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EU civil servants must share the pain

February 21, 2012 9:12 AM

Ahead of a Debate on the Floor of the Commons on the pay, pensions and organisation of EU staff, Senior Lib Dem MEP George Lyon, Vice President of the European Parliament's Budget Committee and author of a report to modernise the EU Staff Regulations, has spoken out in support of a major reform to the salary, pensions and working hours of EU civil servants which could save an estimated €1000 million between 2013 and 2020.

Highlighting the current climate of austerity, Mr Lyon has backed proposals that will cut EU staff numbers by 5%, increase their working week by 2.5 hours, increase the retirement age from 63 to 65 and make it easier to work to 67. There will be other changes to certain staff categories and a 50% reduction in the number of days staff are entitled to subsidised travel back to their home countries. He also wants to ensure that staff are rewarded based on their performance and the quality of their work.

He said:

"National capitals around Europe have to implement belt-tightening measures to try and make ends meet and the European Union must also take its fair share of the financial pain.

"The proposal to cut staff numbers by 5% and increase the pension age and the hours staff work is a step in the right direction and it should deliver savings of over one billion Euros in the 2014-2020 budget period with further long term savings of over a billion Euros a year when all the changes are factored in.

"This is a good start, but I believe we must look for further savings and efficiencies in all the EU budgets to ensure that taxpayers' money is spent as efficiently and as effectively as possible."

Note to editors:

The proposals are going to save an estimated €1000 million between 2013 and 2020 (€125million per year). After 2020, the yearly savings will increase exponentially and when the reforms have been implemented in full, the "cruising speed" savings AFTER 2060 will be an estimated €1000 million per year.

Main changes proposed to the EU Staff Regulations:

  • An increase in retirement age for officials from 63 to 65 (and provisions making it easier to continue to 67, while making it harder to retire early)
  • An increase in the minimum working hours from 37.5 to 40 hours per week, without salary adjustment
  • The creation of a new career structure for secretaries leading to savings in salary and pensions
  • A reduction in travel days for expatriates from 6 days to 3
  • A change to the method for adjusting salaries and pensions


Angelika Schneider
Press Officer
ALDE Group
European Parliament
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Rue Wiertz 50
BE 1047 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 28 41019 BXL
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Mobile +44 7950 184 194
E angelika.schneider@europarl.europa.eu