PAS | European Union Career Information and Grades

The European Union

Have you ever considered an international career?

The concept of a job for life is fading. Employer needs and employee ambition are steering job seekers onto a path of career development through a series of work experiences. In the context of the global economy and a shrinking world due to technology and transport improvements, that career path can benefit greatly from an international dimension. From an Irish base, an international career can start with our nearest neighbours in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain. Well established work and educational links provide an easy transition for anyone seeking work experience there. Further opportunities are available within the European Union where there is a free movement of labour, growing harmonisation of standards and mutual recognition of qualifications. Apart from the opportunity to work in any of the 27 Member States, the European Institutions are significant employers providing permanent, temporary and contract opportunities.

Working in Brussels, Luxembourg and a variety of other locations across the Union you could make a real difference to Europe. The challenge of ensuring that everything that happens across the 27 member states enhances the lives of 500 million citizens is one you could contribute to. The challenge requires the best people with drive, commitment and passion to succeed. An EU citizen, you should relish an opportunity to play a key role in the European Union's success.

Why EU Careers ? Information from the EPSO website

A career with the EU Institutions gives you:

  • A lifetime of different jobs
  • Interesting and challenging work that makes a real difference for Europe
  • An environment where you are encouraged to learn new skills and languages
  • The opportunity to work and travel abroad, and work with people from all over Europe
  • An attractive benefits package

What we look for

We are looking for the best people from across Europe:

  • You have a motivation to work for Europe and you want to make a difference to the lives of its 500 million citizens.
  • You have strong analytical, organisational and communication skills and can adapt easily to a variety of environments and stakeholders.
  • You have the drive to deliver results and the ability to work effectively as part of a multi-cultural team.
  • You are eager to learn and develop your knowledge and skills.
  • You would like to use and enhance your language abilities.

Additional information can be obtained from the EPSO website at:

Grade AD5 and Grade AD7

Civil servants in the European Institutions are divided into two functions groups ? administrators and assistants. In parallel, there is a linear career system which consists of 16 levels (grades).

  • The administrator function group (AD) covers grades 5 to 16. New staff generally enter this group at grade 5.
  • The assistant function (AST) covers grades 1 to 11 (overlapping with Administrators in grades 5-11). New staff usually enters at grades 1 or 3.
  • Management positions: The Institutions have their own specific approaches towards recruitment for management level positions. In general, Heads of Unit are appointed from grades 9 to 14, while Directors and Directors-General occupy grades 14/15 and 15/16 respectively.

New staff are recruited as probationary officials. The probation period lasts nine months at the end of which a report on the performance of the probationer is drawn up. New staff who successfully complete the probationary period, are established as officials.

Two common entry grades are AD5 and AD7.


AD5 is the grade at which graduates enter an administrator's career in the European institutions. Administrators recruited at this grade can undertake, under supervision, three main types of work: policy formulation, operational delivery, and resource management. European Institutions are particularly looking for candidates with a potential for career development.

A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least 3 years attested by a diploma is required. Students in their final year at university may take part in recruitment competition provided that their diploma is awarded by 31 July 2011 at the latest.

Generally, no professional experience is required for entry at this grade.


AD7 Administrators recruited at this grade may, in addition to the type of work required at grade AD 5, be required to coordinate teams and supervise work.

Generally, a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least 4 years attested by a diploma Or a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least 3 years attested by a diploma, followed by professional experience of at least 1 year relevant to the duties involved, is required.

NB: The minimum of 1 year's professional experience required is deemed to be an integral part of the diploma and cannot be counted towards the professional experience required below.

At least 6 year's graduate-level professional experience relevant to the duties involved. Such professional experience is relevant only if acquired after the diploma giving access to a particular recruitment competition was obtained.

European Agencies that PAS has recently assisted with their recruitment needs


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