Updated: Jun 10, 2021
Article written by Michael Steffens and Helen Conefrey
USHU urges the EEAS to take the necessary steps NOW to secure access in situ to EMA-approved vaccinations for colleagues posted to Delegations and to facilitate expatriate staff who must travel to Brussels for the vaccine.
USHU openly challenges EEAS Management to find a solution for ALL staff
EEAS/COM must comply with duty of care and ensure that EU DEL staff of ALL categories have access to COVID-19 vaccines. Each 3rd country must be analysed and where necessary specific measures must be authorised to ensure that EU DEL staff are NOT left behind.
The current EEAS regime is aligned to the Belgium vaccination scheme and DOES NOT cater for the specific and peculiar circumstances of the third countries we all work.
USHU is receiving a growing number of queries and complaints from EU DEL colleagues in relation to communication from the EEAS and COM on the vaccine rollout for EU Delegation.
We all receive COMMISSION weekly updates and know that staff at HQ are being vaccinated faster. EU DEL staff are clearly being neglected whereas they should be PRIORITISED.
Local Agents and Expats in EU DEL who do not form part of the vulnerable category continue to face HUGE uncertainty over vaccine availability.
USHU urges the EEAS to take the necessary steps to secure access in situ to EMA-approved vaccinations for colleagues posted to Delegations that wish to take them.
USHU requests the EEAS to recognise any additional costs incurred by ALL Expatriate staff who need to be vaccinated in Brussels – the Duty of Care extends to ALL staff
Many expatriates have no residence in Brussels and this is neither their place of interest/origin therefore it is clear they will incur costs if the EEAS remains incapable of vaccinating them at their normal place of work in an EU Delegation.
Expatriate Staff in Delegations are in third countries to perform their duties on behalf of the EU institutions. This is the reason why they reside outside the European Union. Furthermore, due to their work, many expatriates are even excluded from their national Member State vaccination schemes because they reside abroad. Expatriate colleagues rely on the EEAS to address their vaccination needs and have NO ALTERNATIVE.
USHU calls on the EEAS to open up vaccination appointments in Brussels for all expatriate staff in EU DEL NOW!
USHU calls on the EEAS to recognise fully any additional costs that expatriates incur in order to be vaccinated in Brussels.
USHU calls on the EEAS to find solutions for our LOCAL AGENTS who need the vaccine too!