Few Czechs work in the European Union (EU) institutions, despite more than 32,270 civil servants employed by the EU. According to a spokesperson from the Czech representation of the European Commission, there are only around 500 Czechs in the various EU institutions.
The EU offers a unique working environment, with officials from all corners of the Union employed in its institutions, where communication occurs in 24 languages. The range of professions available within EU institutions is vast, covering everything from doctors to astrophysicists and from South America to Asia.
Although it is a common misconception that working for the EU can only occur in Brussels, it is possible to work for the EU in the Czech Republic. There are currently around 280 job vacancies available there.
According to the spokesperson, the number of Czech officials working in EU institutions is not adequate at all levels of management. Currently, the most significant number of Czech civil servants work in the European Commission, with 515 employees.
Although the population of the Czech Republic is equivalent to just over 2.4% of the total EU population, the spokesperson argues that the number of Czechs working in EU institutions should be at least 2.4%. Currently, only 1.7% of EU civil servants are Czech.
Furthermore, there are only 23 Czechs in leading positions and no general directors. Czech representation in the EU agencies, which have more than 49 institutions and nearly 12,000 employees, is even lower at around 1%.
To secure a permanent position as a civil servant, one can apply through a general selection process, which requires a university degree but not necessarily work experience, or apply through a specialized selection process, which requires a university degree and three or six years of relevant work experience.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diplomatic Academy, and the Government Office offer courses to help interested candidates prepare for the selection process.
The good news is that from May, the selection process will be governed by new rules that aim to speed up the process, with the majority of tests able to be taken remotely. Following a hiatus, several selection processes are set to take place this year, offering permanent contracts to graduates and professionals.