EEAS High Representative

For 2012, inflation of large salaries in the diplo service (Maj)

(credit: Savings Banks)

(BRUSSELS2) While the time is rather for budgetary restrictions, the 2012 draft budget for the European Diplomatic Service (EEAS) placed under the authority of the British Catherine Ashton ignores this, at least at certain levels of the hierarchy. If the number of statutory staff is almost stable: +7 positions (the workforce increasing from 1643 to 1670 divided into 940 administrators and 730 assistant positions), the top of the scale is experiencing double-digit inflation.

+ 40 new high salaries

If the number of AD 16 and AD15 remains unchanged (respectively 12 and 38), the same is not true of the following categories: AD 14 are experiencing notable inflation (they go from 70 to 109, i.e. +39 positions or +56%) in the 2012 draft budget. While the AD 13 saw an increase of a third (they went from 157 to 208, +49 positions) according to a movement of communicating vessels with the AD 12.

It should be noted that an AD 14 provides (excluding family allowances and expatriation bonuses) between 13.200 and 15.000 euros for its agent. And that an AD 13 earns from 11.700 to 13.200 euros, or between 1300 to 1500 euros more than an AD 12. Broken down to an annual rate, this inflation of high salaries represents 7,5 million euros… Which does not is not negligible and represents a quarter of the increase requested for the 2012 budget. We thus better understand the imperative of a 10% reduction in positions, requested in the EEAS services; it is a question of compensating for this arrival of new “high salaries”.

Member States' double talk

This increase is, in fact, necessary for two main reasons. Firstly, the organization chart of the EEAS, where special advisors, special representatives, department directors, directors general and directors overlap, is particularly dense; it looks more like a millefeuille, where there are more senior executives than effective executives. If we include the 185 AD 12 planned for 2012, we arrive at more than 550 civil servants who, in the diplomatic service, earn more than 10.000 euros per month. A real Mexican army…

Secondly, and above all, this increase is due to the recruitment of ambassadors from Member States who ask to be better paid or not lose their benefits from their Member States. It does not matter if it is in contradiction with the request of the same Member States to limit, or even contract, European budgets. Here we find a fairly common double standard from Member States who want to see the resources of community institutions decrease but at the same time demand that they spend more...

NB: The overall budget of the EEAS planned for 2012 is 490,8 million euros compared to 464,1 million in 2011, an increase which appears significant in percentage terms (5,8%), but remains overall very modest in numerical terms. (+26 million euros). Personnel costs (statutory, contractual and other costs) do not increase, significantly at headquarters (+ 3 million euros, the budget going from 140,2 million to 143 million) but a little more in the delegations ( + 13 M, from 168,3 M to 181 M).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).