Members of the European Parliament at work. Photo by: © European Union 2011 PE-EP/Pietro Naj-Oleari

The European Union is tightening its belt, and staff — including those working in international development — will bear some of the brunt. The question is how and when.

In December 2011, the European Commission proposed a reform of its staff regulations that would shrink personnel, increase working hours and delay the retirement age, among other things. Put together, the changes would save the commission an estimated €1 billion (nearly $1.3 billion in current rates) by 2020, on top of the €8 billion resulting from reforms passed in 2004.

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About the author

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    Elena L. Pasquini

    Elena Pasquini covers the development work of the European Union as well as various U.N. food and agricultural agencies for Devex News. Based in Rome, she also reports on Italy's aid reforms and attends the European Development Days and other events across Europe. She has interviewed top international development officials, including European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. Elena has contributed to Italian and international magazines, newspapers and news portals since 1995.