The new appointments would apply in the main to grades A and B. At the same time the Commission wants to create an early retirement system to allow 600 civil servants to retire over two years. This would focus in particular on grades C a D. This would be seconded by a major shake-up of the services, with certain tasks being phased out altogether.The Commission is seriously considering the idea of shutting down the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Advanced Materials (Petten, the Netherlands). Commissioner Philippe Busquin will hand in a report on this matter at the end of the year. Another idea is to rationalise the places were sites are established. The Commission President Romano Prodi and the Vice-President, Neil Kinnock, will be making proposals at the end of the year and apparently Luxembourg is under the spotlight.Should the budgetary authority fail to agree to the Commission's demands, the Peer Group has proposed other staff cuts, with the Commission stressing that it would...

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