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Brussels, 2 February 2011

Commission welcomes success of recruitment drive for officials from Member States which joined EU in 2004

At the end of the transition period (31/12/2010), the European Commission has exceeded its targets for recruiting staff from the 10 Member States which joined the EU in 2004. The final report shows that between 1st May 2004 and the end of 2010, the Commission recruited 4,004 officials and temporary agents from the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, well above the ambitious target of 3,508. At senior management level, the Commission has again gone beyond the objectives it set for itself, which was to have at least one national from each of the ten member states at Director-General or Deputy Director-General level. There was similar success in recruiting Directors and Heads of Unit; Recruitment from the EU-10 has also had a positive effect on the gender balance in the Commission, meaning that there were more women than men in the organisation at the end of 2010 and a higher share of women managers than before the 2004 enlargement. The transition period for recruiting officials from Bulgaria and Romania is also progressing well, and runs until the end of 2011.

"I am delighted that the recruitment drive following the most recent enlargements has been a resounding success," said Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Administration. "Selecting and integrating large numbers of new staff from different countries is a challenge for any organisation. We have not only exceeded our targets, but have also found excellent, committed colleagues and have succeeded in easing them into the organisation, which in turn has given the Commission new energy."

In the build-up to the biggest ever enlargement in 2004, rules were agreed to allow for the preferential recruitment of staff from the new Member States during a transitional period, which ended on 31st December 2010. A similar arrangement applies until the end of this year for Bulgaria and Romania.

For EU-10 nationals, the Commission committed itself to around 3,500 recruitments, representing nearly 16 percent of total pre-enlargement posts. Targets for the recruitment of managers were based on a proportionate increase in the number of management functions. The Commission also aimed to recruit at least one DG or DDG from each of the EU-10 countries.

The overall EU-10 target was reached more than two years ahead of schedule, in October 2008, for both ADs (administrators) and ASTs (assistants). By the end of 2010, the number of recruitments of permanent officials and temporary agents had reached 4,004. Some 62 percent of these recruitments were at AD (graduate) level. In addition, there were 595 contract agents and 144 Seconded National Experts from the EU-10 working for the Commission at the end of 2010. There was at least one national from each of the 10 countries at DG or DDG level, and two at the most senior level from three of them. Some 42 Directors/Principal Advisers were recruited and 189 heads of unit.

The policy of recruiting from the new Member States necessarily slowed down recruitments from the EU-15; nevertheless they maintained a reasonable pace over the period, meaning that no major geographical imbalances are anticipated.

The 2004 enlargement had a positive effect on the Commission's gender balance. More than two-thirds of staff recruited from the EU-10 were women. The share of 46.6 percent women in the Commission before enlargement rose to 52.1 percent by the end of 2010. There was also an increase in the overall share of women among Commission managers. Enlargement also slightly reduced the average age of Commission staff.

Recruiting such a large number of people from outside the organisation required a considerable effort on the one hand from the European Personnel Selection Office, the inter-institutional body in charge of staff selection for all EU institutions, and from Commission services which implemented a series of new measures to help the integration of new staff and their families.

The 4,000 staff recruited from 10 new Member States represents 16 percent of Commission officials and temporary agents. Their integration has worked smoothly without major disruption and without stopping recruitment from the other 15 Member States. This, together with the ongoing recruitment of officials from Bulgaria and Romania, means that the Commission in 2011 is a truly European institution. Compared to earlier enlargements, and in particular given its size, the 2004 enlargement has been a great success for the Commission. Lessons learned will help future enlargements and the integration of new staff to the benefit of colleagues from all Member States.

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