The sheer number of comments at the main post ‘So I Won’t Be A Commission Official‘ has been causing problems, so all the old comments are here instead, and hence searchable.

2,067 Comments

  1. sebastian

    @PB: You should be aware of the fact that the COM is currently organising a rather huge internal competition, especially one for AD 5 level (230 posts for the different profiles). The reason behind this decision seems to be the high number of EU-10 temporary agents (ca. 25% compared to a reference value of 3% for the COM as a whole).
    To me the rationale behind the organisation of this internal competition seems to be that present temporary agents (who were recruited without having sat a competition) get a shot to be made permanent officials without having to face outside competition.
    To quote the COM:”The current number of EU-10 temporary agents is a consequence of external factors, in particular the discrepancy between the recruitment needs and the availability of reserve lists (both in terms of number of laureates and profiles):”

  2. PS @A
    Have to say I’m a bit surprised by what you say, as I heard of someone recruited fairly recently as an English translator who was on the reserve list for 4 years! I would have thought it would be quicker if there were really a shortage of translators…

  3. @A
    Yes it’s the concours for English translators… well I hope you’re right about there not being much competition!

    As for me, I’m British when it suits me (ie have a passport), but as my pseudonym suggests, I’m actually from New Zealand (where even fewer people learn languages than in the UK). At my school they only offered one foreign language (French), so I’ve had to add another (Italian) since I decided I wanted to do a concours.

    @jmo
    As far as I know, you always need 2 foreign languages to work as a translator for the Commission – that’s certainly what the concours requirement seems to be.

  4. ignazio

    Juba, Southern Sudan, for example

  5. Euro-dog

    Hello,

    I really appreciate all the information I read here so I’ll do a little contribution. 🙂

    I have applied for the CAST RELEX 2008, in the computers field, and also some of my friends were doing the same exam with me for the RELEX 2008, in the computers field.
    One of my friends has already received a phone call and they have made him a phone interview so.

    Well, I also passed the exams, but they have not phoned me :(. Well, my friend has a lot of years of experience in the international field so it’s kinda logic they have gone for him. 🙂

    But I have hope 🙂 Seems they are looking for people, and not only to renew actual CAs contracts.

  6. @Olive70

    could you please share which school (name) it is that you mentioned?

  7. adilushu

    Hi everyone

    Just discovered this site – great source of information. I am now on a reserve list for an AD position – not very sure what to expect next – hopefully some interviews.

  8. @George

    Do you know why? What did they tell you in their letter?
    They informed you by email or phone?

  9. George

    @ REA TA applicants:

    I just received news in my EPSO profile that I was not admitted to the oral test/interview for Research Programme Officer AD7.

  10. I think that is wrong, it does not count how many cast you passed…maximum is 3 years for CA within the institution

    fata_morgana Says:

    If a CA has worked for a institution (Commission) for 6 years (3 initial contract + other 3 of extension), then that person cannot get a new assignment in the institutions as a CA, unless he/she is on the list of another CAST competition, this entitling this person to get a job for other 6 years.

  11. Dear Roman, Niccolo, and colleagues of EPSO 99/07,
    Can you send me also the material about EPSO 99/07 (pinojumb (at) libero.it).
    I am in field 2 and have heard some colleagues in field3 which have already been called for beginning of December. And you?
    Thanks in advance!
    Pino

  12. I have just received from REA regarding ADM/AD6

    The Research Executive Agency (REA) received a large number of applications for the above-referenced post and the selection process is still ongoing. You will be informed as soon as we have any news regarding your application.

    so no news does not mean good news ……

  13. The results for AST44 are out from last Friday and thanks god, I passed.

    Did somebody know how long it takes the administrative procedure to recruit me as official, in fact to “regularise” me, I’m temporary agent and my DG want to keep me.
    Thanks to answering and good luck.
    Dodo

  14. Stefano

    @Abdel

    About dressing, no worry, if you do not meet anyone from outise it is not so formal (no need to have dresses, ties and so on, just dress what make you more comfortable!).
    If you are still waiting for the end of the Medical Examination I advice you to avoid to book anything, because it takes at least other 8 weeks to get the signed contract.
    PMO cannot arrange the travel and cannot approve it since you ARE ENTITLED TO HAVE IT. They have no power on this decision. But without a contract I suggest you can wait, also consider that the cost of the business class is the same if you buy it now or two minutes before departure time. The ticket is reimbursed on presentation of the receipt plus the boarding pass. I don’t know ehre are you from, but in Helsinki Lufthansa has the better flights in my opinion, with a wide range of possibilities, it is also the most expensive.
    By the way, I used the business class ticket, but because in other casese you have to pay your extra luggage on your own if it exceed 200 Euro cost (20 Kg for most of the companies).
    Installation allowance for a single person is 1 month BASIC SALARY, it is paid as soon as you are installed into the place of work, which means as soon as you provide a lease contract or a proof you have bought an house in Finland/Helsinki.
    For me it took 3 months to get it back, I started Mid november and I got it in February 2008. Always consider that pay slips are prepared a month in advance and the entitlements are slow to be prepared. Do not expect to get it before a couple of months, in every case.

    My private email is braccos AT usa.net, for any other need and if you want to avoid to bore people with discussions about Helsinki.

    By the way, about the Agency Climate… I work with most of the EU agencies now (there is a sort of circularity of the information to facilitate start up agencies), I must admit that ECHA is probably the N. 1 or 2 in my personal classification, this is because the work is well organized and the agency itself was able to do drastical choises to improve drammatically the productivity of its staff. And if you consider the standards outside and its size (more than 300 people) this has been a great risk but is having great results.

    Stefano

  15. Oliver70

    No news, good news??

  16. @ola
    OK, I see. This incertitude makes people nervous. We’re not yet out like others, so we’re perhaps not bad and just have to wait. But we also don’t know if those who already have interviews are better than us. Once they are selected and fill the available posts, we make be not needed anymore and be out anyways. Unless they go alphabetically or something like that and our turn will come anyways. But it would be really good to have a bit more clarity.

    Anyone knows or suspects what their ways are (I mean ways of finalising the recruitment business by era/ercea)?

  17. @A
    I know this from inside the EC, for almost all fields/posts the interviews already started or will start in few days

  18. Thanks for this info. All I knew was that there was nothing in my profile. I learn from you about interviews planned or going on for others. May I ask you – do you know it from colleagues or is there another website where people share this?
    I wonder what my chances are to get the invitation.
    If the invitation comes (that would be really nice), then again I would start to worry how to prepare…

  19. I just received a notification from ERA telling me i wasn’t selected for an interview for the IT Officer position…

  20. Breach

    I’ve just gotten a ‘no-go’ from REA.

  21. @rea and ercea applicants

    I applied for research programme officer and administrative officer? Do you know if they are now having interviews for these posts? I have no info in my profile. Is there still a chance to be invited?

  22. Stefano

    @Abdel

    The removal can be done AFTER contract signature.
    Which means that you are entitled to get back you money ONLY after the work contract is signed and approval for removal signed by the competent office in PMO in BRU.
    To get the removal you need to have three offerings from different companies, it is accepted by PMO and then you can do it.
    The payment is done after 1-2 months (I have done 2 removal this year under the EU Commission).
    The day you declare the removal is completed you automatically lost the daily allowance. Which is a thing the EC do not say to the people.

    For any other information, do not hesitate to ask.

    Stefano

  23. Michel

    @REA applicants

    I’ve received notice that I wasn’t admitted for the interviews. I applied for a financial officer position.

  24. tiffiw

    @ Roman, Niccolo, Christos Bezirtzoglou
    Can you send me also the material about EPSO 99/07 (tiffi at beringo . de)? Thanks in advance!
    Martin

  25. Hi everyone,
    I recently got a “letter of intent”, and I’m planning on accepting the offer. I was wondering about the issue of removal, if anyone had an experience with that. Do I need to have my firm offer before I’m allowed to start my removal, or can I send my goods before I get the firm offer? How long does it take to get reimbursed, and how does the procedure work? Any help would be appreciated

  26. OK folks, it’s a bit easier to read now…

    I have to redesign my blog soon in any case, so this will have to do for now.

  27. relexer

    @J
    no, i was not invited for an interview. I heard from a current contract agent in brussels that chances of getting a job in the delegations are even lower than chances of getting a job in brussels (cast 27).
    i personally think that taking part in cast relex was pretty useless.

  28. @Stefano
    Dear Stefano, thank you very much for all the info you transmit us.
    I would also have a question for you: do you know how are the 5 years calculated in the framework of Expat Allowance ? I mean , do they calculate the last 5 years cronologically before the 6 months prior to entry in an EU institution or do they calculate from all the time you have spent in Belgium, all the months and years we worked in Belgium until they find 5 years? What if you can prove that the apartment and utilities were paid by the employer? And the employer is a multinational holding…
    Many thanks,
    Dana

  29. eucandidate

    @nova
    Hi nova,sorry I might have missed some previous discussions,for which Delegations did u get interviews? How long did you have to wait? When you say to the field, you mean in non-EU countries? I have also worked abroad, I hope it might help me get somewhere..;)
    I think lobbying makes you really stupid in their eyes, like a desperate person (ok, we might me, but we don’t want to show that ;). I am really against it, UNLESS, as I said before, by doing so, it will guarantee me good job prospects. If not, well, what to say, there are other things out there for us, possibly more challenging 😉

  30. Breach

    Bad/Good News: Message from ERCEA:

    Dear Candidate,

    Due to the significant number of applications received upon the calls for expression of interest for 80 TA positions the selection process has been delayed.

    The selection panels will start working in the end of October and interviews with shortlisted candidates will be conducted from mid-November until January 2009.

  31. eucandidate

    @RELEX2008 candidates
    For my position and FG (IV), in the job description on the website, it was stated that there were 40 positions available at the Delegations. Would this be true? Does this include new positions, or positions that might be already occupied by CAs and they would simply renew their contracts?
    As far as lobbying is concerned, I think that it is really a matter of luck. Of course it might help if you have an interesting CV (that makes a difference from the others). I know a person who did not lobby at all and got 4 job offers. And other who did not get nothing. You just don’t know…Unless you have key contacts who will really know what to do and who to talk to. Personally, I will wait for about 3-4 months to see what happens.

  32. eucandidate

    @RELEX2008

  33. Has anyone applied as a TA for the REA/ERCEA vacancies? Have you heard anything since then, interviews, etc.? It’s been 2 months already and no word on the status of my application…

  34. Ben Hook

    That goes for EPSO/126/08.

    Look at your EPSO profile under latest news (in case you haven’t done so). It is updated on Octomber 8th. Has some info about the concours. Also read comment #2039

  35. Misericordia

    @Niccollo and others from AD/126/08

    I’ve also been refused admission to the written element of the concours in similar circumstances to Niccollo.

    My qualifications:

    MSc Environmental Economics (with 4/6 modules of economics and 2/6 environmental economics – I’m pretty sure I sent the list of subjects to EPSO…)

    a few professional accounting exams, including one in audit. But not enough to achieve ‘qualified accountant’ status.

    Pre-selection score: 27 and-a-bit /30

    My letter stated that it was the ‘level’ of my qualifications and not the ‘nature’ that was the reason for my refusal.

    Conclusions:
    – EPSO’s avis de concours B b)1 is terrible. The English version clearly states that EITHER and university degree of 3+ years OR a relevant qualification of equivalent worth is needed. The placement of the comma proves it imho! However, the French version appears more ambiguous.

    – It doesn’t look like they judge Economics to be sufficiently relevant to the job.

    – I’m really annoyed, and an official member of this bitter club 🙂

  36. EPSO is going to use all my patience...

    @Rina

    The only people that have been noticed till now are people that have been rejected. The list of candidates that will be accepted for the writen tests will be published “someday” between mid-october and mid-november. And I don’t understand either why it takes them so long…

  37. @Niccollo

    Thank you so much for your reply. Well, my background is studies in Finance and Banking but I have to admit I have no specific knowledge or experience with Auditing.

    My question though is why it takes so long to EPSO to communicate their decision to all the candidates! I have not heard from them yet! At the same time other candidates have been informed that they pass to the next phase and have started dedicated preparation!!! Doesn’t that constitute unequal treatment and discrimination???

  38. @eucandidate

    No clue on that!

  39. Niccolo

    @Rina and Franck (for EPSO AD 126/08)
    Sorry for the delay in my answer:
    my background:
    M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering (with few exams of Economics though) and a post-graduation course financed by ESF in “social and environmental sustainability” (with more economics and some basics of accounting).
    Results of preselection test: 25/30 (7+18).
    What sounds strange to me is that I have been admitted to a MBA where they checked my Economics and Accounting competencies (and at work I also carry out some,environmental,audits and evalutate pollution prevention projects on a value-for-money basis), but for EPSO my skills are not relevant.
    Hope these information will prove useful for you, sorry again for the delay.

  40. raffaele

    @ Emilie
    Hi Emilie I’, m in the same situation as you, having passed AST/52/08 test (financial management)…Now I don’t have idea on how to prepare the next test. Please let’s share any clue coming up on the matter in the next days!!!
    raffaele

  41. Anahí

    @Robby

    I’ve been on a reserve list for one and a half year and I’ve done a lot of lobbying without result. I wouldn’t advise you to do it. In most cases, I have got no reply, and I have also received some rather rude replies, telling I should wait to be contacted by them instead of lobbying. This is a bit ridiculous, given that informally everybody advises you to lobby. For example, the selection board of the oral examination told me I should lobby immediately after getting the results. Even EPSO suggests it is worth doing it.

    “Proactiveness on the part of a successful candidate may help, but in the final analysis the
    decisions of whom and when to recruit rest solely with the individual Institutions.”

    To sum up, it might help only if you are really lucky.

  42. eucandidate

    @Roman
    Thanks again. One last question: on a EPSO communication, it was stated tha the list of choice of countries in our EPSO profile will open again in January.. for us to do what? Do you know what purpose this serves? Will we have to choose from a particular group of countries where actual positions are available? Why would they open it again? I mean that these were my countries of preference and I stick to it. Why would I want to change them later? Unless, they offer me a choice of A,B,C and then I take a decision on which I would like to be interviewed for.
    Cheers!

  43. Emilie

    Hello everybody,
    and congratulations to the few who passed the preselection test of AD/126/08 in audit! For my part, i failed… But I passed the one of AST/54/08 (also in audit).
    This is why i am writting to you, as I need some help about the best way to prepare the written test, notably the part 2 (essay/case study). => Do you have any detailed information about this last part, or do you have any support or kind of simulations to train the best that we can ?
    I wish you good luck for the results coming soon!

  44. My CV for CAST27 in EPSO profile disappeared. Do you still have it, or it’s just another bug of EPSO system?

  45. Pedder

    I just read Niccolo’s comment – and am a bit worried as I haven’t heard from EPSO concerning the admission to the written tests so far (EPSO/AD/126/08, Audit). Did anyone receive an invitation so far?

  46. Salex1066, thank you for your information ! Can anyone describe me which are the following steps to the procedure after someone is placed in a reserve list ? For example: First step (in case of selection): letter of intent from the EU Agency, second step : letter of acceptance by the candidate, third step:medical exams, etc, etc, ??

  47. @ Bill

    thank you

  48. Niccolò Costantini

    Hello everybody,
    I have just received from EPSO information about the written test for EPSO/AD/126/08 competition (Auditor – AD5).
    I haven’t been admitted to the written test since my “diploma/professional training or qualification is not relevant to the nature of duties”, as per point B.b.1. of the notice of open competition.
    Has any reader been admitted to the written test? Can you please kinldy share your experience on the qualification deemed appropriate in order to be admitted? There isn’t such an information in the notice of competition, and I have no clues on that…
    Thank you in advance

  49. Hi everyone, I ve been reading this blog for a while ..this is the first time I write sth..
    EV- I would recommend u to read articles about EU and translate them..U should be very carefull and strict about the time limit..it s not at all plenty.. I ve participated at AD/100/08 for english translators-still waiting for results. The french text was about the Euromediteranean relations, and the greek one I gave was about the problem of hospital duties in Greece..we were also allowed to use dictionairies..practice and check out the sample tests in EPSO on permanent competitions for translators-Hope I helped a bit..
    Chris-1 more succesfull here at the FGIV-Good Governance and Security, I was also succesfull on CAST 27..but I wasn t contacted..I hope better luck this time for everyone

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