The European Commission has announced major reforms to its pay and promotion
structures for its 16,000 staff.
Promotion will be on merit, dismissing Eurocrats will be made much easier
and the current four staff grades will be cut to two.
Many of its personnel practices have been in operation for up to four
decades since the EU was created as the executive arm of the European Coal and
Steel Community in 1957.
Until now, promotion has been awarded due to seniority rather than ability,
and it has been virtually impossible to sack a member of staff for
The measures are aimed at tackling the disillusionment felt by many of the
EC’s talented middle-ranking Eurocrats, who spend years on the same grade.
Neil Kinnock, the commission’s vice-president responsible for reforms, said,
"We are going to introduce a meritocratic system which will reward
talented people and get rid of the present career structure which places a
premium on the length of service. These reforms are radical and will provide
value for money by contrast with established habits."