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European Commission administrators: job description

European Commission administrators: job description

European Commission administrators are responsible for the formation, implementation and management of EC policies and legislation.
For those working abroad, overseas expenses are paid in addition to a basic salary.

What does a European Commission administrator do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

The European Commission, European Parliament and several other EU institutions employ administrators. Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • writing reports
  • managing budgets
  • organising and attending meetings
  • preparing policy proposals
  • implementing policies
  • managing staff and resources
  • undertaking research to ensure consistency of policies and procedures throughout member states
  • debating and negotiating ideas
  • drafting European Community legislation
  • overseeing relations between EU and non-EU member states

Promotional opportunities are excellent for those who can demonstrate appropriate skills, experience and performance.

Only a small number of vacancies occur each year. Most jobs are located in Luxembourg and Brussels and visits to other countries are often part of the job. Positions are advertised in national newspapers, by careers services and on the EC website. There is a lengthy and rigorous entrance procedure called 'concours' or 'open competition', which can take up to a year to complete.

Qualifications and training required

A degree gained in any discipline is acceptable for entry, although qualifications in subjects such as statistics, law, economics, politics, European studies or finance can be helpful. Applicants should possess an excellent record of academic achievement with good A level results (including German and/or French) and a bachelor's degree. Prior relevant work experience is necessary for entry at some, but not all, levels. Knowledge of EU policies/institutions and/or managerial experience gained within the public sector can be advantageous, as can postgraduate qualifications, especially those with a European element. A six-month traineeship called 'stage' can provide a good insight into the EC and helpful experience for applications.

Key skills for European Commission administrators

All candidates must be confident, mature in attitude and decisive; with excellent interpersonal, numerical and verbal/written communication skills. Foreign language abilities are of particular importance to the job and all candidates are required to have knowledge of a second official language. Employees are actively encouraged to undertake further training in this area, particularly in French and German.

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