The EU institutions’ current selection process for staff “hampers geographic and socio-economic diversity,” according to a report out Thursday.
The European Court of Auditors said the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) — which is responsible for selecting staff to work for the EU’s institutions and agencies — “should reconsider how it selects new recruits for the EU civil service.”
EPSO’s recruitment processes (so-called competitions) “are the gateway to a career in the EU civil service, but no longer meet the EU institutions’ current recruitment needs,” Annemie Turtelboom, the ECA member responsible for the report, said in a press release. “EPSO must reconsider its selection process and launch a new, faster, more flexible and cost-effective system for selecting specialists, and ramp up its capacity in order to adapt to the fast-changing recruitment environment.”
The report says the EPSO competitions are split into two types: large ones for entry-level generalists — such as lawyers, economists and translators — and smaller ones for more specific profiles — such as IT experts and scientists. It says the system met recruitment needs when the EU was expanding its staffing between 2004 and 2007, but is inefficient for today’s more specific role requirements.
In one example given, just 159 candidates were shortlisted for a general role that had 25,379 candidates applying for it.
Also according to the report, Belgium and Luxembourg remain the two countries where most respondents begin the process toward an EU job and many applicants “are or have been employed in EU institutions.”
The report says that managers told the ECA that candidates recruited through EPSO “were not of a noticeably higher calibre than staff they had recruited through other channels.”