Identify competitions or procedures to which you are eligible and find out about the registration procedures
If you simply want to gain prior experience of working within the EU institutions, you can do so through internships, contract agent positions, temporary agent positions or seconded national expert positions (SNEs) which are subject to specific recruitment procedures (Bluebook, CAST procedures, etc.). However, if you want to become a European civil servant, you will have to pass a European Union competition. These competitions are organised according to a calendar defined by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO).
Since 2010, the EU institutions have adopted a centralised, planned and multi-annual recruitment policy. Implemented by EPSO, this policy results in the regular organisation of two types of competition:
- generalist competitions, i.e. competitions scheduled every year to recruit multi-skilled agents capable, because of their transversal skills, of working in different departments and institutions. This is the reason why the eligibility conditions for these competitions are quite broad (no specific diplomas required except for a certain level of study: secondary school diploma for assistants, degree corresponding to three years of postgraduate studies for administrators). The selection is made on the basis of tests, with the aim of evaluating the performance of candidates against a general competency framework defined by EPSO.
- specialised competitions, i.e. competitions organised according to needs, to recruit agents specialised in very specific fields with various grades: building engineering, food security, fight against fraud, economy financial, ICT security, scientific research, etc. As the profiles sought are more specific, eligibility conditions are more draconian (diplomas and / or professional experience in a particular field). Selection is made not only on tests but also on titles (diplomas, certificates, qualifications, experience), and the skills assessed include not only general competencies but also specific skills in a given field.
To find out if you can apply for an EU competition, to consult published or future competition notices, to better understand the recruitment procedures and the type of European careers possible, we recommend that you go to EPSO’s website: www.eu-careers.eu. This site is indeed the ultimate reference for anyone wishing to take a European competition. In particular, you will find information on:
- careers in European institutions and the types of profiles / skills sought;
- the procedure for applying for EU competitions;
- job opportunities currently available for all types of positions (intern, contract agent, temporary agent, permanent agent);
- the list of all general or specialized competitions:
What awaits you as a future civil servant…
European civil servants are permanent agents recruited exclusively through open or internal competitions. They work within institutions, bodies and agencies of the European Union (EU) in a wide variety of positions on duties of general interest and public service. They can just as easily work in an audit service as in a Directorate General at the European Commission for example.
Having very different education background, professional experiences and trajectories, they can be entrusted with particularly diverse tasks: for instance, administrators can develop EU policies, implement European legislation or carry out business activities, analysis and advice for more than 450 million citizens from different EU Member States. In addition, these "European professionals" have to bring European institutions to life.
If you want to work within an intercultural and multilingual environment (mastering at least two EU official language is indeed a prerequisite for all EU Competitions); if you want to change frequently of position (professional mobility is encouraged every 3 to 4 years within institutions and abroad); if you are ready to work in constantly evolving fields (international trade, research, culture, foreign policy, agriculture and fishing, digital technologies, environment, etc.), therefore it means that you have the adequate spirit for becoming an EU official!
Institutions, bodies and agencies of the EU also have a comprehensive system of continuous training which ensures the regular development of their staff’s skills, in particular as regards language learning.
Finally, the remuneration and benefits of European civil servants are undeniably an attractive element of a European career.
You want to know more about EU careers and EU’s open competitions? We offer a Discovery course on EU’s open competitions to "beginner" candidates who wish to better understand this particular environment and prepare themselves as well as possible with comprehensive information and our expert advice.
Do not hesitate to contact us to find a training that best suits your needs and your profile.