A new scheme to bypass the open competitions?

DG HR is cooking up a new scheme to allow some privileged few to get into the EU public service without passing an open competition. Their bright idea is that 15 Blue Book trainees (BBT), after their 5 months period, would have the chance to join a programme called Young Professionals Programme (YPP) [1]. The timeline would be approximately as follows:

  • The BBTs get a 1-year CA GFIV in the same DG where they made the stage. Evaluation 1.
  • Then, 1-year CA GFIV in a second DG. Evaluation 2.
  • Then, 1-year TA AD5 either in the same second DG or seconded to an international organisation or a MS. Evaluation 3.
  • Final stage: internal competition to become AD5.

There are two rounds of selection of BBTs per year, thus the new scheme could allow 30 BBTs per year to join the YPP). These 30 winners would have been selected out of an average of 16,000 applicants per selection round, i.e. more than 30,000 applicants/year. Interestingly, no prior work experience would be required to enter the scheme. CA3bs will appreciate…

We have several questions about this scheme:

Indeed, the staff regulations lay down two main competition paths, internal and open.  It is not clear at this stage which of the two legal bases would be applied by DG HR. What we can say is that:

  1. Open has to be: OPEN!
  1. In theory internal competitions are allowed only on an exceptional basis. Hard to reconcile this point with the fact that BBTs are recruited twice every year and thus with the fact that the YPP scheme would have to be run on a permanent basis.
  1. Interestingly, if the process is organised via an internal competition, the selected BBTs could become permanent officials with no more than 24-30 months of experience, as compared to the 42 months experience that CA/TA/FONC had to have last year to be allowed to participate in the internal competition. Of course, if you are already a CA or an AST, you won’t be allowed to become BBT to enter the scheme!
  1. So far, there is no information whatsoever about evaluation criteria, about which budget would pay for this, what the legal basis would be, whether the successful internal competition candidates would have to apply to a post like everybody else (or would also enjoy a priority lane over open competition laureates).

Because of the present lack of clarity, it is hard to make up our mind at this stage. However, what we can immediately see is the link between this proposal and the plea of CA3bs (see petition above). If DG HR can cook up something for the BBTs, maybe it can also do so for the CA3bs who are reaching the 6-year cliff edge with their contract?

[1] Now the Junior Professionals Programme (JPP), check out our articles on this project.