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17th Feb 2019

Polish female economists: Apply now for EU job

  • Even though there will be a 5 percent cutback in EU jobs, there are opportunities for some (Photo: Tax Credits)

Interested in working for the European Union? Your best bet is if you are a Polish woman with a degree in economics or finance.

That is, if the next commissioner for budget and human resources, Kristalina Georgieva delivers the promises she made during the hearing at the European Parliament on Thursday (October 2).

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Georgieva was asked several questions about the imbalance between nationalities of staff of EU institutions and the relative size of population.

“Statistics show that some nationalities are over-represented, while others are under-represented”, said MEP Emil Radev (EPP).

For example, while Poland represents 7.5 percent of the EU’s population, only 4.3 percent of the European Commission’s staff is Polish.

According to Georgieva, it is mostly the jobs in middle management where the imbalance is most striking. She called the situation “problematic” and said she would try to solve it. “There is more to be done here.”

However, she said that inhabitants of some nations just don't appear to be attracted to an EU job.

“Poland is one of the countries not proportionally well-represented. It is because not enough Polish people apply”, she said.

She promised to be “more proactive” in recruiting staff from under-represented member states.

At the same time, all EU institutions have to reduce their staff by 5 percent from 2013 to 2017. Georgieva said she was committed to achieving that goal, since the EU should be setting the example to remain credible.

The Bulgarian official, who will also be a powerful vice-president of the commission, said that layoffs will not be done on “pro rata basis”, or a 5 percent cut in every department. She said there will also be a “redistribution”, with an increase of staff for policy areas that are prioritised.

Speaking about the staff of the European Commission, she said a culture change is needed and more focus needs to be on results instead of input.

Until recently, the European Commission “has been primarily occupied with harmonisation of laws”, which, she said, required hiring lawyers.

“The lawyer's mindset is more on process. What we need now is people with a financial and economical mindset.”

Although she stressed later: “Don't get me wrong, I'm for lawyers” – her comments gave some indication of whose resumés might have a better chance of leading to an EU job.

Georgieva also gave hope to female Commission employees who would like to take their career up a notch. She promised that by the end of their mandate, at least 40 percent of senior and middle management in the Commission will be women.

In February 2014, 27.9 percent of senior management were women and 30.3 percent of middle management.

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