How you recruit is who you get (even in the EU)

 

This article was first published on the Online EU Training blog

 

When EPSO announced the changes to its selection procedures, it was welcomed with enthusiasm. Lowering the barrier to entry while selecting more suitable candidates by removing EU knowledge tests was a big relief – just look at the 37,000 applicants for the administrator exams this March. But recruitment is not limited to EPSO: consider the (s)election of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the European Commission

President and other senior politicians. Maybe a change of procedures is the answer to the EU’s problems?

 

Think of it: whoever selects or elects politicians is the one they are trying to please. If a candidate runs for Commission President, (s)he needs to be on good terms with all 27 national governments (sure, since Lisbon it’s enough to secure 2/3 of them, but still). If someone is running to be a MEP, the candidate needs to please a given political group to be chosen (sure, citizens and voters matter too but it’s in fact the political parties that decide who can be put on the party list and at which place). The more senior the post, the more factors must be considered: nationality, language, age, gender and maybe, just maybe, professional skills and knowledge.

 

So here is the question: why do “ordinary” EU officials-to-be need to go through an assessment centre and be tested on 7 competencies while anyone on the top of EU institutions, including MEPs, judges and others have a much less objective selection procedure where bias is built into the system (save for exceptions)?

 

Our suggestion: EPSO should run competitions for EU politicians!
(image source: BGSU university)

 

Posted in Online EU Training

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