PositionBrief Article

The work set in motion by the Peer Group seeks to single our activities or sub-activities the Commission might be able to drop, in the wake of an audit carried out in each service in the light of the target of cutting jobs by 5 to 15%. This assessment offers some contrasting findings. In the case of its own business area, the Commission is in a position to slash about 540 appointments spread over 15 or so Directorates-General. One-third of the total would be achieved by closing down the Petten Joint Research Centre on advanced materials. Other staff cuts could be achieved by consolidating the activities of the DG for Health and Consumer Protection, activities that are presently spread over Brussels, Luxembourg City and Dublin. Additional cuts involving about 300 jobs, are referred to but these need the approval of the European Parliament, as this would require the demise of the number of non-compulsory items of expenditure related to Category 3 of the Budget (Internal Polices), such as doing away with the LIFE, Daphne, SAVE or Altener programmes.Estimates have made amidst a shifting scenario in terms of human resources management. The redeployment operation announced as soon as the European Commission entered office has already been applied to 1,500 positions, or about 8% of the total number of staff. The process is set to continue but should slow down so that no more than 3% of staff are deployed between now and the end of 2002. This huge in-house upheaval has failed to convince the Directors-General that this will do the trick of satisfying the needs. The job cuts the Commission is planning are continuing to cause concern and the directors-generals expressed this concern anew in a meeting on 25 July with the Secretary-General David O'Sullivan. Otherwise, the Peer Group operation has resulted in more than just proposals for reducing the size of the workforce: nearly 1,600 demands for posts to be created have been submitted. The Commission is due to accept about 750 covering six priority fields of activity, resulting from the strategic objectives for 200-2005, as presented by the European Parliament last February.One of the fields of activity the Commission is expected to...

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