequences of such a problem throughout his or her career for the same reason. The information should only be accessible to direct managers once the sanction has been imposed. Moreover, the information must be completely deleted from the individualís record after a reasonable period of time.

These twelve principles are still being debated by the members of EU Staff for Europe in line with progress on the regulatory framework to be decided by the Appointing Authorities.