Brussels, 6 December 2021

The new AD 5 internal competition:

That is simply unacceptable…

How does the Commission (the DG HR) dare, at the same time, to announce loud and clear a new human resources strategy that enhances careers, while creating a window dressing for a few happy few?

When the Commission wants, it can! This is a great Christmas gift for some, but one that will have a very bitter taste for a large part of the staff.

By launching its internal competition COM/AD/02/21 to recruit 65 AD5s, the Commission deliberately diverts traditional routes to the first grade of administrator to favour some “happy few” which benefit from ad-hoc programmes and in particular the Junior Professional Programme (JPP).

The  competition notice states that candidates must have spent “the twelve months preceding the closing date for online registration — namely 21 December at 12H00 — as a member of the temporary staff or contract staff with the Commission, including at least the last six months, preceding the closing date for online registration, as temporary agent in the function group AD”.

A great Christmas gift for JPPs: 43 % success rate for JPPs to become an AD5 officials, compared to less than 1 % success rate for candidates in external AD5 competitions…

Clearly, this internal competition is designed to give a privileged means of access to the European civil service at the post of AD5 administrator to the JPP.

Let it be noted that the first JPP exercise was launched in 2018. Between the time of the selection of Blue Book trainees and other categories (initially AD, CA-FGIV) and the two-year programme as a temporary agent AD5, the timing was perfect to propose an internal competition from 2020.

As soon as this project appeared, we denounced all its obvious limitations in the strongest possible terms ( link ).

Although improvements were made because of our resolute action, the unacceptable nature of the procedure is still obvious.

The figures perfectly illustrate the validity of our criticism. 

In the last internal competition in 2020, there were 399 candidates and 60 laureates, a success rate of 15 %. For JPPs the success rate is 43.3 %

Each promotion of JPPs has 27 people, making 54 people in one year.

For the first session of the JPP, 19 colleagues out of 27 are successful in this internal competition; for the second session of the JPP, the figures are 7 out of 21, i.e. a total of 26 JPP winners. This means that JPPs represent 12 % of candidates and 43.3 % of successful candidates.

It should be recalled that the latest external AD 5 competitions via EPSO had a success rate of 0.66%, 0.72% and 0.62% respectively.

And for this 2021 internal competition published just before Christmas, JPP 1 to JPP 5 will be able to compete, representing 135 colleagues for 65 posts, and a second chance for JPP 1 and 2 who were not successful in the previous edition and whose contracts have been extended… while EPSO has frozen the AD5 generalists recruitment competitions.

Clearly, DG HR’s aim is to ensure a shameful ‘clean slate’ with a final success rate of 100%.

And what about all the AST and AST-SC colleagues who are excluded from this “competition”, even though they perform AD level tasks every day without any real possibility of career development?

What about the thousands of AC colleagues in the EU representations and delegations who perform tasks at a much higher level than their contract, who have years of seniority, who wait many years to benefit from a reclassification and who are in turn excluded from this “competition” reserved for people with only twelve months of seniority in the Institution?!

Instead of responding to the more than legitimate expectations of these colleagues by putting in place fair and transparent procedures likely to correct the social dumping inflicted on its staff, with such “competitions” DG HR is inflicting the ultimate humiliation on them!

Blue Book trainees, who are very deserving and have a remarkable level of education, are very much favoured by this programme. They currently represent 73% of the JPPs, 19% of the JPPs being GF IV contract agents and 7% GF III.

You should also be aware that depending on their DG of origin, the JPPs have the greatest chance of success. In rank order: ECFIN, INTPA, CONNECT, TRADE and COMP are the winners in this system!

It is therefore a very privileged means of access to the civil service, to grade AD5, bypassing the traditional route, which will clearly be the recruitment channel for the future, as the JPP will become permanent.

And this, despite all the principles of the European civil service: transparency, equal opportunities, anonymity of the tests, etc. and above all to the detriment of all the other AST, AST-SC and AC colleagues who have demonstrated their skills and commitment to the institution.

This is a policy that is more than questionable and against which we stand upright.

What is the Commission waiting for to meet the expectations of the staff in service? When the Commission wants, it can…

Cristiano Sebastiani,