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EU - report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation, december 2009

Report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation on bank charges, flat-rate accommodation allowance and double taxation.

1. Bank charges

The ND and the professional delegations have sought clarification regarding bank charges levied on payments from the EU institutions to colleagues in the UK in particular. It has now been confirmed by DG BUDG that under EU Directive 2007/64, a text with EEA relevance, costs of payment transactions must be shared between payer and payee if

  1. both legs of a payment transaction are located in the EEA, and
  2. the transaction involves a currency conversion.

As a result, all your payments, including pension contribution payments, which involve a currency conversion, may attract a charge if the conditions under (a) and (b) above are met. Payments to EU officials attract these charges, and no exception to the rule can be made for ACI. The Commission will be contacting the EP about its announcement that for the so-called advance payments made directly by the EP the costs will be borne by the payer. SCIC is looking into the possibility of reimbursing charges levied before 1 Nov. 2009, the date the Directive came into force. The background to all this is that the Directive is part of the SEPA project, designed to encourage greater competition between banks. To ensure such competition, transparency regarding costs is a key requirement.

It has been suggested that shopping around between banks may identify those offering the most attractive rates. Payments made in euro to a euro account do not attract these charges.

2. Flat-rate accommodation allowance

SCIC has confirmed that there is at present no prospect of a revision of the Missions Guide, in force since 1 January 2009, and therefore no flat-rate accommodation allowance can be paid by the Commission. (See previous reports on Hotel costs are of course reimbursed up to the ceilings applicable, on submission of a hotel invoice. Please refer to the Vademecum for requirements concerning hotel invoices. You are advised to check that they are marked as paid and indicate your name and address.

3. Guaranteed evening off at SCIC

The Professional Delegation at the Commission has repeatedly asked about the electronic request facility being extended to ACI and been told that this must be held off until the Volunteer function as a whole is revamped. Meanwhile, apply for an evening off with an email at least two weeks in advance to

4. Age limit

Following the EP resolution adopted on the basis of Mr. Martinez Martinez's report, the Delegation asked SCIC about its intentions in the matter.  The reply was that the Commission is obliged to apply the CEOS (Conditions of Employment of Other Servants) which stipulate that, unless an item is covered by the Agreement with AIIC, the CEOS apply, and they contain the age limit on recruitment.

5. Double taxation

Greek colleagues are reminded of the announcements on SCICNet and Epiweb saying they may avail of the legal assistance provided by the Institutions in the matter of the Greek extraordinary levy.  These announcements were made as a result of the matter being raised with the Institutions by the Negotiating Delegation.

Turkish colleagues may contact the Delegation if they have problems with double taxation on EU contracts. The possibility of such problems has been raised with the Institutions, which would like to be informed of concrete cases before taking the matter any further.

6. Brussels-Strasbourg trains

ACI are entitled to travel on either of the two high-speed trains between Brussels and Strasbourg and tickets for both will be reimbursed.

Recommended citation format:
European Union Negotiating Delegation. "EU - report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation, december 2009". December 22, 2009. Accessed July 7, 2020. <>.

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