|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.20, 17.5.01, p8|
THE EU's citizen's watchdog has stepped up his campaign to end age discrimination in Union recruitment procedures.
Ombudsman Jacob Söderman has written to 21 EU bodies and agencies, demanding that they tell him what, if any, age limits they apply in recruitment tests.
He says that any institution which places an upper age limit on job applicants will require a sound legal justification - or accept that their rules will have to be changed.
Söderman believes that the inclusion of an article on age discrimination in the Charter of Fundamental Rights means all Union bodies are obliged to phase out policies of excluding potential recruits on age grounds alone.
"Failure by a community institution or body to respect the rights contained in the Charter would be an instance of maladministration," he said.
His letters are the latest move in a long-running campaign. Previously, Söderman has focussed on the European Commission which blocks candidates over 45 from entering its job competitions or concours.
In January, Söderman gave the EU executive the all-clear over its plans to abolish age limits.
The institution has said it could take another two years before that happens because complicated changes to the staff regulations are needed.
Now Söderman is focussing his attention on the other institutions such as the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, as well as the EU's myriad smaller agencies.
He is concerned that some of these bodies still apply an age limit of 35 on new recruits that the Commission scrapped in 1998.
"Now, with the Nice Charter supporting his position, Mr Söderman hopes that all unjustified discrimination on the basis of age can be brought to an end," said his spokesman.
The EU's citizen's watchdog has stepped up his campaign to end age discrimination in Union recruitment procedures.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|