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 Nan Hu from An Garda Sí­ochána to give some advice for people considering this job:

Nan Hu

Garda

An Garda Sí­ochána

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Nan Hu
I would advise those considering the job to be patient and to be good at what you are doing and when the opportunity comes to join An Garda Siochana just take it!.

If you are part of a minority group in Ireland and considering joining An Garda Síochána then my advice to you is to go for it because as a foreign national working in the organisation I promise there is no discrimination in An Garda Síochána.
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Organisation Profile - EU Careers

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EU Careers 

EU Careers


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Senior Economist
William Hynes

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Kevin Keary

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Head of Communications
Mary McCaughey

Mary McCaughey
National Expert
Ciara Phelan

Ciara	 Phelan
Secretary General
Catherine Day

Catherine Day
Economist
Allen Monks

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Lawyer Linguist-Barrister
Vivienne Breathnach

Vivienne Breathnach
Interpreter
Breda Ni Mhaoláin

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Contact Details


 

Your chance to make a real and lasting difference

Your chance to make a real and lasting difference

Career Opportunities... header image
What are the main occupations in this sector?


Given the sheer size and the wide range of functions required, there are many and varied occupations employed across the Institutions of the EU.

Video: Career opportunities with the European Institutions [Click on the links below to explore each role in detail in our Occupational Database]

EU Administrator

EU Assistant

EU Auditor 

EU Lawyer (AD)

EU Lawyer-linguist (AD7)

EU Policy Officer - Public Administration (AD)

EU Policy Officer  - External Relations (AD)

EU Translator

EU Conference Interpreter

EU Proof Reader/Language Editor

EU Communication Officer (AD)

EU Communication Assistant (AST)

EU Secretary/Administrative Assistant (AST, CAST)

EU Human Resources Assistant (AST, CAST)

EU ICT Staff

EU Financial Manager (AD, CAST)

EU Financial Management/ Accounting Assistant (AST, CAST)

EU Economist

EU Statistician

EU Parliamentary Assistant

MEP (Member of the European Parliament)

Seconded National Experts (SNE)

Employment Grades Explained

The occupations employed in the EU institutions fall into particular 'Grades'. These grades are outline below, followed by an outline on the main occupations employed in the sector.

Administration (AD 5 etc.)

A typical day for those employed as administrators would involve analysing and advising and the drafting of policies.

Translators and interpreters are also recruited as administrators.

  • An administrator career covers grades AD 5 to AD 16.
  • AD 5 is the entry level for University graduates.
  • Selection and recruitment may also be offered at AD 6 / AD 7 in more specialist roles. Several years' relevant experience will be required.
  • AD 9 / AD 12 is middle management level. Selection/recruitment at these grades requires previous management experience.

Assistants (Grade AST 1 etc.)

Assistants are generally employed in an executive and technical role and play
an important role in the internal management of the Institutions.

  • An assistant career covers grades AST 1 to AST 11.
  • New staff usually enters at grades AST 1 or AST 3.
  • AST 1 candidates must have completed secondary education and have previous relevant experience, or have a relevant vocational qualification.
  • AST 3 candidates should have completed secondary education, a relevant vocational qualification and/or several years' relevant experience.

Assistants-Secretaries (Grades AST/SC1 etc.)

Assistants-Secretaries are generally employed in an office management and administrative support role within the EU Institutions.

  • An assistant career covers grades AST/SC1 to AST/SC6.
  • New staff usually enter at grades AST/SC 1.
  • AST/SC1 candidates must have completed secondary education and have previous relevant experience, or have a relevant vocational qualification.
  • AST/SC2 for more experienced candidates (minimum 4 years).

 

 

What types of employment contracts are there?


Employment within the EU falls into three types of contracts:

  • Permanent contracts
  • Temporary contracts
  • Fixed-term contracts

Each of these is explained below.

PERMANENT JOBS IN THE EU

A permanent role in the EU is an option whether you have completed a Stage, or have a wealth of professional knowledge and experience. 

Permanent staff are selected through open competitions. These are not intended for specific posts, but to fill a reserve pool for recruitment needs.

The permanent officials form the EU Civil Service and are divided into different function groups:

Administrator (AD)

Assistants (AST)

Administrators are typically involved in drafting policies and monitoring the implementation of EU law, analysing and advising. In general, to apply for an administrator competition, you must have completed (at least) three years of university.

Assistants usually work in supporting roles and are crucial for the internal management of the institutions. In general, to apply for an assistant competition, you must have completed (at least) secondary school.


EPSO organises 'open competitions' to select permanent staff. Competitions measure candidates' skills through a series of tests and assessments, ensuring the very best people are selected. Each year there are competitions for administrators, linguists, interpreters, translators, secretaries and other staff categories.

Find out more here.

 Permanent Language Jobs in the EU

Like all permanent jobs in the EU, permanent language jobs require candidates to first pass the concours organised by EPSO (see How do you get a job in this sector?)

The competition stages for those who would like to work with languages in the EU Institutions are similar to those already outlined for assistants, administrators, etc., but with some variations depending on the language job profile that is being recruited.

It takes 5-9 months to complete the selection procedure starting from the date of publication of the competition notice.

Vacancies in all of the profiles outlined here are announced by a competition notice posted on the EPSO website, which gives full details of the job, the eligibility criteria and the selection procedure.

Visit the EPSO website for further information.

 Applicants for all linguist profiles are required to have:

  • A perfect command of your mother tongue/main language (language 1).
  • A thorough knowledge of English, French or German (language 2) and the ability to translate out of it.
  • A thorough knowledge of a second official language of the EU (language 3) and the ability to translate out of it (proof-readers are not required to have this third language).

NOTE FOR IRISH LANGUAGE SPEAKERS

Fluent Irish speakers have the possibility to opt for English as their second language and then another EU language as their third, possibly making the process a wee bit more accessible.

TEMPORARY JOBS IN THE EU

Temporary or contract agents cover a variety of tasks and expertise for periods ranging from a few weeks, often to several years. These contracts offer a perfect opportunity to get great work experience in a multilingual European environment.

The length of employment for someone recruited on a temporary contract can vary - at the Commission for example, it is for a maximum of 6 years (you can always sit the concours while working for the EU on a temporary contract though!).

Unlike permanent contracts, the selection and recruitment of the EU’s temporary agents is run by the individual EU Institutions and Agencies according to their staffing needs and applicants do not have sit EPSO exams.

Your salary, benefits, and working conditions as a temporary agent are essentially the same as those of permanent officials. This covers the range of family allowances including expatriation allowance and medical insurance. As a temporary agent you may also be entitled to a temporary unemployment allowance when your contract expires.

Opportunities for temporary contract work with the EU are listed on the various individual EU Institution websites, websites of the various Permanent Representations to the EU and the EPSO website here. For the latest updates on available contracts, keep a close eye on these sites.

You can also submit a spontaneous application by uploading your CV here

Temporary Contracts

Temporary contracts are offered for a variety of roles within the European Union. Temporary contracts, by their nature, are for a limited duration with a specific end date.

Recruitment of staff on temporary contracts is usually done by individual EU institutions/agencies.

People looking for temporary contracts in EU Institutions may be offered one of the following contracts:

Interim Staff

Such contacts can only be issued for up to a maximum of 6 months. Such employment is usually done through local recruitment agencies.

Interim Consultants

An EU institution may employ experts in certain areas to consult on certain issues relating to this field. Such consultants are usually employed through an individual tendering process.

Freelance Linguists

Freelance interpreters are temporary staff employed to work alongside permanent interpreters during meetings of the European Institutions.
To become a freelance interpreter, one must pass an inter-institutional interpreting test.

Junior Professionals in Delegation (JPD)

Junior Professionals in Delegation is a Traineeship offered in EU Delegations to university post-graduates. The traineeships can last up to 18 months and gives the employee the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the work of the EU Delegations.

EU Experts

Independent experts available to assist on specific tasks as needed.

Seconded National Experts

On occasion the EU will invite national and international civil servants and public sector staff to bring their experience to an EU institution for a temporary time period.

[See Seconded National Expert (SNE) in our Occupations Database for full details]

Note: Maintenance workers and canteen staff are recruited via external contracting companies.

FIXED TERM CONTRACT JOBS IN THE EU (CAST)

Contract staffs (CAST) are employed for a fixed maximum period, often with a shorter initial contract of 6-12 months, depending on the type of job. In some EU bodies, it may be possible for the contract to be extended for an indefinite duration.

Contract staff (CAST) are generally recruited to do manual or administrative support–service tasks or to provide additional capacity in specialised fields where insufficient officials with the required skills are available. 

Contract staff positions are available for a wide range of jobs, requiring different levels of qualifications.

They are divided into four function groups:

  • Manual and administrative support-service tasks
  • Clerical or secretarial tasks, office management and other equivalent tasks
  • Executive tasks, drafting, accountancy and other equivalent technical tasks
  • Administrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks.

EU contract staffs are pulled from a pool of candidates kept on a database organised by EPSO. Unlike with an open competition, there is no assessment stage for candidates undertaking fixed-term contracts and the number of candidates is not predefined.

The application procedure to get your name into the CAST database is made up of 2 stages.

For generalist profiles, the process begins with verbal, abstract and numerical tests and is followed by a competency test. For those applying for a specialist profile, such as nursing, engineering and scientific research, selection begins with a review of the candidates CV before the competency test. Successful candidates will be kept on EPSO’s database for three years.

For further information click here. 

 

What are the typical earnings of these occupations?


Salaries in EU jobs are very competitive. Below we provide a breakdown of the main details:

Salary

Monthly salaries in the European Commission range from around €2,300 per month for a newly recruited AST/SC 1 official to around €16,000 per month for a top level AD 16 official with over four years of seniority.

Each grade is broken up into five seniority steps with corresponding salary increases. Basic salaries are adjusted annually in line with inflation and purchasing power in the EU countries.

As the name may suggest, the basic monthly salary is just the starting point to remuneration associated with EU jobs as an employee may be entitled to additional allowances.

All payments are subject to relevant tax and charges.

Allowances

If your new job within the European Commission takes you outside your home country you are entitled to an allowance equivalent to 16% of your basic salary known as an expatriation allowance.

Further to this further allowances may be granted depending on a person’s family status/situation.

Pensions

The age of retirement for newly employed EU officials in service before 1 January 2014 is 66.

Pensions are calculated as a percentage of an employee’s final basic salary. Officials accumulate 1.8% pension rights every year and are entitled to a maximum pension of 70% of their final basic salary. 

It is possible to take early retirement with a reduced pension from the age of 58, or to work up until the age of 67 or exceptionally, until the age of 70.

Whilst working, your contribution to the pension scheme will correspond to 10.3% of your basic salary.

Annual Leave

Commission officials are entitled to annual leave of 24 working days.

 

How do you get a job in this sector?


EU Jobs Ireland

EUJobs.ie is a Government information service designed to help you in taking the first step to an EU career. The service aims to provide Irish citizens with essential information about the type of jobs and traineeships that are available in the EU and advice on how to set about securing them.

EUJobs.ie has a dedicated website, e-newsletter and social media presence, all of which are geared to keeping you up to date with the latest EU career opportunities. It also offers one-to-one advice on how to apply for specific EU positions and arranges training and information sessions in Dublin and in Brussels ahead of major EU recruitment competitions.
 
If you think you might be interested in pursuing a career or traineeship with the EU, or if you have already decided to apply for such a post and would like further advice, we suggest that you contact EU Jobs Ireland by email (eujobs@taoiseach.ie) to see how they can help.

EPSO

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) is the first port of call for anyone wanting to work for the EU.  Its website explains the selection process for permanent jobs and gives advice on preparing for competitions.

More steps to getting a Job within the EU

Starting a career in the European Union can seem like a daunting task. The following entry points are the most common places to start.

Stage/Stagiaire

Stage/stagiaire is French for traineeship/trainee. In a Brussels context, you’ll often hear the French terms being used in place of the English.

A stage is an internship that lasts an average of between 3 and 6 months. Depending on the credentials of the stage in question, it’s an opportunity to gain valuable experience at the start of your career, and is often seen as a rite of passage to the world of work in Brussels.

Traineeships are a great entry point for a European career. They are open to graduates with a minimum of a bachelor level degree. Traineeships are available within all institutions.

For detailed information on Stage/Trainseeship and key dates click here.

The Concours (Open Competition)

All permanent staff for the EU Institutions are recruited through open competitions, commonly referred to as ‘concours’ in all languages. These competitions are organised by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) and offer job opportunities in all the EU Institutions.

The roles available are in different fields such as Communication, Translation, Interpretation, IT, Finance, etc.

Graduates can apply for so-called ‘Administrator’ profiles whereas non-graduates can apply for ‘Assistant’ profiles. The selection procedures for the respective profiles are published at different times of the year.

Guide to the Concours Application Process

To apply to the concours, you need be a graduate in any field, as long as you have an honours degree of at least three years in length, and speak two EU languages, one of which must be English, French or German.

While there is no formal language requirement needed, you should be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of your second language.

Starting Your Application

You will have one month to complete and validate your application via EPSO. All who have completed this application will be eligible to sit to sit the computer-based tests in a nominated EPSO test centre.

These computer tests are split into four parts to the test: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement tests – These will be held in your second language.

The Next Step

If you are successful you will then be invited to attend an assessment centre where you will be tested in the following core competences:

  • Analysis and problem solving
  • Communicating
  • Delivering quality and results
  • Learning and development
  • Prioritising and organising
  • Resilience
  • Working with others
  • Leadership

The assessment centre will be entirely in your second language and is made up of four different elements:

  1. A comprehensive case study in the field for which you have registered – you will need to analyse this in-depth case study using all of the information, facts and figures provided and prepare a written report/recommendation on your findings.
  2. A group exercise – work together to come to a conclusion on all your positions.
  3. An oral presentation – assessors like to see presentations that are clear, concise and to the point. There is no way you remember all of the information they give you, so prioritise.
  4. A structured interview – never underestimate a smile.

 Video: A Day at the Assessment Centre 

Find out more about preparing for EU recruitment competitions here.

Success?

Should you be successful, you will be placed on the recruitment reserve list, at which point the various institutions have the chance to look at your details and invite you to interview for a specific post.

Applying for Language Jobs in the EU

During the competition stages, candidates will be tested on all three of their languages, as well as the core competencies required for all EU jobs. 

For all permanent language jobs, the verbal, abstract and numerical reasoning computer based test stage will be conducted in your language 2, with interpreters also having to sit some of these tests in language 3. 

You will also have to sit additional ‘language tests’ for all three of your languages. 

These tests will vary depending on the linguist profile you are applying for - read more about these profiles in the 'Main Occupations' information area.

Like all the permanent jobs in the EU, permanent language jobs require candidates to first pass the concours organised by EPSO. 

The competition stages for those who would like to work with languages in the EU Institutions are similar to those already outlined for assistants, administrators, etc., but with some variations depending on the language job profile that is being recruited. 

NoteIt takes 5-9 months to complete the selection procedure starting from the date of publication of the competition notice.

Vacancies for all of the profiles outlined are announced by a competition notice posted on the EPSO website, which gives full details of the job, the eligibility criteria and the selection procedure.

Click image to view Green Book


Apart from the chance to work in any of the 27 Member States, the European Institutions are significant employers providing permanent, temporary and contract opportunities.

For detailed information on the EU career and internship openings and opportunities available to Irish jobseekers see:

'The Green Book- an Irish Intern's Guide to Living and Working in Brussels & Other European Cities' Volume 10.

Published by European Movement Ireland (EMI)

 


Education and Training... header image
What qualifications are required?


Education

Careers within the European Union are open to people from all educational backgrounds:

Secondary School Education

Those with secondary school education can apply for positions ranked: AST-SC1 to AST-SC6; AST1 to AST7

 

Post-secondary Education 

Those with Post-secondary school education can apply for positions ranked: AST3 to AST11

 

University Education

Those with University Education education can apply for positions ranked: AD5 to AD16

More information on the European Ranking for jobs is available below.

For detailed information on which on which college and university courses can help you get a job in the EU, see European Movement Ireland's Education Audit. Hard copies are available in every second-level and third-level careers office in the country or can be obtained by contacting the European Movement Ireland office in Dublin.

 

What are the typical routes into this sector?


What are the typical routes into this sector?

Video: Orla Colclough on a traineeship at the European Commission

Leaving Cert: School leavers can begin a career within the EU through Assistant (AST) or Secretarial (SC) roles for which you don’t need a degree to compete. Further information on AST roles can be found above.

Post-secondary education: (Non-university higher education course or short university course lasting at least 2 years). A limited number of Traineeships are available to entrants with post-secondary education.

Graduates: As a graduate, you can apply either for a Traineeship or for Administrator profiles. These positons offer you the opportunity to play a key role in the EU's processes and enjoy a high degree of responsibility from an early stage in your career 

Open Competitions

The selection procedures for permanent positions with the EU are organised as ‘open competitions’. The most relevant competition for graduates is launched every March, with profiles varying from year to year. An open competition includes tests and assessment exercises designed to measure your professional skills and a number of core competencies. 

In view of the very large number of applicants, this is the fairest and most transparent selection procedure.

The format of the competitions varies depending on the profile being sought.

Details of all competitions are published on eu-careers.eu and announced by a competition notice, which provides full details of the profile, the eligibility criteria and the selection procedure.

 

What support is available to me in applying for these positions?

EU Jobs Ireland is a Government information service which offers free one-to-one advice to Irish citizens on how to apply for specific EU positions. The service also arranges free information sessions in Dublin and Brussels ahead of most EU recruitment competitions. You can contact EU Jobs Ireland directly for further information by emailing eujobs@taoiseach.ie.

 


Advice... header image
What advice do you have for school leavers?


Video: Meet EU career Ambassadors

School leavers can begin a career within the EU through Assistant (AST) and Secretariat (SC) roles, as a third-level degree is not necessary for these roles.

Further information on AST roles can be found in the sections above.

If you are finishing school, going on to do further study and would like to work for the EU, you should keep up your language skills as the majority of traineeships and permanent roles require two EU languages 

Further information on EU languages and relevant career paths is outlined in the sections above.

A wealth of information in regards third-level choices that complement future EU careers can be found in European Movement's Education Audit publication, available from career service offices around the country, and the European Movement Ireland office in Dublin. 


To find out about the latest EU career opportunities:

EU Jobs Ireland is a Government information service designed to help you in taking the first step to an EU career. The service aims to provide Irish citizens with essential information about the type of jobs and traineeships that are available in the EU and advice on how to set about securing them. It has a dedicated website, e-newsletter and social media presence, all of which are geared to keeping you up to date with the latest EU career opportunities.

It also offers one-to-one advice on how to apply for specific EU positions and arranges training and information sessions in Dublin and in Brussels ahead of major EU recruitment competitions. If you think you might be interested in pursuing a career or traineeship with the EU, or if you have already decided to apply for such a post and would like further advice, we suggest that you contact EU Jobs Ireland to see how they can help.

For those who would like to receive training ahead of EU recruitment competitions

EUJobs.ie offers one-to-one advice to Irish citizens on how to apply for specific EU positions. The service also arranges free information sessions in Dublin and Brussels ahead of most EU recruitment competitions. You can contact EU Jobs Ireland directly for further information by emailing eujobs@taoiseach.ie.

 

What advice do you have for graduates?


As has been highlighted above, traineeships with institutions or delegations are a great place to start your career within the EU. It is possible to bypass this route, however, and apply directly for a permanent post. 

As a graduate, you can apply either for Administrator profiles. These positions offer you the opportunity to play a key role in the EU's processes and enjoy a high degree of responsibility from an early stage in your career. 

The selection procedures for permanent positions with the EU are organised as 'open competitions' or concours- detailed information on the concours is provided above - see 'How to get a job in this sector'.

The most relevant competition for graduates is launched every March, with profiles varying from year to year. An open competition includes tests and assessment exercises designed to measure your professional skills and a number of core competencies.

Information on these competitions is published on www.eu-careers.eu and announced by a competition notice, which provides full details of the profile, the eligibility criteria and the selection procedure. The format of the competitions varies depending on the profile being sought.

 

What advice do you have for career changers?


Appointees to positions in the public service frequently remain within the public service because of the broad range of job opportunities and promotion available during times of economic growth and/or public service recruitment.

The public service also affords jobholders the opportunity to transfer across public service organisations and thus expand their skill base and enjoy new experiences and challenges. 

Any skill/experience that enables an officer to serve the public better in his/her official duties is valued - a strong customer orientated focus being an obvious example. Ask yourself what you think you could bring to the public service.

The public service offers staff the opportunity to broaden their skills and expertise. Staff are encouraged to gain relevant qualifications - and opportunities to do so may be made available.

Clearly professional and technical positions will require officers to have the appropriate qualifications and/or experience.

 

What advice do you have for non-Irish nationals?


All positions in the EU's Institutions and Agencies are open to citizens of the EU's 28 Member States. In addition, a number of Institutions and Agencies offer internships to citizens of non-EU countries 

 

What advice do you have for those wishing to go back to work?


People who wish to return to the workforce should avail of opportunities to update their IT skills.

Once they have found their ideal job and applied for it, they should familiarise themselves with the Advice Centre which is available on Publicjobs.ie as they may be required to undertake an assessment test, interview or both.

To help returners to prepare for this, the advice centre gives information and tips on tests and interviews and provides the facility to look through some sample tests.

 


Meet our People...
"The OECD offers challenging and interesting opportunities. Recruitment is rigorous but careers are rewarding."
Senior Economist
William Hynes
"The great thing about working in innovation is that the field is wide open and seeking out new things is very much encouraged"
National Expert
Ciara Phelan
"You get a sense that you’re representing your own country and also, you have the opportunity to develop a broader outlook on the world"
Parliamentary Assistant
Kevin Keary
"For anyone undertaking an EPSO competition, I suggest you speak to as many people as possible beforehand to learn how the process works."
Economist
Allen Monks
"This is what makes the world go round. If you can have some stake in trying to help shape the improvement of that, it's a personal nirvana."
Head of Communications
Mary McCaughey
"The best thing about my job is that I can go to different countries through my work"
Interpreter
Breda Ni Mhaoláin
"The most rewarding experience in my career was working on [EU] enlargement … It was politically, emotionally and historically the most exciting thing I’ve done"
Secretary General
Catherine Day
"The best part of my job is similar to its challenges: you get to work with people from different cultures"
Lawyer Linguist-Barrister
Vivienne Breathnach

Employer Insights... header image
Getting the job...
Main challenges...
Typical day...
Further training...
Advice if considering this job...
The lifestyle...
Whats cool...
Not so cool...

Global Opportunities... header image
Are there overseas opportunities available?

Yes. The Institutions, Agencies and other bodies of the European Union are based all over the world. In addition to the main hubs of Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, as an EU employee, you can work anywhere from Dublin to Lisbon, or from Helsinki to Washington DC.

 

Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?

Yes. All positions in the EU's Institutions and Agencies are open to citizens of the EU's 28 Member States. In addition, a number of Institutions and Agencies offer internships to citizens of non-EU countries 

 


About this Sector... header image
Please give an overview of your sector?


The European Union functions through its 11 Institutions, with the support of numerous Agencies and other bodies located around Europe.  

Since its inception as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951, the EU has evolved into an organisation spanning a huge range of areas, from development aid to environmental policy, offering potential employees wide-ranging career choice.

The 11 EU Institutions and the many EU Agencies, are outlined here including where they are located, who works for them and how you can pursue a career in your chosen one.

View Institutions header image

1. THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION




2. THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT




3. THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION




4. EUROPEAN COURT of JUSTICE




 
5. THE EUROPEAN COURT OF AUDITORS




6. THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE




7. THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS




8. THE EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN




9. THE EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR




10. THE EUROPEAN EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE




11. THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK



View Agencies header image


THE AGENCIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The EU has a large number of specialised agencies, which deal with tasks of a legal, technical and/or scientific nature.

They offer a huge variety of potential job opportunities – in particular for specialists – and are based in countries all around the EU, offering opportunities for employment from Sweden to Greece, and from Ireland to Italy.

The function of many of the agencies are outlined below, together with further information or links to the agency website for relevant career information and opportunities.

European Maritime Safety Agency
(EMSA)

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The main objective of the EMSA is to provide technical and scientific assistance to the European Commission and EU Member States in the proper development and implementation of EU legislation on maritime safety, pollution by ships and security on board ships.

EMSA Website

European Medicines Agency
(EMA) 

Location: London, UK

The Agency’s main responsibility is the protection and promotion of public and animal health, through the evaluation and supervision of medicines for human and veterinary use.

EMA Website 

European Monitoring Centre
for Drugs and Drug Addiction
(EMCDDA)

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The EMCDDA was established in 1993 and exists to provide the EU and its countries with a factual overview of European drug problems and a solid evidence base to support the drugs debate.  Today it offers policymakers the data they need to draw up informed drug laws and strategies.  It also helps professionals and practitioners working in the field to pinpoint best practice and new areas of research.

EMCDDA Website

European Network and Information Security Agency 
(ENISA)

Location: Crete, Greece

ENISA works with the EU’s Institutions and Member States to develop a high-level security information network in the EU for the benefit of the EU’s citizens, consumers, business and public sector organisations.

ENISA Website

European Railway Agency (ERA) 

Location: Valenciennes, France

ERA was set up to help create an integrated railway area by reinforcing safety and interoperability.  The Agency also acts as the system authority for the European Rail Traffic Management System project, which was set up to create unique signalling standards throughout Europe.

ERA Website

European Training Foundation (ETF) 

Location: Turin, Italy

ETF’s aim is to help transition and developing countries to harness the potential of their human capital through education, training and labour market systems in the context of the EU’s external relations policy.

ETF Website

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
(FRA) 

Location: Vienna, Austria

FRA’s goal is to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected.  The Agency does this by collecting evidence about current fundamental rights across the European Union and providing advice to EU bodies, EU Member States, candidate countries and potential candidate countries, based on evidence, on how to improve the situation.  FRA also informs individuals about their fundamental rights.

FRA Website

Office for Harmonisation
in the Internal Market
(Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM)

Location: Alicante, Spain

OHIM’s mandate is to provide protection of intellectual property in the EU.  The Office carries out examination, registration, opposition and cancellation procedures for Community Trade Marks and examination, registration and invalidity procedures for registered Community Designs.

OHMI Website

Translation Centre
for the Bodies of the European Union
(CDT)

Location: Luxembourg

The Translation Centre’s mission is to meet the translation needs of the EU’s decentralised agencies.  It also participates in the Inter-institutional Committee for Translation and Interpretation.

CDT Website

European Centre
for Disease Prevention and Control
(ECDC)

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

ECDC is an EU agency which works to strengthen Europe’s defences against infectious diseases.

ECDC Website

European Centre
for the Development of
Vocational Training
(Cedefop)

Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

Cedefop promotes the development of vocational education and training (VET) in the European Union.

Cedefop Website


European Foundation
of Living and Working Conditions
(Eurofound)

Location: Dublin, Ireland and Brussels, Belgium

Eurofound provides information, advice and expertise on living and working conditions, industrial relations and managing change in Europe.  The information is provided for key actors, such as trade unions, in the field of EU social policy through research and analysis.

Eurofound Website

Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) 

Location: Vigo, Spain

Set up in 2005, the CFCA coordinates fisheries control in the EU, inspects the activities of EU countries, and assists Member States to cooperate and comply with the rules of the Common EU Fisheries Policy.

CFCA Website

Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) 

Location: Angers, France

Set up in 1995, the CPVO manages and implements the EU’s system of plant variety rights covering the 28 Member States.

CPVO Website

European Agency
for Safety and Health at Work
(EU-OSHA) 

Location: Bilbao, Spain

EU-OSHA is the central provider of information in relation to EU health and safety standards at work.

OSHA Website

European Agency for the Management
of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders 
(FRONTEX)

Location: Warsaw, Poland

FRONTEX was created as a specialised, independent body of the EU to coordinate operational cooperation between EU countries in the field of border security.

FRONTEX Website

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 

Location: Cologne, Germany

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is a European Union agency with regulatory and executive tasks in the field of civilian aviation safety.

EASA Website

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) 

Location: Helsinki, Finland

This Agency manages the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure consistency across the European Union.  The Agency provides information on chemicals to ensure their safe use, and ensures the competitiveness of the European chemical industry.

ECHA Website

European Environment Agency (EEA)  

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

The EEA works to help the EU and its individual Member States make informed decisions about improving the environment, integrating environmental considerations into economic policies and moving towards sustainability.  The EEA also coordinates the European environment information and observation network. Most of the EEA’s advice is directed towards the European Institutions.

EEA Website

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) 

Location: Parma, Italy

The EFSA covers food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health.

EFSA Website

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) 

Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

This new agency was established in 2007 to support the EU and its Member States in their efforts to promote gender equality, to fight discrimination based on sex and to raise awareness about gender issues.  EIGE collects and analyses comparable data on gender issues; develops methodological tools, in particular for the integration of the gender dimension in all policy areas; facilitates the exchange of best practices and dialogue among stakeholders; and raises awareness among EU citizens about gender equality issues.

EIGE Website

Eurojust 

Location: The Hague, the Netherlands

Eurojust was set up in 2002 to improve the fight against serious crime by facilitating the coordination of investigations and prosecutions covering more than one EU Member State, with full respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.

Eurojust Website

European Agency for the Cooperation
of the Energy Regulators (ACER) 

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

ACER is a not-for-profit association in which Europe’s independent national regulators of electricity and gas voluntarily cooperate to protect consumers’ interests and to facilitate the creation of a single, competitive, efficient and sustainable internal market for gas and electricity in Europe.

ACER Website

 

What is the size and scope of the sector?


Video: Introduction to EU Careers

The EU employs more than 50,000 officials who serve over 505 million people across the 28 Member States, making it one of the largest international organisations in the world.

The largest employer of the EU Institutions is the European Commission, which employs about 33,000 people.

The European Commission is divided into departments known as Directorates General (DGs), roughly equivalent to ministries. Each covers a specific policy area or service such as trade or environment, and is headed by a Director-General who reports to a Commissioner.

In the European Parliament, around 6,000 people work in the general secretariat and in the political groups. On top of this are the 751 Members of Parliament and their staff. 

In the Council of the European Union, around 3,500 people work in the general secretariat.

Whether your background or interest is in languages or law, public administration or social sciences, the EU offers the chance to pursue a unique international career where you can make a real and lasting difference.

 

What are the current issues affecting this sector?


Multilingualism is essential to the success of the European Union. It means that European citizens are able to move, work and learn freely throughout Europe. This in turn contributes to the development of jobs and growth, reducing unemployment and increasing living standards throughout the Union. 

One of the objectives of the EU’s language policy is that every European citizen should master two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

Multilingualism ensures that languages are not a barrier to participation in society, and that marginalised language groups can be identified, represented, and included in the EU.

As part of its efforts to promote mobility and intercultural understanding, the EU has designated language learning as an important priority, and funds numerous programs and projects in this area.

Multilingualism underpins Europe’s competitiveness. One of the objectives of the EU’s language policy is therefore that every European citizen should master two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

Multilingualism is central to the EU’s cultural diversity. The EU has 24 official languages. Those of us who live in the EU have access to all EU documents in the official language of our own country. We also have the right to write to the Commission, and receive a reply from them, in our own language.

Shortage of Irish language translators

When Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, Irish was a “treaty” language only, and not an official working language. In 2005 the EU Council of Ministers voted unanimously to make Irish the 21st official and working language of the EU.

This decision took effect on 1st January 2007, meaning that legislation approved by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers is now translated into Irish, and interpretation from Irish is available at all EU Parliament plenary sessions and at some EU Council meetings.

Irish is now heard regularly in the EU, and all EU Institutions use some Irish in communication with the public. 

With the new EU status of Irish, lots of new career opportunities have been created for Irish graduates. This has also resulted in the creation of new third level courses in translation and interpretation in Irish colleges.

However, a temporary and transitory relaxation of the rule round Irish was introduced in 2007 due to difficulties in recruiting sufficient numbers of Irish language translators. This derogation was renewed in 2010 and further reviewed in 2015. The Irish language is now to be granted full recognition by 31 December 2016, bringing with it a significant recruitment drive for people with Irish language skills.

Irish Translation unit within DG Translation

Video: Aistriúchán don Eoraip - go Gaeilge; Translating for Europe — into Irish

The European Commission and Council Secretariat have set-up an Irish translation unit within its DG Translation and have translated its Europa website into Irish. 

ReadUp to 180 Jobs for Irish Speakers with EU Translation Services 

Useful publications for those interested in Translation and Interpretation Careers with the EU:

Official Languages of the EU

The European Parliament granted full recognition to the Irish language in December 2016, creating 180 jobs for Irish speakers within the EU institutions.

The EU currently has 24 official and working languages:

  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Maltese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Slovene
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

With a permanent staff of around 1,750 linguists and 600 support staff, the European Commission has one of the largest translation services in the world. In addition, the Commission's interpretation service employs 600 staff interpreters, a pool of 3,000 freelance interpreters and 250 support staff.

Useful Links

European Commission Interpreters (Twitter): @EUInterpreters

European Commission Interpreters (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/Interpreting.for.Europe.SCIC

Translating for Europe (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/translatingforeurope

 

Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?


  • The EU represents over 505 million people in 28 Member States, making it one of the largest international organisations in the world
  • The largest employer of the EU Institutions is the European Commission, which employs about 33,000 people
  • With a permanent staff of around 1,750 linguists and 600 support staff, the European Commission has one of the largest translation services in the world
  • The European Commission's interpretation service employs 600 staff interpreters, a pool of 3,000 freelance interpreters and 250 support staff
  • In the European Parliament, around 6,000 people work in the general secretariat and in the political groups
  • There are also 751 Members of Parliament and their staff
  • In the Council of the European Union, around 3,500 people work in the general secretariat.

 


About Us... header image

"The EU is currently facing unprecedented challenges. Now more than ever, it is imperative that talented and ambitious young Irish people pursue a career in the EU Institutions and rise through the ranks, taking opportunities to make a real difference in shaping the lives of EU citizens. Ireland remains a committed member of the EU and our future lies firmly within it, so I encourage you all to consider a career in this field".

Enda Kenny TD ~ Taoiseach

The European Union offers ambitious and talented people an exciting international career at the heart of a fast-moving, multinational environment and the chance to make a real and lasting difference.

The EU’s Institutions are always on the lookout for people who are skilled, ready for a challenge and who want to make a difference. Since Ireland became a member of the EU in 1973, Irish citizens have been working in the EU and have managed to secure some of the highest positions available.

Did you know ...

There have been five Secretaries-General of the European Commission (that’s the highest-ranking civil servant in the Commission) and to date, two of them – David O’Sullivan and Catherine Day – were Irish.

Looking for a challenging career in a dynamic environment?

The European Union Institutions offer an international career to ambitious and capable people. Based in the heart of Europe, you will encounter a fast-moving international environment. The EU Institutions serve 505 million people in 28 member states, so you can expect exceptional scope and scale.

Applications from Ireland

In recent years, the level of awareness of career opportunities in the EU institutions has dropped and the number of applications from Ireland has fallen. Typically, applications from Ireland for the annual graduate in-take have amounted to 500, or less. 

If you are a final year student or graduate, you can apply for entry-level positions in various fields, which are the starting point to an exciting and truly European career.

The EU Institutions regularly recruit for Graduates with work experience, administrative personnel and experienced professionals in a wide range of fields. Whether you are a final-year student in a university or college, a graduate, or a professional with years of experience, there is a role suitable for you in the EU. 

Depending on your skills, experience and job description, you can work on things as varied as drafting policies and implementing EU law, managing projects, developing communication strategies, translating, interpreting or providing legal advice.

Find out more in the section below. To view current vacancies, click here