The Parliament’s Passerelle – the easy way in!

If you work for the Commission, you understand that becoming an EU official is hard. You need to survive a tough selection process in open competitions. Tens of thousands of hopeful applicants contend for a hundred spots on the reserve list with no guarantee of finally landing a job. As contractual or temporary agent, you can also try your luck in internal competitions. But they are few and far between, and have an opaque selection process with many spots going to contenders from outgoing Cabinets.

Or, you work for one of the political groups in the European Parliament:

While the Staff Regulations foresee the possibility of internal competitions for all institutions, wise politicians in 2004 understood the unique need of the Parliament to have a legal requirement of holding internal competitions for you at least each legislative period for AD9 or AST6-level or higher[1] – a process known as “Passerelle”. In the Parliament,  rules on internal competitions make clear that ten years of service are required[2]. However the internal competition notice requires that you have been in the service for the Parliament for only three years while offering a number of places on the reserve list conveniently comparable to the number of “you and your eligible friends[3]”. The Parliament’s Human Resources is refreshingly clear in case you ever doubted if you should apply: “the true purpose of the internal Passerelle competition is to enable Political Group Staff to obtain the security of Official status”[4].

Nevertheless, they say that the competition test are hard and require proper preparation. But don’t be afraid; the political groups’ HR Units will come to your help! They organise different seminars and training sessions, or in case of need even individual coaching sessions, and happily advise you on all aspects of your application file4. No one is left behind, even if they need to carry you through the Passerelle.

After having managed the tricky process of having you and your application sufficiently prepared by HR, you finally pass the Passerelle and are on your way to become an EU official. Congratulations! But wait, you only made it on the reserve list with no guarantee for a job. What if no one wants to hire you?

Don’t panic, your political friends are there for you. Parliament’s BUDG committee decided that posts of reserve list candidates working for political groups are automatically transformed to official posts[5]. No publication necessary. No application and selection of candidates. No probationary period. You go straight to established official, together with your other 31 friends ranging from AD11 to AST6 in 2018. Easy. So what is everyone in the Commission complaining about? Becoming permanent official is easy!

[1] Article 29 (4) of the Staff Regulations.

[2] Article 2 of the General Implementing Provisions of 17 October 2014 of the European Parliament.

[3] Notice of Parliament Internal Competition AD/1/17.

[4] Notice on Passerelle V (2016), European Parliament intranet, Human Resources.

[5] Passed on 24 January 2018 in BUDG committee (doc: 2018 Budget – Ohter Sections – EP – Establishement Plan – Annex 1)

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