The European Civil Service is the civil service serving the institutions of the European Union, of which the largest employer is the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. It is the permanent bureaucracy that implements the decisions of the Union’s government.
Civil servants are recruited directly into the institutions after being selected by competitions set by EPSO, the official selection office. They are allocated to departments, known as Directorates-General (DGs), each covering one or more related policy areas.
The Commission is divided into departments known as Directorates-General (DGs or the services), each headed by a director-general, and various other services. Each covers a specific policy area or service such as External Relations or Translation and is under the responsibility of a European Commissioner. DGs prepare proposals for their Commissioners which can then be put forward for voting in the college of Commissioners.
Whilst the Commission’s DGs cover similar policy areas to the ministries in national governments, European Civil Servants have not necessarily been trained, or worked, in a national civil service before employment in the EU. On entry, they do not therefore share a common administrative culture.
|Agriculture and Rural Development||AGRI||European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development|
|Budget||BUDG||European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget|
|Climate Action||CLIMA||European Commissioner for Climate Action|
|Communication||COMM||European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship|
|Competition||COMP||European Commissioner for Competition|
|Economic and Financial Affairs||ECFIN||European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs|
|Education and Culture||EAC||European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth|
|Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion||EMPL||European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion|
|Energy||ENER||European Commissioner for Energy|
|Enlargement||ELARG||European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy|
|Enterprise and Industry||ENTR||European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship|
|Environment||ENV||European Commissioner for the Environment|
|Europe Aid Development and Cooperation||DEVCO||European Commissioner for Development|
|Eurostat||ESTAT||European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud|
|Foreign Policy Instruments Service||EEAS||High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy|
|Health and Consumers||SANCO||European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy|
|Home Affairs||HOME||European Commissioner for Home Affairs|
|Humanitarian Aid||ECHO||European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response|
|Human Resources and Security||HR||European Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration|
|Information Society and Media||INFSO||European Commissioner for Digital Agenda|
|Internal Market and Services||MARKT||European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services|
|Joint Research Centre||JRC||European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science|
|Justice||JUST||European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship|
|Maritime Affairs and Fisheries||MARE||European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries|
|Mobility and Transport||MOVE||European Commissioner for Transport|
|Regional Policy||REGIO||European Commissioner for Regional Policy|
|Research and Innovation||RTD||European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science|
|Taxation and Customs Union||TAXUD||European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud|
|Trade||TRADE||European Commissioner for Trade|
The EU institutions employ over 47 000 civil servants on salaries far above those that they would receive in their home countries in public service. The level is similar to that of civil servants in many member states’ embassies in Brussels and in other international organisations.
From July 2010 EU salaries varied from €2,654 for the lowest paid to €18,370 for the highest paid civil servant per month.
There are 16 salary classes with up to five categories for seniority. In addition to the salary, civil servants receive a family allowance, education allowances for kids and young students until 26 years and pension.
There is also a permanent expat allowance at 16% for foreigners moving to Brussels. The minimum expat allowance is €505.
The basic amount for a household allowance is €171.
The children allowance is €373.
The education allowance €253.
The unemployment allowance vary between €1,337 and € 2,674.
Civil servants working for EU institutions in other member states do not pay the local tax. The salaries are multiplied by an index for the living costs in the hosting country.
The salary scheme is decided every year by qualified majority among the ministers. The leaders of e.g. the EU information offices in the national capitals will therefore have monthly salaries much higher than those of the prime ministers. For civil servants with kids the net salary is higher than the official brut salaries. In the highest positions the salaries may be a little less because of EU tax.
During the financial crisis staff pay a 7% solidarity contribution and salary was only increased after some years. In the lower grades the contribution is 6% only.
EU staff are divided into 3 categories:
- AD-persons are usually University graduates
- AD-Linguists are translators and interpreters
- AST-persons are secretaries and assistants
The Prodi Commission introduced staff reforms with more incentive-based pay, this resulted in some resistance from the staff unions. Full-time civil servants in Brussels can also once buy cars without paying local taxes on them.