EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Kallas’s dangerous ideas

Sir,

Regarding ‘Commission must address ‘rigid’ recruitment system‘:

Is the European Commission an institution which requires civil servants or should it be run as a task-driven agency?

This is the question and Mr Kallas gives a clear answer: it should not be more than an agency of the Council.

This is truly a dangerous idea. The European project is a vision. It’s the vision of a peaceful and united European continent. It is not just a set of practical arrangements between countries.

For the latter you require technical experts, for the first you need officials who commit their lives to the project and who do not serve narrow national interests.

Intergovernmentalism is the road to hell. It’s a re-run of Bismarck’s ‘cauchemar des coalitions’ and we all know how that ended. This method is not in the spirit of the Treaties. Creating a ‘précariat‘ in the Commission is the objective as it allows a lowering of salaries and destroys staff opposition to unfair measures. The resulting demotivation of staff is a welcome side effect.

It would be interesting to hear from Mr Kallas whether this approach should also apply to the Council and the Parliament. And will member states’ governments be asked to kick out their civil servants and replace them with temporary staff as well?

Ronald Grünebaum

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