USF letter to the COCORE of the 8.03.2016

USF thanks the Director General of the JRC for having convened the today meeting, upon our request. USF has also appreciated to receive some of the information useful to understand the document on the JRC Strategy which has not been included in the list of documents sent to us before the meeting.

USF is concerned that the principal document describing the proposed JRC new strategy has been exclusively published on Connected, an internal JRC platform,

In absence of further information from your side, USF assumes that this document published on Connected is the base for the COCORE discussion.

USF wants to share with you some general considerations on such document which seems to be based on three main references: Euratom Treaty, Ex- post Evaluation of the direct actions of the JRC under the 7th framework programmes and the 2014 Change of the Commission. That is why USF sent a letter to COCORE about this.

USF observes that the Euratom Treaty has not been recently revised, the Ex-post Evaluation of the direct actions of the JRC document has been considered by all a very positive judgment of the JRC’s contribution to the FP7 programmes, therefore, the proposal of a new JRC Strategy, we deduct, has to be linked just to the change of the Commission’s portfolio (from the Research&Innovation to Education, Culture, Youth and Sport) and Commission’s priorities.

USF is wondering about the new objectives that DG-JRC wishes to reach with the proposed document on JRC strategy.

We noted that the objectives are not clearly listed in the document as well as the field of knowledge to be managed by the JRC in the future.

However, deep changes in the DG structure are very clearly suggested. Those changes will reduce JRC involvement in the frontiers of science and its capacity to perform in house experimental science, but puts a lot of emphasis on knowledge management.

The major changes USF noted are related to the three main pillars :

– Staff ratio (70% F – 30% T instead of 60% F – 40% T, ref. NPPR 1997)
– Management and usage of the infrastructures
– JRC internal scientific management and JRC job orientation.

Which, in our view, should be part of a much more broader negotiation phase at the Commission level after the approval of a new Strategy for DG-JRC.

Due to the unclearness of the mandate which should support the nature of these deep changes and the lack of well-structured and comprehensive document, USF cannot share and support your proposal of a new JRC Strategy and considers untimely its presentation to the Board of Governors of the 11th of March 2016.