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European Citizens´ Initiative Forum

The Civil Servant Exchange Program: a new European citizens’ initiative strives for an “Erasmus-style” programme for civil servants

We, a group of European citizens, are launching the European citizens’ initiative Civil Servant Exchange Program.

We call the European Commission to develop an EU-wide scheme that offers civil servants from EU Member States professional experience in another Member State. This voluntary exchange and training program will take place in a similar service for a period of 2 to 12 months so that participants can observe and learn how their work is done in another country of the European Union.

This initiative would be an important step in the creation of a Union of people in Europe, but for it to succeed we need your help.


The idea to launch a European citizens’ initiative was born during our studies. We were learning about the possibility of EU citizens to directly participate in the decision-making at the EU level and decided to propose this Civil Servant Exchange Program. We are a group of 9 people coming from 7 different EU Member States, reflecting the diversity of Europe, from West to East. Most of us experienced the benefits of the Erasmus+ Program, and we think that these exchanges should not stop once studies come to an end since lifelong learning is a key to both professional and personal development.

This initiative was launched on 4th October and we need your help to reach the one million signatures required within a year to make it happen. You can sign here.

What’s the CESP?

This “Erasmus for civil servants” would offer civil servants from all around Europe professional experience in another Member State. This exchange will take place in a similar service for a period of 2 to 12 months.In order to avoid any disparities between civil servants in terms of remuneration, they should continue to receive their salaries from their country of origin. In case the salary of the participant is lower than what a civil servant in a comparable position receives in the host Member State a European fund should be created to compensate for the difference.

The civil service is one of the largest sectors of employment in each of the EU Member States. However, it offers very few opportunities to work in an international environment. This program aims to compensate for the disparities between private and public sector employees in this regard. Civil servants would be able to benefit from this European experience, and many young professionals may therefore opt for civil service instead of private employment. Thanks to this program, a whole new category of workers will be able to move within the EU, which will help to improve the functioning of the internal market and strengthen the freedom of movement of workers.


A rewarding programme for civil servants

We deeply believe that this program will allow civil servants from all over Europe to develop a constant exchange of know-how with each other: a Swedish firefighter could learn how Spanish firefighters deal with forest fires; Bulgarian nurses could explain to German nurses how they treat patients and what medical practices they perform; a Danish teacher could learn the teaching methods of Czech professors; French anti-corruption officers could share their working methods with a Portuguese officer; etc. This exchange will enable civil servants to meet other officials working in their field and create a culture of exchanging, developing, and growing good practices together. It will also be an excellent opportunity to practice foreign languages, develop skills in a European environment and learn other forms of public management.

The development and the spread of good practices are crucial as civil servants will be able to use the know-how learned during their exchange back in their Member State of origin. These practices may include new forms of administrative or healthcare practices, a particular teaching method, new ways of treating patients, taking care of the needs of the public, etc. All these good practices will gradually spread as the exchanges will take place and will naturally be selected by those who are most competent in the field and aim to put the interest of the citizens at the center of their work: civil servants.

They are at the heart of Member States and we truly believe that such exchanges will improve both the cooperation between European citizens and between the Member States. The main goal of this program is to reinforce the freedom of movement of workers in the EU, foster an exchange of best practices between civil services and improve links between the EU Member States. It will enhance the efficiency of the public sector in the spirit of governments of the people, by the people, for the people.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article until the end. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information, and express your support by signing and sharing our Initiative.

Where to sign:



Civil Servant Exchange Program ECI Team

The team behind the ECI «Civil Servant Exchange Program» is composed by 9 young professionals from 7 different Member States. At the time of the submission of our ECI, we were all Master students at the same institution in Belgium, where we came up and developed the idea we presented to the Commission. The team is composed by Johan GONÇALVES (FR/PT), Adam MAZOYER (FR), Paulo ROQUETE VITORINO (PT), Kristina MUSIC (DE), Francesco BORDONE (IT), Amandine DESWERT (BE), Angelica MASTRO (IT), Mădălina IONESCU (RO), and Petra POSPÍŠILOVÁ (CZ).



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