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European Commission Official Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a European Commission Official. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a European Commission Official 
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful European Commission Official Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

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:

General Services - anti-fraud, communications and publications
Policies - economic affairs, education, employment, environment, tax, customs
External Relations - trade, development aid, external relations
Internal Services - budget, finance, legal, personnel, translation and interpreting services.
Mobility is encouraged and most staff work in a number of DGs during their career.

The type of work undertaken might include drafting new environmental legislation, taking part in negotiations with non-EU countries, implementing and checking the progress of programmes, and arranging and participating in meetings. Other key tasks include preparing reports for the European Parliament, responding to questions from members of the European Parliament, and dealing with enquiries from the general public.

Officials may be responsible for the management of people, finances or equipment.

There are four main categories of official - category A administrators, category B administrative assistants, category C clerical assistants, and category D skilled and unskilled employees such as drivers and messengers.

Category B staff support category A staff, for instance by collecting and analysing information. They often provide specialist services in fields such as accountancy, computing or librarianship. They may also have responsibility for the management of people, finances or equipment. Category C staff perform mainly secretarial and clerical duties.

Hours and Environment

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. It offers its personnel a range of social facilities to help their integration into the working environment and the everyday life of the host country.

Skills and Interests

European Commission officials should:

  • be reasonably fluent in one other Community language (English and French are the most common languages)
  • be able to adapt to a multilingual, cosmopolitan working atmosphere
  • have a basic knowledge of computing and word processing
  • be clear, logical thinkers
  • have perseverance and persistence
  • have an interest in current affairs.


All candidates must be citizens of a member state of the EU and have the necessary language qualifications described above. The second language must be at least to A level/H grade standard. For some posts the languages required may be specified.

There are four levels of entry:

Category A: You must have a university degree in any discipline (unless specified for a specific post), or an equivalent qualification. Minimum entry for degree courses requires five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) with two A levels/three H grades. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

If you have no previous professional experience you can apply for a post at Grade A8 level. If you have a minimum of three years'' experience you can apply for a post at Grade A7 or A6 level. For some of these positions you may need a specialised degree in law, economics, accounting or statistics as well as relevant experience.

Category B: You must have successfully completed a course of advanced secondary education and obtained a final certificate or diploma. Two A levels/H grades or equivalent would meet this requirement. In addition you must have acquired at least two years experience in a field related to the activity being applied for. This may vary considerably and there may be occasional competitions for those with non-specialised backgrounds.

Category C: You must have five GCSEs or equivalent and at least two years'' experience in a relevant field.

Category D: You must have skill and experience in the particular job applied for.

Entry for all grades is by competition and these are usually in three stages. The first stage is a series of pre-selection tests, the second a written examination and the third is an oral exam. The last one is usually held in Brussels.

If successful, you are then placed on a reserve list from which candidates are selected to fill vacancies as they arise.

Notice of the open competitions is published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, available from The Stationery Office, in the national press and on Commission websites. Details are also available from the European Commission Representations in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Useful experience can be gained prior to application via the European Fast Stream of the British Civil Service, which prepares graduates for careers in the European Community institutions, and the European Commission ''Stagiaire'' Scheme, a five-month training and work attachment internship for young graduates. Contact the EU Staffing Branch at the Cabinet Office for more information.


Throughout your career you would have the opportunity to take in-house courses to acquire new language, management and communication skills. You would also be encouraged to gain experience of different areas of work. Exchanges with national administrations of EC states are also being developed.


The Commission employs about 16,500 officials. The majority work in Brussels.

Career prospects in the Commission are good. A new entrant in the administrative category at A8 could hope for promotion to A7 after about two years. Advancement to A6 could come five or six years later. All entrants could expect to reach A4 level during their career in the EU.

Category B staff may be promoted to higher grades in their own category or move to category A by internal or open competition. Category C and D staff may also move within their grade or up to the next category by taking part in internal or open competitions.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

New entrant graduates earn about £30,000 whilst those with three or more years'' experience earn around £35,000 per year.
Administrators with twelve years'' experience earn around £45,000 rising to £80,000 or more.
B grade entrants earn about £21,000.
C grade entrants earn about £16,500.

Medical insurance and pension schemes also exist together with educational allowances for children. There is also a 16% expatriate allowance paid to officials who work outside their home country.

Further information

The Cabinet Office
EU Staffing
Room G.1.4
Admiralty Arch
The Mall

European Personnel Selection Office
C80 0/48
B-1049 Brussels

European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom

Other Useful Official European Commission Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Official European Commission job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Official European Commission Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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