Summary: A group of experts within the EU Council of Ministers has just begun work on the proposal for a Regulation presented by the European Commission on November 25, with the aim of adapting salaries and pensions of civil servants and other agents of the European Union institutions with effect from July 1, 1998. The Council was called on to determine the amount of this retroactive adjustment before the end of 1999. In the current context of the reform of the Staff Regulations, the Member State delegations were almost unanimous in requesting in the future amendments to the method of calculating adaptations, in particular in the light of two studies on the pension system which the European Commission is in no hurry to submit. There was also some confusion with regard to calculations made by the European Commission for the adaptation for 1998. The group also continued the debate on the Commission's report concerning secretarial allowances.

In the run-up to the deadline for the current method for calculating salary and pension adaptations, set at June 30, 2001 by Article 15 of the Annex to the Staff Regulations, a group of delegations (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) linked their agreement on the adjustment proposed for 1998 to the presentation by the European Commission of a timetable for 2001, as well as to a policy paper on the proposals it intends to forward to the Council with a view to implementing a new calculation method. For its part, the French delegation criticised the automatic nature of the current adaptation method, and its methodology which is based on purchasing power parities, which it suggests replacing in the future by a system which is based on national price indices. The German delegation objected in particular to the application to retired EU civil servants, irrespective of their actual place of residence, of corrective...

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