Very logically, given this situation, many AST and AST/SC colleagues progress in their careers through external competitions, as this is often the only solution to blockages or to a real recognition of their skills and or level of responsibility. Others are rushing to retire as soon as possible.
At present, a new model for recruiting permanent staff seems to be emerging: on the one hand, the Junior Professional Program (JPP) and, on the other, the announced reform of EPSO (inter-institutional recruitment office), which suggests that this new model will be extended. The JPP, which has been implemented in practice since 2018, gives priority access without a competition to former blue-book trainees – typically young people with very little experience (thus implying age discrimination) – who are offered a contract which will eventually lead to an AD post (and thus to a permanent post). The access of Contract Agents, Temporary Agents, ASTs or AST/SCs to this career program is limited or non-existent. A major drawback of this new tool is the age of the candidates. This model, which HR seems to want to perpetuate as a new means of recruiting at the lowest cost, and at the same time ensuring greater loyalty from ADs, unfortunately discriminates against a part of the staff. Apart from this apparent evolution, the situation of ASTs has not improved, quite the contrary. This is an undeniable and sad fact.