The European Parliament has launched its Positive Action Programme 2023, aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in its workforce.
The programme seeks to encourage applications from underrepresented groups:
- people with disabilities equal to or greater than 20% according to the European Physical and Mental Disability Rating Scale
- people from ethnic and linguistic minorities
If you are a member of one of the groups above, you have to apply by April 25.
The procedure is open to individuals who have never previously worked in an EU institution. However, a previous EU traineeship will not disqualify you.
Number of succesful candidates
According to the notice, up to six candidates are likely to get employment contracts. The initial contract length will be one year, with a possibility of extension. The announcement stresses that contract extension is not automatic and succesful candidates should not count on it.
A reserve list of 20 successful candidates will be created and stay valid for a period of 18 months. Those candidates not hired through the Programme, may be recruited as contract agents through the general hiring process along with candidates of similar lists.
Salary and employment conditions
Succesful candidates will be offered ‘contract agent’ contracts in grades II, III and IV.
Salaries between the grades differ significantly and are additionally affected by your family situation, whether you will have to relocate from another country, and other factors. Salaries might be topped up by a number of allowances such as the ‘household allowance’ and ‘expatriation allowance’. Succesful candidates will be entitled to the same benefits as “regular” candidates in EPSO competitions like EU school for children.
Read this article to get an overview of what is a ‘contract agent‘.
The website has also dedicated articles on each of the contract agent grades advertised:
Support to succesful applicants
The programme includes a range of initiatives, such as targeted outreach events, mentoring and coaching programmes, and unconscious bias training for hiring managers.
Why is the EP doing this?
“We are committed to creating a workplace that is diverse, inclusive, and welcoming for all,” said a spokesperson for the European Parliament. “By launching this Positive Action Programme, we hope to take concrete steps towards achieving that goal. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, and we look forward to welcoming a more diverse range of talent to our team.”
The European Parliament has a long-standing commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in its workforce. In 2021, the Parliament adopted a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which sets out a range of ambitious targets for increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in its workforce.
All EU institutions have an non-discrimination policy, however, this programme goes a significant step further. It proactivelly encourages applicants with a systemic disadvantage (sometimes known as ‘structural discrimination’) to join the European Parliament’s ranks. This appears to be a unique programme among all EU institutions as neither the European Commission, nor other EU bodies have something similar.
History of the programme
The EP Positive Action Programme was launched in 2015. The programme will celebrate a 10 years anniversary next year.
Is it worth applying?
If you are interested in a job in EU institutions, it should be a definitive ‘YES’.
This programme gives a significant competitive edge to candidates that want to work for the European Parliament, European Commission, EU agencies and other EU bodies. Just like traineeships, being an interim, the Junior Professionals Programme, etc., this programme gives you an opportunity to experience the “EU system” from the inside and become more competitive for future “selection processes” as hiring in EU instituions is sometimes known.
- European Parliament Positive Action Programme 2023 page
- European Parliament Facebook announcement 2023
- EPSO Facebook announcement