Set up in 2010, the new recruitment procedure for EU officials puts the emphasis on the skills and aptitudes of the candidates rather than their theoretical knowledge. In addition, the competitive exams are now organised over a shorter period in annual cycles.
"The revision of selection procedures has been a very big success," explains Agne Martikoniene, a member of the staff of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). "Thanks to the changes in selection methods and in particular the use of computer tests, put in place globally for the first time, 37,000 applicants for the AD5 concours (administrators) were able to register, reserve a place and sit their tests in less than two months from the date that the concours was published." The official added that, in terms of the selection of experts, and, more specifically, of lawyers specialised in competition law, "we have succeeded in finishing the selection procedure in only six months, which fits in with the aim of five to seven months that we hope to be able to achieve for the most important concours".
In addition to the organisational aspects, the new procedure changes the method of evaluation (see table). As already underlined, it is now the skills and aptitudes of applicants that are more important than theoretical knowledge. According to Martikoniene, these evaluation exercises make it possible to "select the European Union officials that are the best equipped" to embark on a career in the Community institutions. She adds that this new content "is designed to test your main skill and that is not something that you can revise for from a book".
Thus, alongside specific aptitudes tested on the basis of the professional profiles that are being looked for, seven general required skills have been defined to be fit for a post within the EU institutions. These are skills of analysis and problem solving', communication', quality and results', learning and development', perseverance' and, finally, teamwork'.
Divided into professional profiles - administrators, linguists, assistants, specialised profiles - recruitment procedures for EU officials run in two stages. Apart from the specialised profiles, which are preselected according to the dossier, the first stage includes computer tests. Applicants who have successfully sat this first stage are then invited to sit a second stage at the evaluation centre (see table).
While this stage is the last one, nothing has yet been achieved...