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.


  1. Phlegmy

    In praise of EU women…

    One major perk of roaming the EU corridors definitely has to be the women… When I prowl the Schuman area it always strikes me how “bipolar” the EU personnel composition is: fat toad-like males and slender jaw-droppingly gorgeous females… mama mia…
    Ever wondered why they put the stagiaires on rotation… 6 months and it’s back to Bumbleville… 6 and not 9…

    That’s what it’s really about… first race you won was against millions of sperms … last race were you should outshine yourself is against 50.000 sods, all as desperate as you are.

    And we all know what the trophee will be… swaggering around loutishly at the stagiaire parties, loafing yourself among the demi-monde at the Mirano…, brushing up with industry lobbymen, wining and dining…. I want in!

  2. Phlegmy

    My two pence…

    Preselection tests are certainly not as hard as they are said to be… put in 3days and litres of coffee cramming, nearly worked myself into a frenzy like an oracle on sulphur intoxication… but managed to get through. Basically, I believe it takes a good short term memory (redolent of the continental- style of boarding pupils cramming lists of Latin words). Having a keen and long standing interest in news/history/politics helps. I’ve been reading stuff like the Economist/Der Spiegel for years now and I actually enjoy it, suppose it makes me an über-geek. The Jos Depondt MCQ and one of the commercially available books did fine as preparation for the EU knowledge MCQ.
    The verbal/quant tests are of the ubiquitous kind, no specific preparation there. The specialist knowledge MCQ in my case was a mixture of micro/macro/statistics… short brush up questions, no complicated stuff… going through some basic textbooks should suffice to refresh your memory here.
    In general you have sufficient time for the MCQ part.
    For those of you who object to this kind of rote learning… traditionally Dutchie, Scandi’s, English abhor this continental style… I can only say you should praise yourselves lucky you got 1) healthy economies with reasonable labour taxes so 2) a sense of society that actually makes it possible to screen candidates based on CVs and proven merit. For the other residents of the EU accustomed to decrepit economies and rampant jobbery (does my acrimony show?) the EU selection tests at least breathe a suspicion of objectivity. So the fact that fewer scandi’s/Dutchies/English participate and the commission is stuffed with Belgians, Italians and French should actually be seen as a compliment to the former countries and revealing about the latter.

    On the essay part you need some luck with suggested topics (I’d been doing some research on index formulae and one of the questions related to that). Must say though that out of 4 questions there was one that seemed rather tailored to people already employed at DG EcFin (give advice to a country wishing to join the internal market). I know some people who got in on a “shortâ€? term contract with the commission… it’s not always as transparent as it should be… so please, selection board, no extra breaks to the crony in-crowd with regard to suggested topics in the essay part.

    Had my interview recently, hope I made it…put on a happy and eager face (being Belgian, I excel in hypocrisy) Have some mixed feelings. In hindsight I could have been more on the spot with my answers on some of the questions. Questions were rather broad, no enquiries about the icing on Günther Verheugen’s birthday cake this time Members of the jury were friendly and respectful. Pay extra attention to your CV, they do read it meticulously and delve into it.

    Would be surly disappointed if my ship wouldn’t sail in. I sent my first application in almost two years ago. It’s taken tantalizing patience up to now.
    Given the bleak outlook for youngish people in Belgium (dizzyingly high labour taxes, imploding social security) I believe it’ll have to be the EU or emigration. Good thing that throughout this ordeal I enjoy the moral support of my dentist, who is already very enthusiastic about my possible ascent to the powers that be and the dental plan coming along with it.


  3. claudmurs

    @ sebastian; I guess you have a head start, if we talk of drinking Brussels beer. 🙂 They have not confirmed yet that they received my file. Till then, I’m not even a candidate.

  4. sebastian

    Let’s hope it’ll be Belgian beers and not remain a choice of German/Romanian/Italian beers 😉

  5. claudmurs

    Thanks Sebastian! Timely and helpful as always :). I owe you for sure a good Belgian beer. At least that.

  6. sebastian

    The topics in AD 26/05 Law were:

    1. Typical and atypical acts in European Union law.

    2. Actions relating to non-contractual liability under Community law.

    3. The fight against secret cartels and Community competition law: players, instruments,
    limits and prospects.

  7. Hi to all,
    This morning I was reading this article in the home page of this site:
    “I would point out something about the new Epso CBT (computer based test).”
    I want know my resut and what I mistook in the last “CBT secretaries competition” and also why in the pre-selection tests phase there is not the specialized multiple choice test like in the old competition?
    I would send an email to Epso and you?

  8. I took the epso cast 25 in the category IV political adviser and have still not received final results..should I interpret this as not having passed the final exam?

  9. claudmurs

    Hi! a friend of mine was asking about the topics of the written test in LAW for last year’s EU25. Could anybody be so kind as to post this information?
    Thanks, c.

  10. sebastian

    In a different forum, I came across two or three posts by people who have been already contacted by Units or Agencies for posts. A friend of mine at the Commission has told me that Units have started to look into the database. It justs takes time and obviously it depends on your Function Group and your special profile. I guess one just needs to be patient.

  11. Harald

    I wonder too!
    for all the EU vacancies i have seen so far a background of working experience within the institutions is needed. most of them are even restricted to commission officials (there exists an internal database which is shown to commission officials only).

  12. Georgia

    So what was the point in sitting those exams, I wonder!

  13. Harald

    i am afraid this means that it is up to the agencies if they use the database for recruitment.

  14. Georgia

    @ Harald
    “Further to your question, I inform you that this CAST 25 database is also available for the Community Agencies which means that they have the possibility to recruit through that database.”

    This is the answer I got from EPSO. How can this be interpreted?

  15. Harald

    thank you for your information
    @Georgia, David
    I think David is right but I think we also should try to get information about and respond to recent job vacancies

  16. Hi Georgia,
    Directly the agencies or institutions will call you.

  17. Georgia


    Have you seen the latest message published today? What do you make of that? That we can expect to be contacted or that we have to apply for vacancies being currently advertised?

    I sent EPSO a letter asking that.

  18. I found this useful website:
    Maybe can help u
    Study and study, but it’s not the only key….too is around the fortune

  19. Georgia

    For Harald and anyone who has passed the EU 25 exams.

    I have found out that the best course of action is to register with the commission here.

    I think it would be a good idea to do that.

  20. sebastian

    @Rose: Sent you the stuff

  21. Dear All,
    I was invited to sit a written test in EPSO competition AD/46-06 – Bulgarian Administrator – Economist
    I am very interested in the structure of the essay and the “short memo in your main language”.
    How much should they be in quantity?
    Where could I find additional info?
    Unfortunately our Bulgarian Education system is structured differently and we were not thought to write nor Essays nor Memos.

  22. sebastian Says:

    December 17th, 2006 at 12:41

    @ claudemurs/Isaac Asimov(lol)
    I only have the AD25/05 MCQ (special, general, VNR) in German. If you still want to have it, let me know. The AD 26/05 MCQ I can send you in English plus the correct answers obtained from EPSO.

    Is the information mentionned still available? I would be wirklich thankful if you could send it to rasamarti {at} netscape(.)net

  23. Roxana

    For all the Romanians who passed the AD47 Economics competition: maybe you are not aware, but there is a yahoo group on this topic where you can find some examples of past exams

  24. Suzana

    When candidates are invited to written tests- is the format of the tests specified- i mean will epso informs us whether test b/ for example would be essay or dossier test??

  25. Suzana

    Thank you for your advice!

  26. G morning,

    sorry for bothering you.
    Do you have by chance some tests also on law ?

  27. Suzana

    then do u have some tips/advises for preparation? or can u recommend me any book for the written tests?

  28. Andras

    By the topics I meant the questions. Since I am doing econ I dont really know what they would expect in public admin. Unfortunately, all my friends who did public admin in March dropped out in the preselection tests.
    I would also love to see a good essay in econ, the only problem is that EPSO will give it to you (if you ask for it) only if you don’t pass…ie when you essay is not that great.

  29. Suzana

    Im in for public administration.
    What do u mean u had the topics?
    What worries is me that public admin is way too broad area,
    plus im not really sure what epso considers to be a good essay..thats why i want to see a sample one.

  30. Andras

    Olivia: I have two econ (and two admin) multiple choice tests that were used in 2003 and 2005 by EPSO, they are scanned, so if you drop me an email I can forward them to you (andrasbartal at

    Suzana: That’s a tough one. I did the econ written test in the March concours but I of course have the topics. I thought that the two hours we had was roughly enough to answer all the questions. Also, you have a choice between three different questions which should give you enough leeway to pick the one that fits you most.
    Actually, the ongoing concours for NMS is different from the previous ones in some respects. EPSO will eliminate half the people after the multiple choice econ test, and THEN AGAIN another half after the written test. So this test really has four rounds: preselection, econ multiple choice, econ writte, and oral…it is totally like an obstacle race:-(

  31. Suzana

    Yes, written tests for the new countries..what i need most is not topics so much, but a sample essay which received good grade.Can anyone of u please send me such essay??
    suzana_ sax at
    Many thanks in advance!

  32. Olivia

    Hello all.
    I’ve passed the preselection tests for AD47 (Romanian administrators) – Economics field.
    Now I should prepare for the written tests in March, but I am so lost! It seems to be an awful lot of information to grasp, and I have no idea what the written tests (a multiple-choice one and an essay type one, both on Economics) will look like.
    We, Romanians, are not so familiar with the whole EPSO process, like you guys, so we would very much appreciate if anyone of you could give us some hint about what to expect.
    Thank you in advance (and I guess I am speaking for all Romanians writting on this site). :))
    All the best!

  33. Andras


    I also got onto to the reserve list for contract agents in Economics. Last week I contacted a former colleague of mine in the Commission (I was a trainee two years ago) and asked her what jobs I can apply for. According to her, this is like a normal concours reserve list, except of course that the conditions of employment are very much different. So I guess I need to start sending out CVs and contacting units.

    Suzana, are you preparing for the written tests for the new countries? I should start too but first I want to know if I passed the preselection tests at all, results are out in January I believe.

  34. Suzana


  35. Georgia

    You’re right about the reserve lists, I think. Still, what would it mean “contact institutions directly”, which EPSO wrote to me? And who would you call for a telephone interview and for which job if it hasn’t been published? I think you can apply for a lelevant job in the way they ask on their site stating you have also passed the CAST 25 exams for the specific field and perhaps also send them the letter with the exam results. That’s what I’ve been doing.

  36. Harald

    Hi !
    thank you for the information!
    however, it seems to me that for this kind of jobs a different reserve list is being created.
    there must be certain jobs reserved for CAST 25 only! the whole procedure would not make any sense otherwise.
    perhaps we should try to fix interview appointments via telephone?
    ps: tell me (via blog) if you happen to be in Vienna

  37. Georgia

    Hi, Harald!
    I’ve been regularly looking into the vacancies sections of the various EU institutions and have found a number of new jobs, so I’ve been applying for them and see what happens. So far there’s only been one post in my field. Actually, it’s in Vienna:-))Perhaps you could apply for this?
    ‘Fusion for Energy’Temporary Agent
    Legal Officer
    Ref. : TA/AD6/2006/0027
    Grade: AD6
    Deadline for applications: 19 January 2007
    Location : Barcelona, Spain

  38. Hi,

    I am in the same situation as Olga. I have the second stage exam for Economists in March. If you could give me a hint from where to take MQS or if could provide me some, I would be very grateful


  39. Harald

    I have not contacted anybody so far, but will do so as soon as possible and inform you about the reactions afterwards.
    Nice to hear that you sat your exam in Vienna too. Unfortunately we have not been in the same room because my exams were held during Dec.05 and Nov.06.

  40. claudemurs

    Happy New Year to all of you! @ sebastian: you seem to have forgotten me with those materials for the AD written test. Would be grateful if you could send them when you get some spare time. (solclaus AT Thanks a lot! c.

  41. Anneline


    I’ll have my interview (A7) on Wednesday. Would appreciate any tips you may have on the type of questions they ask.


  42. Georgia

    Hi, Harald! Did you sit the exam in Vienna last July? We musthave been in the same room then because I was also in Vienna then and sat the exam there though I’d taken the preselection exams in Athens.

    Anyway, I got my exam results on August 25th and have heard of nothing ever since. So just before Christmas I wrote to EPSO asking them what’s next. The answer was that their job was now over and that the reserve lists had been made available to the institutions. They also said I might contact institutions directly, which sounded a bit “suspicious” to me. Anyway, I did that and I’ve got three different types of replies. One says they don’t have any vacancies but I can keep looking on their website in case vacancies come up in the future. Another type of answer, the majority, says they only recruit via EPSO and a third type that my cv will be kept on their data base for future reference.

    Have you also tried to contact any agencies? What sort of answers have you got?

  43. Harald

    Hi Georgia,
    Happy New Year from Vienna.
    Nice to see that you are in the same situation. I was informed on Dec. 22 that I passed CAST 25 (Function Group IV, European law). So, now I would like to know how likely it is that we will receive an invitation for an interview. It seems that it is left to us to contact the institutions we would like to work for.

  44. Georgia

    Happy New Year everyone. Just came across the page while trying to find out what’s happening with CAST EU 25 for contract agents, Function Group II, Public Relations Conference Support, the exams for which I have passed. Has anybody taken part in this exam? I would like to know if anyone has any further information or any idea what’s happening with those reserve lists.

  45. OK folks, all comments are back in all their glory now! It’s taken a while, but everything is here now.

  46. Aurora

    @ Eelman:

    Just wanted to let you know that your hunch was right, the answer to the question you posted on December 4th is indeed b (Cohesion Fund).

    If you look here, question 12, you’ll see it’s almost the same question and there’s an answer key at the end:

  47. Dear Jon,
    grats for your blog and thanks for this opportunity to share information on the Concours! Greetings from Budapest!

    Dear sebastian and other kind “info-borkers”,
    I really appreciate your great enthusiasm to help others! “Alle Achtung”!

    Dear edu_kalu,
    the Economics written test is also my concern now, although I will receive an answer on the admission test at the end of January only! But there must be a slight chance I’ll be among the chosen 14% to proceed.
    I would guess that we’d need a sound, but not too deep theoretical background in the following subjects:
    – microeconomics
    – growth theories, development theories
    – macroeconomics
    – international finance
    And we would need some knowledge on EU and MS economics, like
    – EU budget composition
    – basic statistics (national accounts, industrial and service sector, R&D, labour market, etc.)
    – CAP issues
    – Structural Funds, CF, EDF
    – competition policy
    – internal market current issues (Services “Bolkenstein” Directive, e.g.)
    – R&D&I policy
    – …?

    Dear ugo,
    we would desperately need your help! What could we expect from the written test in Economics?


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