Top EU officials secure their own salaries

14 December 2011

Top EU officials secure their own salaries

The European Commission is keen to maintain the ample salaries and bonuses of its senior officials. In order to be able to do this, they will cut the pay of the least well-paid, those who usually perform supporting and administrative tasks. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, commenting on the decision, said: ‘The Commission is leaving officials who earn more than Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel pretty well untouched, while at the same time cutting the salaries of newly appointed administrative personnel by 18%, almost a fifth. In the SP’s view this is the world turned upside down.’

Dennis de JongThe fact that top EU officials are doing very nicely, thank you, is demonstrated by, for example, the extremely low turnover at the Commission. In response to questions from the SP, the Commission calculated that an annual average of just twenty-one officials leave of their own accord. “It’s no secret in Brussels that once you are taken on as an EU official, you never leave. That’s largely because of the enormous differences in remuneration between national and EU civil servants. Pension rights at the Commission are much more generous than they are in the member states, as well. This creates an extremely inward-looking culture in which you quickly lose any contact with ordinary people. The Commission ought to tackle this problem before they start placing the heaviest burdens on the shoulders of those least able to bear them.”

Cuts in the salaries of EU officials form part of the plans for the new multi-annual budget proposed by the SP earlier in the year. These included an eventual halving of the highest EU salaries. For the SP, less money for bureaucracy forms part of an overarching plan to make Brussels financially more efficient.

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