Recent am semnat un material pentru Cariere,
în colaborare cu Nienke van Leeuwaarden, publicat în “English section”. Articolul
abordează subiectul pieţei locurilor de
muncă în Bruxelles-ul European – angajator “gigant”, ce reuşeşte să atragă
peste 100.000 de persoane şi încă 700.000 ce lucrează pentru statele membre,
având joburi atât în sectorul public, cât şi în cel privat al afacerilor
Care sunt criteriile de eligibilitate ale acestora? Let’s
“The Community of EU actors” is huge with 100.000 people
working in Brussels
and an additional 700.000 people working in the Member States - in the public
sector, as well as the private sector. What profile do these people have?
I. Working in Brussels – beyond the EU
Brussels hosts more than 100.000 persons
working in EU affairs. Only 50% of the jobs are to be found in the EU
institutions. The other 50.000 EU actors work at industry federations,
consultancies, media, corporate organisations, non-profit organizations, think
tanks, region and city representations, etc. The objective of these entities is
to advocate and communicate their views or the views of their members as
stakeholders in EU affairs – and they need employees to accomplish this,
providing a world of opportunities.
As Europe's capital, Brussels
has an a-typical and specific job-market. It hosts sectorial, national,
regional, and international stakeholders that, together with the EU
Institutions, make up the so called “Community of EU actors”. Statistics show
that 5.000 jobs from all levels (start- mid- and high level), are available
every year, due to the dynamics of the Brussels EU job market.
This is therefore only a superficial glance on job
opportunities in Brussels.
There are more sectors/fields to look at, depending on your interest and
background: law firms, political parties, platform organisations, international
organisations in Brussels
1. 'Perm Rep's'
Every EU member state has a Permanent Representation to
the EU, based in Brussels.
These offices represent the country's interest in the EU, as well as giving
policy advice to their national politicians like the Prime Minister and Europe
Minister. In addition there are about 300 European Regions and Cities, who also
have their “Permanent Representations” to the EU based in Brussels, like the
Representation of Veneto Region, West Finland European office or the City of
Prague. These regional and city offices represent and promote their regions and
cities, providing services to their people, but on a more narrow scale.
2. Industry and
About 400 corporations, like Microsoft, Shell, and Visa;
3.000 industry associations, like the European Banking Federation, the European
Wind and Energy Association, and Eurometaux; numerous unions and chambers of
commerce, like the British Chamber of Commerce, the Serbian Chamber of
Commerce, and Eurochambers have offices in Brussels in order to be present in the
community of EU-Actors. Even though most of these offices are quite small,
employing 1-5 people, almost 50% of these employees are doing work related to
There are about 400 consultancy companies based in Brussels. They differ
from mainstream consultancies in the sense that they mainly focus on
EU-Affairs. Consultancies focus on Public Affairs (Edelman, Pleon, Fleishman
Hillard, Cabinet DN, etc.); Public Relations (Ogilvy, Hill & Knowlton,
Burson-Marsteller, Grayling, etc.); EU Project Management (Mostra,
Gopa-Cartemill, Tipik, Quentes, etc.); and Association Management (Kellen
Europe, AGEP, etc.). The teams working at these consultancies are
international, multilingual, diverse and dynamic, consistently delivering
services with real, commercial return.
There are approximately 1.000 journalists reporting from Brussels. 95% of the
journalists in Brussels
are correspondents of national media. However, this amount is declining due to
financial crises, but also because technological developments make it easier to
report on the EU from the national offices. The remaining 5% is covered by
specialized EU media (3%) like EurActiv, European Voice, EU Observer and by
international media (2%) like FT, Wall Street Journal, International Herald
5. NGOs and
NGOs like WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Red Cross, Youth Forum,
and Caritas Europe have offices in Brussels.
houses a lot of think-tanks, like Friends of Europe, Centre for European Policy
Studies, European Policy Centre, etc. They provide a forum for debate on EU
Affairs, and have an in-house research departments as well as extensive
networks of partner institutes across the world.
II. Brussels – the
place where “HR signals” make a difference
Brussels: the a-typical and specific job
market requires a a-typical and specific approach to applying for a job. There
is a fantastic pool of expertise in Brussels,
with a pile of 'diploma’s and skills', but practically few people understand
the scope of the market surrounding them. The private sector of EU Affairs is
furthermore very superficially presented in higher education (as opposed to the
institutions and their possibilities). This creates the situation that young
graduates in Europe do not 'see' for example
the 20.000 jobs to be found in the EU federation sector.
To work in Brussels
requires an understanding of the 'market of the employers', their needs and
their requests. It’s a paradox, but 95% of private sector recruitment is done
by people who have no training or professional experience in terms of HR. There
are Secretary Generals, Directors, and Consultants who lead small companies
(most of them with a team of less than 10), also taking care of the recruitment
process. And whether it is good or bad: it's the reality.
Given the particularities of the employers and the
intercultural environment, the issue that often is very confusing is which
'signals' can you give that makes the difference in your application in the
majority of cases. ‘He studied law’: means that he understands legal
mechanisms; ‘she did an MA in London’:
means she is proficient in English; ‘he was an MEP assistant’: means that he
has good political connections; ‘she was active in NGO's as a student’: means
she knows how to work without too many comments and questions. These are
thoughts that can occur in a 30 second time-frame when a CV is read, or rather:
is scanned. A person will not spend more than 2 minutes looking at a CV, and a
5 minute delay to a meeting can even shorten this time and can be fatal to your
application. There are mental filters making selections and eliminating CVs, in
order to have the best in the micro-system that is Brussels.
III. Life outside Brussels: Local Actors in
The EU is a complex system in which Brussels has a key role. However, it is
imperative to realise that Brussels
works in close connection with the 27 capitals of the EU Member States. What
about the “local EU actors”, working in the Member States?
A unit in each ministry is involved in the country's
position towards the relevant EU policies. The people in charge of national
views in EU legislation are thus scattered across the national ministries. The
units exist of about 10-20 people. Logically, some ministries have more people
working on EU legislation issues than others namely the Ministry for Foreign
Affairs and EU Affairs. In addition, there are also a number of national
institutions or agencies who employ people who spend at least 50% of their time
working on EU Affairs.
Hundreds of people contribute to connect their country's
interests to the European Agenda. Especially now with the Treaty of Lisbon, the
National Parliaments have the prerogative to spend more resources on the EU legislative
process, and consequently each Member of National Parliament, each political
group, and each political committee have their experts in EU Policies.
To all of this, we can add other sectors that are
connected to the Capital of Europe: many companies, via their department of
regulatory affairs, are active in legislative lobbying (direct or indirect) and
know the EU arena in detail. National industry federations, Chambers of
Commerce, NGOs, employer associations, unions, consultancy firms, and law firms
are also active in EU Affairs.
There are hundreds of journalists in the Member States
writing about dynamics of the EU system, even though they may not be aware of
it 100% of the time. They write about finance, transport, agriculture,
education, and all kinds of other topics that have an EU dimension. There are
also hundreds of teachers, university lecturers and professors who teach their
students about the world of co-decision and the construction of the EU
Looking at the public and private sector in each country
there is a total of 20.000-30.000 people working in connection with the EU
Affairs mosaic – the local EU actors. It is normal that in each country the
number of people involved in EU Affairs will vary depending on population, how
long the country already is an EU Member State, government structures, the
culture of the country and the level of leadership in the EU. However, if we
take an average of 25.000 people working in EU Affairs in each country, this
means that 700.000 people in the Member States work in EU Affairs”.
Dan LUCA / Bruxelles