How to apply for an EU job

By Elena L. Pasquini 20 August 2012

Jobs with the EU are highly competitive. After an online application, some candidates are invited to take a computer-based admission test, which may lead to further assessment in Brussels. Photo by: European Commission

Landing a job is never easy, but landing a foreign aid job with the European Union is really tough.

First of all, candidates must pass a public competition whose aim is not to fill a vacant post, but to create a reserve list of candidates from which EU institutions can recruit, when and if they need to.

Being successful in a competition doesn’t mean getting a job, though. According to a survey of the European Personnel Selection Office, only 11,000 of 300,000 applicants have passed one of more than 300 competitions to date and among them, 8,400 were hired.

EPSO’s task ends when the reserve list is published. The recruitment is essentially up to the human resources staff of each EU institution or European Commission directorate-general, including the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid.

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About the author

Elena L. Pasquini@elenapasquini

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.

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