In Summary - Parliamentary Assistant - EU
Works as assistant to an MEP elected to the European Parliament.
Parliamentary Assistant - EUs typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Parliamentary Assistant - EU
There are about 1,500 assistants who assist MEPs. Parliamentary Assistants undertake a variety of work, reflecting the particular interests and engagement of their MEP. The following wide-ranging activities are typical of the work involved in this role:
- Management of the Brussels office with high volume and complex administration
- Providing secretarial and office support to MEP, including: managing and responding to mail; managing MEP’s diary; responding to information requests; booking meetings; organising travel arrangements; and providing general office support
- Drafting, coordinating, political strategy and lobbying work to influence relevant legislation via Parliamentary Committees and plenaries
- Liaising with researchers of the political group, staff in the constituency office, Brussels-based NGOs and delegations, and other institutions
- Speech writing and press work as appropriate
- Desk research for reports, speeches, Parliamentary questions/letters and constituent queries
- Recruitment, management and training of stagiaires
- Organising and overseeing group visits, seminars and receptions
- Administering and overseeing expenditure of budget line for publications
Interests - Parliamentary Assistant - EU
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
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.
The tasks of Parliamentary Assistants vary enormously and are typically a mixture of several roles, from secretary-advisor-press-officer to tour guide for visitors, all rolled into one.
This multitasking job role requires flexibility, ability to react fast and adapt quickly, and patience, as well as language skills, good time management skills, organisational skills and problem solving.
Entry Requirements - Parliamentary Assistant - EU
Parliamentary assistants are selected at the discretion of each sitting MEP, as a result no strict qualification framework is applicable.
Each of the 751 MEPs elected to the European Parliament work with at least two Parliamentary Assistants.
The employment of Parliamentary Assistants is the responsibility of each sitting MEP.
If you are interested in working for an MEP, do some research and identify those MEPs you think you would like to work with, taking into account their political affiliations, interests and background etc., and then contact them directly.
It is also worth looking beyond Ireland when applying for these roles. Irish graduates have worked successfully as Assistants to MEPs from different Member States. This can allow you to make the most of your language skills or an expertise background in a certain field which matches the profile of a specific MEP.
See the European Parliament's website for information about Parliamentary Assistants working for Members of the European Parliament.
Also, the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland is available here.
Another pathway for those wanting to work in the European Parliament is through the Political Groups. Each European Political Group employs research and administrative staff as well as offering their own traineeships. Vacancies for these positions are generally advertised on the group's websites.
See the individual websites of the Political Groups for specific information about their own recruitment procedures.
Last Updated: July, 2014
Pay & Salary - Parliamentary Assistant - EU
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 31k - k
MEPs can choose their own staff within a budget set by Parliament.
Accredited assistants, based in Brussels(or Luxembourg/Strasbourg) are administered directly by Parliament’s administration, under the conditions of employment for non-permanent EU staff.
Pay commences on Grade 1 (€2,654 monthy) of the 16 point pay-scale.
Assistants’ contracts are managed by the parliamentary authorities in accordance with the Assistant’s Statute. Expenses and a per diem are paid by parliamentary authorities in addition to the salary.
Assistants based in MEPs’ Member States are handled by qualified paying agents, guaranteeing the proper tax and social security arrangements.
Official Journal of the European Union & EPSO
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.
Labour Market Updates - Parliamentary Assistant - EU
Useful Contacts - Parliamentary Assistant - EU
EU Careers - European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO)
European Movement Ireland
European Parliament Information Office in Ireland
European Parliament Information Office in Ireland