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Art 27 03

Consultation on the Deform of the Staff Regulation under Article 27 ofthe CFR
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Article 27 of the CFR and the
Reform of the Staff Regulation

Article 27 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights reads;
"Workers' right to information and consultation within the undertaking
Workers or their representatives must, at the appropriate levels, be guaranteed information and consultation in good time in the cases and under the conditions provided for by Union law and national laws and practices."

The Union Syndicale has published the demand that these rights should be respected by the two principal actors in the Deform process, Council and the European Parliament.
This needs to be officially communicated to the Presidents of those Institutions. Each one of them may choose to respond or not. Let us examine the alternatives.

If both Council and the European Parliament hold real consultations with Staff Representatives they have fulfilled the obligations that they imposed on themselves when they proclaimed the Charter of Fundamental Rights. That is what they should do. The big question is what results will be obtained. Only a minority among the Members is adequately informed about the Deform of our Staff Regulation, the rest follow their party´s line and concentrate on the work of the Committee that they have been assigned to. Concessions might be obtained if some of the politicians can be brought to understand how harmful and unfair the current proposals are during the formal Consultation with Staff Representatives. Given the pressure that plutocrats are exerting on the political class, we should expect only modest concessions. Even those are well worthwhile.

If one of these Institutions flouts the Charter of Fundamental Rights by not responding to the demand there is an opportunity to bring an action for annulment under Article 263 of the TFEU of the new Staff Regulations before the European Court of Justice for the annulment of the new Staff Regulation. We would clearly have what lawyers call “locus standi”, in plain English, the right to have our appeal heard.

The EP has experience with litigation over the exact meaning of its own “consultation” right; see EP 1, 2, 3. That will render it more open to consultations with Staff Representatives. Perhaps the Council will consider the jurisprudence about consultation of Staff Representatives; see 1, 2, 3, 4
Before it breaks the solemn promise that it made by proclaiming the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The judges will condemn open disrespect for our fundamental rights as a breach of an “essential procedural requirement”. After they annul the deformed Staff Regulation, the law making procedure will have to be rerun with the required consultation. Don´t get too enthusiastic because, unfortunately, Article 27 gives staff and its representatives no right to participate in the decision, only to be heard. It is likely that no concessions at all, or only token ones, will be reached in Court ordered consultations. Nevertheless, an action for annulment will be well worth the expense and effort because it is a rather spectacular form of protest. It may also delay the stampede of certain unions to sign on to the 2013 Deform. (That would be a step forward, away from the behaviour pattern of 2004 when some unions signed and then organized General Assemblies against what they had signed less than a 100 days later. Nor did they explain or even mention their support for the Kinnock Deform while protesting loudly. This sort of misbehaviour will be blocked; at least until the European Court of Justice publishes its verdict.)

Interested readers will find an excellent summary of the ins and outs of annulments on pages 223 through 242 of Dashwood and Wyatt .

Either way, the Article 27 demand is an excellent idea. In the short term it is worth the effort and expense as a creative and powerful form of protest. The long term advantage is that by demanding those rights which we already have, we prepare the ground for getting the kind of co-decision rights that our colleagues in Germany and Austria have successfully exercised since the 1970s.

At this time the Union Syndicale hesitates to put its good idea into practice. That is why SE, SID and U4U have stepped up and filed official requests with the two Presidents 1, 2.





Created by: admin last modification: Friday 28 of September, 2012 [10:49:42 UTC] by admin

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