Staff at the EU's Council of Ministers are to strike today (8 November) in protest against cuts to the EU's administrative budget that member states have proposed as part of the negotiations on the multi-annual financial framework (MFF).
Some officials from the European Commission and the Parliament are expected to join the strike. Commission representatives of most of the staff unions oppose today's strike, but have called on their members to demonstrate in front of the Berlaymont building, the Commission's headquarters, at lunchtime today. The staff unions are discussing co-ordinated strikes ahead of a European Council discussion of the MFF on 22-23 November.
A Council official said that 18 working-group meetings initially scheduled for today had been postponed, while a handful of others might go ahead. No ministerial meetings or other major events had been scheduled for today; budget negotiations between national finance ministers and MEPs in the Justus Lipsius building tomorrow (9 November) are not expected to be affected. Security guards and canteen staff are not on strike, although the canteen is expected to offer a reduced service.
A crisis levy of 5.5% on officials' salaries will lapse at the end of the year unless MEPs and member states reach agreement on a reform of the EU's staff regulations before then - which appears unlikely. Eliminating the levy would lead to a net rise in staff salaries.