Internal competitions 2018

Mid September DG HR called the trade unions for a “social dialogue” on the planned internal competitions. We did not have the impression that we attended a dialogue but rather an info session about DG HR’s plan to offer a platform for Cabinet members to find an easy way through an internal competition to become officials. This has unfortunately become a sad tradition that comes by every 5 years shortly before the end of each mandate of the Commission.

HR presented us the “biggest set of internal competitions the Commission ever published”. The presentation was only made available to the representatives of Union Syndical Luxembourg, who have distributed it to all staff in Luxembourg.

The following competitions will be open to officials, temporary agents but also contract agents: AST/SC2, AST 2 and AD 6. (Applications to AD6 will be restricted to FG IV.)

An AST 4 competition will be open to AST temporary agents and officials.

The following competitions will be open to AD officials and temporary agents: AD 7, 8, 10 and 12 (“receiving” grades, in order to apply one has to be no more than 2 grades below the receiving grade, i.e. to apply to the AD10 competition, one has to be AD8 or AD9). There will be different domains to choose.

We had an intensive discussion about the number of laureates in each competition because it is in no way justified that, especially in those competitions open to AST’s and contract agents, the number of laureates should be significantly lower than in the high grade AD competitions.

According to the staff regulations the number of recruitments via internal competitions cannot exceed 5% of the recruitments from the reserve lists of external competitions. The most recent internal competition for contract agents has set up a list of AST/SC lauréats that cannot be recruited due to this restriction. This is the reason why the number of lauréats in internal competitions is in certain cases very limited.

Interestingly, DG HR partly justifies the competition as a way to “promote a better geographical balance in the higher grades”. They are referring to their geographical balance report issued last June which showed that citizens from “new” Member States are under-represented in the AD9-AD12 grade bracket (not a surprise since the Commission deliberately recruited almost all EU12 administrators in the AD5 grade after the 2 enlargements, it takes many many years to get to AD9 if you start at AD5…). Against this backdrop, it is hard to understand why there is a competition open to become AD12 where only grades AD10 and AD11 may apply. Only about a quarter of AD10s are from “new” Member States. Less than 10% of AD11s are from “new” Member States. Conversely, there is no competition with AD9 as the receiving grades that would be of very high interest to AD7s. More than 50% of AD7s are from “new” Member States. Similarly, no competition to AD11 that would be of high interest to AD9s. More than 40% of AD9s are from “new” Member States. You can draw your own conclusions as to DG HR’s commitment to restoring geographical balance in the AD9-AD12 grade bracket. The same applies to those who are citizens from “old” Member States but are in “new Member States” grades. They are “co-lateral” damage of DG HR’s deliberate policy to keep away citizens from new Member States from reaching senior grades since 2004. We are in the same boat, the post-2004 boat…

The timetable is not yet decided, but we believe the competitions will probably be published in November/December 2018. In any case, Generation 2004 will keep you informed about any further news in this matter.

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