The European Commission is the civil service of the European Union and has a broad array of powers and functions such as proposing legislation, monitoring compliance with the Treaty, administering agricultural and other policies, managing Community programmes, administering budgets and representing the Community in external affairs.
There are four main departments or Directorates General (DG) in which officials work:
Following a recent restructure of the grading system, there are two categories of official – Administrators (AD) and Assistants (AST).
The type of work undertaken at Administrator grade might include drafting new legislation, taking part in negotiations with non-EU countries, and implementing and checking the progress of programmes. Other key tasks include attending meetings, preparing reports, responding to questions from members of the European Parliament, and dealing with enquiries from the general public. They may also be responsible for the management of people, finances or equipment.
Assistants support Administrator grade roles. Depending on the requirements and grading of the particular post, they may collect and analyse information, provide specialist services in fields such as accountancy, computing or librarianship, or perform secretarial and clerical duties.
The normal working week in Brussels is 37 hours, although in theory staff are expected to be available for work at all times. If they work outside the European Union the working hours and conditions could differ and relate more to the customs of the area in which they are based.
Officials are office-based.
Those working for the Commission and the other institutions of the European Union usually have a good standard of living, and have access to a range of social facilities to help their integration into the working environment and the everyday life of the host country.
European Commission administrators should:
OpportunitiesThe Commission employs about 16,500 officials, mainly working in Brussels or Luxembourg.
Career prospects in the Commission are good, with regular reviews, qualifying examinations and further competitions allowing promotion to higher grades.
If you would like to know anything about European Commission that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
European Personnel Selection Office
European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom