EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘EU officials win pay rise battle with member states‘:

I would like to make the following additional points:

  • The Court’s decision was fast because the breach of EU law by the Council was obvious and flagrant – as the legal services of both the Council and the Commission had warned beforehand.
  • The progressive income tax on EU officials (which is directly taken from monthly pay and paid into the EU budget) is on average higher than that of national officials (45% above 6,000 euros).
  • The level of EU salaries and benefits is broadly in line with that of officials in other international organisations and national diplomats (including those stationed in Brussels).
  • Contrary to national officials, EU officials have no fiscal deductions of any sort.
  • The additional extra ‘provisional levy’ linked to exceptional economic circumstances was applied at the time of the oil crisis and kept for some 20 years.

Sincerely,

Jean-Guy Giraud

UEF FRANCE

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Comments

  1. there are so many urban legends about EU officials:

    – they pay taxes and VAT like everybody (..except diplomats)
    – they don’t have any rental subsidy (…unlike diplomats)
    – their salary is net: no bonus, no compensation for overtime, for giving one’s blood (as it used to be until recently in Belgium) etc etc
    – salaries may be high, compared to local Belgians but they aren’t given the qualifications of most of them
    – EU citizens cannot demand in the same time that all member states be represented in the workforce if there is no compensation for leaving one’s country, and in many cases having one’s spouse abandon a career, particularly for secretarial and administrative posts, with high salaries compared to similar positions in the private and public sectors but in many cases leading to one income earner in the family.

    – last but not least, the running costs of the EU (salaries, pensions, buildings, heating etc) represent…6% of the total budget

  2. So what? None of what you have just said means anything to anyone in Europe. Mass austerity measures across the board, and all the commission can bother itself with is defending its own pay rises. Shame on europe and those who defend this undemocratic, self serving gravy train. Wake up to the realities of what is happening around you.

    Sincerley

    Clive Alman, Chester England.

    Pround Anti Europeon Union

  3. I’m not ‘proudly anti-EU’, but I have to say Clive has a point!

    The average takehome of an EC official is enormously larger than the equivalent Belgian salary. And those salaries have been flat for years and are heading down with austerity.

    They have wonderful job security and final pay-based pensions (70%).

    I met an ex-Director the other day who was compaining that his 18000 euro / month salary (yes, that’s NET) had been cut to ‘only’ 14,000.

    Added to this, EC staff also have incredible amounts of days off: a friend of mine was an official for a few years, and had over 30 days leave PLUS longer Easter (5 day weekend) and Christmas breaks.

    And yet they get a pay rise as everyone else is either laid off or tells the kids to forget about next year’s holiday because they need a financial buffer in uncertain times.

    A bit rich, and very poor!

  4. A European civil service is very much needed. EU officials are not paid more than higher French civil servants for example (in Belgium for example, there are many many civil servants with low pay, temporary contracts, no competitive entry examination, a lot of party influence) whereas EU officials are expected to be competent and independent… they have to pass highly competitive examinations where all European elites are competing. Then they leave their home country without a diplomatic status (VAT exemptions etc). And they are fewer than civil servants in EUropean capitals (30 000 is less than Paris Vienna…) for 500 million citizens! It is extremely difficult for example to attract secretaries from outside brussels because the salaries are not that high, considering that the partner/husband/wife may well not be able to find a new job. Expatriation is not a bed of roses.

    A standard rule to weaken a civil service is to lower wages, exposing the staff to various temptations and client based relationships. This is common in all third world countries. I think a good, modern civil service need not be huge (but not a dwarf either since it has an important function) but deserves care and a just appreciation.

  5. “the running costs of the EU (salaries, pensions, buildings, heating etc) represent…6% of the total budget”

    This is misleading. When a grant is given to an organisation or project, the EU is simply passing administrative costs on to somebody else.

  6. Pierre, Why do you deceive people?

    “there are so many urban legends about EU officials:

    – they pay taxes and VAT like everybody (..except diplomats)”

    No, they do not. Eurocrats enjoy diplomatic car sales, for example.

    “- they don’t have any rental subsidy (…unlike diplomats)”

    Yes, Eurocrats do. They receive a 5% lodging fee that is completely tax-free.

    “- their salary is net: no bonus, no compensation for overtime, for giving one’s blood (as it used to be until recently in Belgium) etc etc”

    Yes they do. Eurocrats enjoy Flexitime, a system that rewards overtime. Completely tax-free.

    “- salaries may be high, compared to local Belgians but they aren’t given the qualifications of most of them …”

    Many a European post-PhD. is working at a foreign university at local conditions. These people are far more qualified than any Eurocrat, yet do not enjoy Eurocrat privileges.

    “- last but not least, the running costs of the EU (salaries, pensions, buildings, heating etc) represent…6% of the total budget”

    This is irrelevant to the discussion. Even if it would be 1%.

Comments are closed.