|Author (Person)||Watson, Rory|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.1, 4.1.01, p6|
THE Union's three main institutions are preparing to pool their recruitment procedures and hand over management of the complex process to an outside professional office.
The impetus for this major break with past practice has come from the European Parliament, but the Commission has also been heavily involved in examining ways to improve staff selection as part of its internal reform programme.
Parliament Secretary-General Julian Priestley is one of the driving forces behind efforts to consolidate the arrangements before the EU admits new members. "Reform of the present recruitment system is urgent. It is cumbersome, slow and expensive. Modernisation is necessary in any case. Enlargement makes it essential. I am very anxious that by the end of this year, the office will be up and running," he said.
Senior officials from the Parliament, Commission and Council of Ministers have been working on the scheme for the past year. Their blueprint has now been accepted by the three secretaries-general and the Commission is currently preparing a formal proposal.
This would establish a recruitment office which, similar to the existing Publications Office, would provide its services to each institution. The Commission, Parliament and Council would present regular inventories of their staffing requirements and it would be the office's responsibility to organise suitable competitions and compile lists of potential candidates.
Supporters of the idea maintain that it would avoid duplication and make recruitment procedures more easily understandable to ordinary citizens.
Priestley insists the initiative is not being launched as an economy measure, but rather to improve performance. Even so, he acknowledges that the cost of organising competitions is currently very high when the total time devoted to this by people who sit on selection boards is taken into account.
Officials working on the blueprint claim it would improve cost-efficiency in the long term, but accept that there may be increased costs initially as the need to improve technical expertise outweighs gains from reducing duplication.
Many practical details remain to be agreed, but current thinking is that the office should have a staff of at least 130 - compared to the 99 officials who handle recruitment now in the three institutions - and an annual budget for salaries, premises and equipment of around 13 million euro.
The office itself would deal with all future recruitment, but certain basic principles must first be agreed by the EU institutions, including the method to be used to draw up reserve lists and the criteria for admission to competitions.
If successful, the recruitment office model could be used for other shared facilities such as building management, security services and libraries.
The Union's three main institutions are preparing to pool their recruitment procedures and hand over management of the complex process to an outside professional office.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|