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What are your interests?

Realist?

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

About this Sector

About this Sector

Please give an overview of your sector?

The European Union functions through its 11 Institutions, with the support of numerous Agencies and other bodies located around Europe.  

Since its inception as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951, the EU has evolved into an organisation spanning a huge range of areas, from development aid to environmental policy, offering potential employees wide-ranging career choice.

The 11 EU Institutions and the many EU Agencies are outlined here, including where they are located, who works for them and how you can pursue a career in your chosen one.

View Institutions header image

1. THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION




2. THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT




3. THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION




4. EUROPEAN COURT of JUSTICE




 
5. THE EUROPEAN COURT OF AUDITORS




6. THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE




7. THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS




8. THE EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN




9. THE EUROPEAN DATA PROTECTION SUPERVISOR




10. THE EUROPEAN EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE




11. THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK



 
View Agencies header image


THE AGENCIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The EU has a large number of specialised agencies, which deal with tasks of a legal, technical and/or scientific nature.

They offer a huge variety of potential job opportunities – in particular for specialists – and are based in countries all around the EU, offering opportunities for employment from Sweden to Greece, and from Ireland to Italy.

The function of many of the agencies are outlined below, together with further information or links to the agency website for relevant career information and opportunities.

European Maritime Safety Agency
(EMSA)

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The main objective of the EMSA is to provide technical and scientific assistance to the European Commission and EU Member States in the proper development and implementation of EU legislation on maritime safety, pollution by ships and security on board ships.

EMSA Website

European Medicines Agency
(EMA) 

Location: London, UK

The Agency’s main responsibility is the protection and promotion of public and animal health, through the evaluation and supervision of medicines for human and veterinary use.

EMA Website 

European Monitoring Centre
for Drugs and Drug Addiction
(EMCDDA)

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The EMCDDA was established in 1993 and exists to provide the EU and its countries with a factual overview of European drug problems and a solid evidence base to support the drugs debate.  Today it offers policymakers the data they need to draw up informed drug laws and strategies.  It also helps professionals and practitioners working in the field to pinpoint best practice and new areas of research.

EMCDDA Website

European Network and Information Security Agency 
(ENISA)

Location: Crete, Greece

ENISA works with the EU’s Institutions and Member States to develop a high-level security information network in the EU for the benefit of the EU’s citizens, consumers, business and public sector organisations.

ENISA Website

European Railway Agency (ERA) 

Location: Valenciennes, France

ERA was set up to help create an integrated railway area by reinforcing safety and interoperability.  The Agency also acts as the system authority for the European Rail Traffic Management System project, which was set up to create unique signalling standards throughout Europe.

ERA Website

European Training Foundation (ETF) 

Location: Turin, Italy

ETF’s aim is to help transition and developing countries to harness the potential of their human capital through education, training and labour market systems in the context of the EU’s external relations policy.

ETF Website

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
(FRA) 

Location: Vienna, Austria

FRA’s goal is to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected.  The Agency does this by collecting evidence about current fundamental rights across the European Union and providing advice to EU bodies, EU Member States, candidate countries and potential candidate countries, based on evidence, on how to improve the situation.  FRA also informs individuals about their fundamental rights.

FRA Website

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)                                    

 

 

Location: Alicante, Spain

OHIM’s mandate is to provide protection of intellectual property in the EU.  The Office carries out examination, registration, opposition and cancellation procedures for Community Trade Marks and examination, registration and invalidity procedures for registered Community Designs.

OHMI Website

Translation Centre
for the Bodies of the European Union
(CDT)

Location: Luxembourg

The Translation Centre’s mission is to meet the translation needs of the EU’s decentralised agencies.  It also participates in the Inter-institutional Committee for Translation and Interpretation.

CDT Website

European Centre
for Disease Prevention and Control
(ECDC)

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

ECDC is an EU agency which works to strengthen Europe’s defences against infectious diseases.

ECDC Website

European Centre
for the Development of
Vocational Training
(Cedefop)

Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

Cedefop promotes the development of vocational education and training (VET) in the European Union.

Cedefop Website


European Foundation
of Living and Working Conditions
(Eurofound)

Location: Dublin, Ireland and Brussels, Belgium

Eurofound provides information, advice and expertise on living and working conditions, industrial relations and managing change in Europe.  The information is provided for key actors, such as trade unions, in the field of EU social policy through research and analysis.

Eurofound Website

European Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) 

Location: Vigo, Spain

Set up in 2005, the CFCA coordinates fisheries control in the EU, inspects the activities of EU countries, and assists Member States to cooperate and comply with the rules of the Common EU Fisheries Policy.

EFCA Website

Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) 

Location: Angers, France

Set up in 1995, the CPVO manages and implements the EU’s system of plant variety rights covering the 28 Member States.

CPVO Website

European Agency
for Safety and Health at Work
(EU-OSHA) 

Location: Bilbao, Spain

EU-OSHA is the central provider of information in relation to EU health and safety standards at work.

OSHA Website

European Agency for the Management
of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders 
(FRONTEX)

Location: Warsaw, Poland

FRONTEX was created as a specialised, independent body of the EU to coordinate operational cooperation between EU countries in the field of border security.

FRONTEX Website

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 

Location: Cologne, Germany

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is a European Union agency with regulatory and executive tasks in the field of civilian aviation safety.

EASA Website

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) 

Location: Helsinki, Finland

This Agency manages the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure consistency across the European Union.  The Agency provides information on chemicals to ensure their safe use, and ensures the competitiveness of the European chemical industry.

ECHA Website

European Environment Agency (EEA)  

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

The EEA works to help the EU and its individual Member States make informed decisions about improving the environment, integrating environmental considerations into economic policies and moving towards sustainability.  The EEA also coordinates the European environment information and observation network. Most of the EEA’s advice is directed towards the European Institutions.

EEA Website

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) 

Location: Parma, Italy

The EFSA covers food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health.

EFSA Website

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) 

Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

This new agency was established in 2007 to support the EU and its Member States in their efforts to promote gender equality, to fight discrimination based on sex and to raise awareness about gender issues.  EIGE collects and analyses comparable data on gender issues; develops methodological tools, in particular for the integration of the gender dimension in all policy areas; facilitates the exchange of best practices and dialogue among stakeholders; and raises awareness among EU citizens about gender equality issues.

EIGE Website

Eurojust 

Location: The Hague, the Netherlands

Eurojust was set up in 2002 to improve the fight against serious crime by facilitating the coordination of investigations and prosecutions covering more than one EU Member State, with full respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.

Eurojust Website

European Agency for the Cooperation
of the Energy Regulators (ACER) 

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

ACER is a not-for-profit association in which Europe’s independent national regulators of electricity and gas voluntarily cooperate to protect consumers’ interests and to facilitate the creation of a single, competitive, efficient and sustainable internal market for gas and electricity in Europe.

ACER Website

What is the size and scope of the sector?

Video: Introduction to EU Careers

The EU employs more than 50,000 officials who serve over 505 million people across the 28 Member States, making it one of the largest international organisations in the world.

The largest employer of the EU Institutions is the European Commission, which employs about 33,000 people.

The European Commission is divided into departments known as Directorates General (DGs), roughly equivalent to ministries. Each covers a specific policy area or service such as trade or environment, and is headed by a Director-General who reports to a Commissioner.

In the European Parliament, around 6,000 people work in the general secretariat and in the political groups. On top of this are the 751 Members of Parliament and their staff. 

In the Council of the European Union, around 3,500 people work in the general secretariat.

Whether your background or interest is in languages or law, public administration or social sciences, the EU offers the chance to pursue a unique international career where you can make a real and lasting difference.

What are the current issues affecting this sector?

Multilingualism is essential to the success of the European Union. It means that European citizens are able to move, work and learn freely throughout Europe. This in turn contributes to the development of jobs and growth, reducing unemployment and increasing living standards throughout the Union. 

One of the objectives of the EU’s language policy is that every European citizen should master two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

Multilingualism ensures that languages are not a barrier to participation in society and that marginalised language groups can be identified, represented, and included in the EU.

As part of its efforts to promote mobility and intercultural understanding, the EU has designated language learning as an important priority, and funds numerous programs and projects in this area.

Multilingualism underpins Europe’s competitiveness. One of the objectives of the EU’s language policy is therefore that every European citizen should master two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

Multilingualism is central to the EU’s cultural diversity. The EU has 24 official languages. Those of us who live in the EU have access to all EU documents in the official language of our own country. We also have the right to write to the Commission, and receive a reply from them, in our own language.

Shortage of Irish language translators

When Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, Irish was a “treaty” language only, and not an official working language. In 2005 the EU Council of Ministers voted unanimously to make Irish the 21st official and working language of the EU.

This decision took effect on 1st January 2007, meaning that legislation approved by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers is now translated into Irish, and interpretation from Irish is available at all EU Parliament plenary sessions and at some EU Council meetings.

Irish is now heard regularly in the EU and all EU Institutions use some Irish in communication with the public. 

With the new EU status of Irish, lots of new career opportunities have been created for Irish graduates. This has also resulted in the creation of new third-level courses in translation and interpretation in Irish colleges.

However, a temporary and transitory relaxation of the rule round Irish was introduced in 2007 due to difficulties in recruiting sufficient numbers of Irish language translators. This derogation was renewed in 2010 and further reviewed in 2015. The Irish language was granted full recognition by 31 December 2016, bringing with it a significant recruitment drive for people with Irish language skills.

Irish Translation unit within DG Translation

The European Commission and Council Secretariat have set-up an Irish translation unit within its DG Translation and have translated its Europa website into Irish.

Useful publications for those interested in Translation and Interpretation Careers with the EU:

Official Languages of the EU

The European Parliament granted full recognition to the Irish language in December 2016, creating 180 jobs for Irish speakers within the EU institutions.

 

The EU currently has 24 official and working languages:

  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Maltese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Slovene
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

With a permanent staff of around 1,750 linguists and 600 support staff, the European Commission has one of the largest translation services in the world. In addition to this, the Commission's interpretation service employs 600 staff interpreters, a pool of 3,000 freelance interpreters and 250 support staff.

Useful Links

European Commission Interpreters (Twitter): @EUInterpreters

European Commission Interpreters (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/EUinterpreters/

Translating for Europe (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/translatingforeurope/

Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?

  • The EU represents over 505 million people in 28 Member States, making it one of the largest international organisations in the world
  • The largest employer of the EU Institutions is the European Commission, which employs about 33,000 people
  • With a permanent staff of around 1,750 linguists and 600 support staff, the European Commission has one of the largest translation services in the world
  • The European Commission's interpretation service employs 600 staff interpreters, a pool of 3,000 freelance interpreters and 250 support staff
  • In the European Parliament, around 6,000 people work in the general secretariat and in the political groups
  • There are also 751 Members of Parliament and their staff
  • In the Council of the European Union, around 3,500 people work in the general secretariat.