How many people work for the European Commission?

How many people work for the European Commission?

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The European Commission had 32169 employees in 2022.

However, there are as many as 76 EU institutions and all of them employ staff. The total number of staff employed by all EU institutions is slightly over 79211 persons. The “EU system” includes such bodies as the European Parliament, The European Council, 40+ EU agencies, and lesser known entities such as the European Court of Auditors.

While the 79211 figure might seem like a lot at first glance, there are about the same number of employees in all EU institutions as in the central governments of Sweden and Greece (66,409 and 75,112 respectively, see Eurostat data).

European Commission staff numbers 2022
European Commission staff numbers 2022

Most common positions – administrators and assistants

Officials and temporary agents – grades AD and AST also known as administrators – form the largest part of European Commission staff at 63.2% or 20348 persons. Contract agents in grades FG I to FGIV form 23.2% or 7458 staff members. The European Commission has a surprisingly small number of ‘Seconded National Experts’ or SNEs, only 532 persons or 1.7% of all Commission staff.

You might also want to read these articles:
* What is the salary of a contract agent FG IV?
* AD5 salary and allowances

* Job opportunities in EU agencies

Largest DGs or General Directorates

If you ever wanted to be employed by the European Commission, it makes sense to look at which are the largest General Directorates, as there the likelihood of relevant vacancies is the highest. Here’s a top five of the Commission DGs by number of staff:

  • INTPA (previously DEVCO) or Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development – 2924 staff
  • JRC or the Joint Research Centre – 2743 staff
  • DGT or Directorate-General for Translation – 2062 staff
  • NEAR or Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations – 1423 staff
  • HR or Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security – 1320 staff

Where are the European Commission staff employed?

Brussels is the most likely place of employment of a European Commission official – 66.2% of all staff members work in Brussels. However, a whopping 33.8% of European Commission staff work in several other locations:

  • 11.5% work in Luxembourg
  • 10.9% work in various locations in EU (mainly European Commission representations)
  • 11.4% work in locations outside the EU (mainly in EU Delegations)

What are the European Commission staff costs?

On average, the EU institutions spend around 6% of their annual budget on staff, administration and maintenance of buildings.

Number of staff at other EU institutions

While the European Commission is the largest of all European Union bodies, it is not the only EU institution. For comparison, here are the staff numbers of other EU institutions:

Employment “gap” by nationality

Below is a Politico.eu visualization of how many staff members of a certain nationality work for the European Commission in proportion to the total population of an EU member state. You can see, for example, that Germanhy is heavily underrepresented in the EC, whereas, Italy and Belgium are heavily overrepresented.

Other relevant articles:
* How much do EU officials earn?
* How much does the European Commission President make?

References:
* European Commission report “HR key figures 2022”
* European Court of Auditors Special Report “Future of EU agencies – Potential for more flexibility and cooperation”. p.4.
* Images come from European Commission reports “HR key figures 2021” and “HR key figures 2022”

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3 responses to “How many people work for the European Commission?”

  1. Eya avatar
    Eya

    “Staff under national law” are likely not SNEs, but contract agents with a contract under the law of the place of employement, such as for example the Salariés de Droit Luxembourgeois (SDL)
    SNEs are usually not considered to be staff members.

  2. Luisa avatar
    Luisa

    As indicated in the report of the Court of Auditors, the six axecutive agencies staff are not included in this calculation of 8957 staff members. only the decentralised agencies are included.

    1. Ben avatar

      Thank you for pointing this out, the article is updated accordingly.

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  1. Fair point. While I get around to that, you can check the current basic salaries in this article: https://euemployment.eu/european-commission-salary-grid/