Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Breda Wright from McDonald's to give some advice for people considering this job:

Breda Wright

Customer Care Manager


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Breda Wright
It is a great place to work, there are so many opportunities to go further in the business.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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€96k >
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€96 -
Related Information:
€96,246 pa or €8,020.53 monthly before tax. (Salary is fixed at 38.5% of a European Court of Justice judge). (After EU tax/accident insurance, €6,250.37 monthly). Member states can also tax the salary. Other expenses include:
Travel Costs to and from Brussels/Strasbourg, plus max. €4,243pa for travel to official events abroad.
Daily allowance of €304 for accommodation/meals while in Strasbourg/Brussels.
General allowance of €4,299 for office costs.
Max. €21,209pm per MEP for accredited assistants in Brussels (paid directly by the Parliament and in member states through agents to ensure proper tax and social security arrangements).
Retired MEPs entitled to pension paid by the EU from 63 years of age equal to 3.5% of salary for each full year's service to a maximum of 70% of salary (approx. €1,300pm for every 5-year term served.
Data Source(s):
European Parliament

Last Updated: April, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

An elected Member of the European Parliament who participates in the decision-making processes that result in EU legislation.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..MEP - Amelia Andersdotter - from: YouTube [Video]
Go..What does an MEP do? - from: EpinUk [Video]

Go..Search YouTube for MEP videos

The Work header image

MEPs are elected to deal with European issues. The main task of an MEP is to vote on European legislation, shaping the direction it takes.

Work activities of an MEP include:

  • Assisting in the scrutiny of legislation
  • Speaking in debates
  • Constituency work

Every MEP has an opportunity to produce amendments to proposals, to argue for them at committee level, and try to win support for them at the monthly voting session in Strasbourg. These amendments reflect the amount of contact MEPs have with civil society and can range from interaction with significant lobbying groups to small NGOs or local communities. Irish MEPs came middle of the league in the average number of amendments proposed at committee stage.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

MEPs require an in-depth understanding of the EU and how it functions. Additional languages will also help.

Entry Routesheader image

To become an MEP you must be elected. To stand for election you must be a national of one of the 28 EU countries.

The European Parliament is made up of 775 Members (MEPs) elected from the Member States of the enlarged European Union. [2014]

Since 1979 MEPs have been directly elected by each member state for a period five-years.

Direct elections are held every 5 years, usually in June (The 2014 European elections were held in May). Each Member State decides on the form its election will take, but follows identical democratic ground rules: equality of the sexes and a secret ballot.

In all Member States, the voting age is 18, with the exception of Austria, where it is 16. European elections are already governed by a number of common principles: direct universal suffrage, proportional representation and a five-year renewable term.

The seats are, as a general rule, shared out proportionately to the population of each Member State. Each Member State has a set number of seats, the maximum being 99 and the minimum 6. Ireland has 11 seats.


The 11 Irish representatives to the European Parliament are elected by secret ballot on the single transferable vote system in three multi-member constituencies as follows:

  • Dublin - 3 MEPs
  • Midlands-North-West - 4 MEPs
  • South 4 MEPs

Who can become an MEP?

Every Irish citizen and every resident citizen of another EU Member State, over 21 years of age, who is not disqualified by Community or national law and is not standing as a candidate in another Member State, is eligible to be elected in Ireland to the European Parliament. Persons undergoing a prison sentence in excess of six months and persons of unsound mind are disqualified from election.

Certain occupations are incompatible with membership of the Parliament, for example, Ministers and Ministers of State, Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, members of the judiciary, members and officials of various EU institutions, civil servants, wholetime members of the Defence Forces and Gardaí (police).

Useful Publication: How Ireland's MEPs are Elected [PDF]

Last Updated: July, 2014

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: EU Careers - European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO)
Address: Candidate Contact Service, Office C-80 00/40, B1049 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 299 3131
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: European Movement Ireland
Address: 8 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2,
Tel: (0)1 662 5815
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Civil & Public Service, Local Government, Politics & EU

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Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 4