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Types of employment
There are a number of ways in which people can come to work in the Institutions. Below is a description of the different categories of staff who can work in the EU Institutions.
For more information on how to apply for these different opportunities check our how to apply pages.
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The permanent officials form the EU Civil Service and are divided in two categories – administrators (AD) and assistants (AST).
Administrators are typically engaged in drafting policies and implementing EU law, analysing and advising. An administrator may find him/herself playing a key role in the EU's legislative and budgetary processes, coordinating the broad economic and other policies of the Member States, taking part in trade negotiations with non-EU countries, or representing the Institutions in international forums. Others might be inspecting the fishing fleets in the Member States, developing or managing a specific scientific research programme, or drafting a decision of the European Court of Justice or the European Ombudsman. We offer a very wide range of career opportunities for university graduates including administration, law, finance, economics, communication and science to name but a few.
Assistants are generally employed in a supporting role (secretarial, administrative, financial, communication, policy development and implementation etc). They play an important role in the internal management of the Institutions, notably in budgetary and financial affairs, personnel work, computing, and document management.
Contract staff (CAST) are 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 are employed for a fixed maximum period, often with a shorter initial contract of 6-12 months, depending on the type of the job.
Contract staff positions are available for a wide range of jobs, requiring different levels of qualifications. They are divided into four functional 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.
Temporary Agents (Non-permanent Staff)
Temporary agents may be employed to perform a wide variety of highly specialised or temporary tasks for a maximum period of six years.
Some Institutions also employ local staff on a very short term and temporary basis (up to 6 months), through temping agencies.
Each year more than 1,200 young people have the chance to increase their professional skills, develop their personal qualities, and enhance their EU knowledge through the EU trainee programmes. The European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, Court of Justice, the Social and Economic Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Ombudsman organise traineeships for young university graduates, each lasting 3-5 months. Trainees will all have completed their first university degree, and so receive tasks similar to those of the lower AD grade officials.
Seconded National Experts (SNE)
SNEs are national or international civil servants or persons employed in the public sector who are working temporarily for an EU Institution. They bring to the Institution their experience of issues with which they are used to dealing, and take back to their home administration a knowledge of EU policies and procedures which they will have acquired during their period of secondment.