New System for Competitions
|EU competitions organised under the responsibility of the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO), are notorious for being lengthy and cumbersome process. All parties involved (recruitment services, selection boards and candidates) were asking for a lighter, faster and more flexible way to select EU officials, in order to attract the best possible candidates and especially young officials within a rapidly evolving employment market.
EPSO’s Director announced  what she called “EPSOlution”, i.e. “the transformation process inside EPSO to make open competitions faster and simpler”. This new competition model was recently presented in the EPSO Board and is most likely approved.
To cut a long story short:
Union Syndicale is not against a simplification of the current competitions’ system. However, the first signs we get from candidates in very recent competitions are disappointing and make us fear that the much-publicised new selection system could rather lead to an “EU-civil-service-dissolution” or “absolution”.
Indeed, serious doubts are raised with regard to remote testing, as far as these are conducted in a disrespectful and, sometimes, even humiliating way by proctors working for an external contractor. Several candidates of remotely conducted competitions (e.g. EPSO/AST/154/22) expressed their dissatisfaction and complained with regard to what they consider as a violent breach of their private life. In this respect, personal data protection issues arise and EPSO has not demonstrated until now it is able to respect the corresponding applicable rules.
The new system provides for the division of the whole process in two separate phases, where the Selection Board is involved only in written tests.
Union Syndicale wishes to remind DG HR and EPSO the following:
EPSO’s Director confirms that “the final design was adopted following a proposal by one representative, which found a positive echo among the other EU institutions”.
Union Syndicale considers this a rather weak way to prepare and adopt a major change that will affect Human Resources of all EU institutions for several years in the future and regrets that a proper social dialogue did not take place on such an important change.
Additionally, in a presentation meeting with trade unions’ representatives, DG HR was not able to clarify an important number of points, while on others admitted that further clarification or assessment of the potential impact is needed. This demonstrates that the initiative to reform the competitions system was rushed and not properly nor sufficiently prepared.
Union Syndicale is concerned that, by breaching both the Staff Regulations and the competitions related case-law, the new system will lead to a high number of appeals and a reputational risk for the European institutions.
Union Syndicale requests HR and EPSO :
 Introducing a faster, leaner and more accessible competition model! | EU Careers (europa.eu)