19 October 2017
The Hague
Reporter: Barney Dixon

SUEPO confirms position on Campinos election


The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has confirmed that it’s “ready to embark on a road to fruitful cooperation” with new president of the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos.

Last week, a source close to SUEPO said that the staff union was willing to work with Campinos, provided there was a “respect by top management for the rule of law”.

In a letter from SUEPO to its members, it stated that the vacancy for the position listed “unprecedented requirements: to lead the EPO with modern management techniques and an outstanding ability to engage in social dialogue”.

“We believe this indicated the [Administrative Council’s] desire to re-establish harmonious working conditions and to dissipate the atmosphere generated over the past year.”

SUEPO suggested it is aware the road will be “steep and time-consuming, as a long list of tasks lies ahead”.

The letter explained that Campinos should establish a multilateral working group charged with truth finding and recommending concrete action on the rule of law and fundamental rights at the office, the dignity of staff, staff welfare and the relationship between working conditions and psychosocial risks.

It added: “We are aware that it takes time and good will to solve the problems lying ahead. SUEPO would readily accept an invitation to participate in such a working group and would spare no effort in working towards the success of its mission.”

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