What is the European Commission Correction Coefficient

European Commission Correction Coefficient
How much you earn in an EU job directly depends on where you work

Salaries all European Commission and other EU institutions’ officials get adjusted by a factor called the ‘Correction Coefficient’. Your EU salary amount directly depends on where the institution you work for is located. Each year Eurostat tracks how expensive (or cheap) it is to live in all EU member states and third countries the EU has a representation. The outcome of this exercise is the Correction Coefficient.

Brussels is the reference point

The coefficient for a particular EU country is defined relative to Brussels. Brussels is always considered 100%. Here’s a simple formula of your final salary amount that shows the impact of the Correction Coefficient.

This means that even if you and a friend have the same position, grade and step, but work in EU agencies in two different EU countries, your take-home pay will differ substantially. Below is an example of the basic salary of a Contract Agent, function group IV, that has started to work for the a) European Commission for Brussels, b) European Environmental Agency in Copenhagen, and c) European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in Warsaw.

Location/ InstitutionBasic Salary for Contract Agent, FG IV, Grade 13, Step 1Correction CoefficientActual Basic SalaryDifference in EUR
European Commission, Brussels3,170.61 €100.00%3,170.61 €0.00 €
European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen3,170.61 €131.30%4,163.01 €+992.40 €
Frontex, Warsaw3,170.61 €70.9%2,247.96 €-992.65 €
Impact of geographical location on a the salary of an EU contract agent

As you see from the table, if you work in Warsaw, you will lose almost 1000 euros despite performing the same tasks as your colleague in Brussels. It’s important to remember that all of the other allowances and supplementary payments also get increased/decreased by the Correction Coefficient. For this reason, your total income will be even lower compared to a European Commission colleague and the one working in Copenhagen.

Impact of location on your total remuneration package

The tables below allow you to assess how lucrative it is to work for a particular EU institution or agency if it is not located in Brussels. It is generally felt that the Correction Coefficients below 100% do not reflect the actual cost of living for expats in the respective country. While Eurostat looks at actual average price levels and other costs, these often do not reflect the reality for employees of EU institutions. For example, expats are rarely able to rent apartments for the same prices as locals. As soon as a property owner finds out that a person is not a local, it’s common for the quoted price to increase by a quarter or more.

The below tables with Correction Coefficients sorted by country and by absolute values lets you assess what will be your final take-home pay (salary and allowances).

European Commission Correction Coefficients – sorted by city alphabetically

CITY2017201820192020
Amsterdam108.3109.9111.5113.9
Athens79.981.881.881.4
Berlin97.599.399.4101.9
Bonn93.995.695.195.8
Bratislava77.378.579.080.6
Brussels100.0100100.0100.0
Bucarest63.96465.366.6
Budapest74.571.975.371.9
Dublin119.8117.7119.2129.0
Helsinki119.9118.5118.1118.4
Karlsruhe94.696.796.598.0
Copenhagen133.9131.9129.3131.3
Lefkosia74.477.978.978.2
Lisbon82.485.788.691.1
Liublana81.584.684.686.1
Luxembourg100.0100100.0100.0
Madrid88.791.791.694.2
Muenchen107.5110110.3113.9
Paris114.8116.7117.7120.5
Prague78.38385.585.2
Riga74.977.678.677.5
Rome97.396.595.295.0
Sofia53.455.257.559.1
Stockholm127.9122120.5124.3
Tallinn80.382.283.382.3
Valletta86.590.292.094.7
Varese90.990.990.090.7
Vilnius74.373.675.176.6
Warsaw70.668.671.170.9
Vienna106.3106.3106.0107.9
Zagreb74.976.475.975.8
European Commission Correction Coefficients – sorted by city alphabetically | Source: Eurostat

European Commission Correction Coefficients – sorted by absolute value

CITY2017201820192020
Copenhagen133.9131.9129.3131.3
Dublin119.8117.7119.2129.0
Stockholm127.9122120.5124.3
Paris114.8116.7117.7120.5
Helsinki119.9118.5118.1118.4
Amsterdam108.3109.9111.5113.9
Muenchen107.5110110.3113.9
Vienna106.3106.3106.0107.9
Berlin97.599.399.4101.9
BRUSSELS100.0100.0100.0100.0
Luxembourg100.0100100.0100.0
Karlsruhe94.696.796.598.0
Bonn93.995.695.195.8
Rome97.396.595.295.0
Valletta86.590.292.094.7
Madrid88.791.791.694.2
Lisbon82.485.788.691.1
Varese90.990.990.090.7
Liublana81.584.684.686.1
Prague78.38385.585.2
Tallinn80.382.283.382.3
Athens79.981.881.881.4
Bratislava77.378.579.080.6
Lefkosia74.477.978.978.2
Riga74.977.678.677.5
Vilnius74.373.675.176.6
Zagreb74.976.475.975.8
Budapest74.571.975.371.9
Warsaw70.668.671.170.9
Bucarest63.96465.366.6
Sofia53.455.257.559.1
European Commission Correction Coefficients – sorted by absolute value | Source: Eurostat

The most up-to-date correction coefficients for each city where EU institutions are located can be found on this Eurostat website. If you wish to geek out on the subject, here’s a helpful article by Eurostat on methodology of calculating the correction coefficient.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for this article? Please comment below and let’s make this resource better for other readers!

Visuals for social sharing

European Commission Correction Coefficients by city and by value

Table with European Commission Correction Coefficient values, year: 2020 | Source: Eurostat
European Commission Correction Coefficients, as of 2020 | Source: Eurostat

Further reading:

By Ben

I'm working at my third EU institution. This website is my way of sharing know-how and expertise no matter if you just plan to get an EU job, already have one, or are planning to leave one. At all stages of your EU job "lifecycle" there are things which are important or nice to know to make the journey more comfortable. I really appreciate every comment that helps me improve the articles for other readers! Tips on new article topics welcome!

3 comments

  1. Being a european civil servant and having to worry about how to pay your rent at the end of the month in cities like Dublin, Munich, Paris or Brussels doesn’t sound very appealing to me. It seems though that working conditions in other international Organisations like the European Patent Office or Eurocontrol are nowadays even worse than at the EU.

  2. I would say it is calculated on top of the basic salary only and the allowances are calculated on the same basis, as percentage of the basic salary separately, not multiplied by the coefficient. But who knows…!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.