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European Commission Reviews in Brussels Belgium

Updated Jul 25, 2014
European Commission – Luxembourg – “JMO”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 48 reviews

73% Approve of the CEO

European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso

José Manuel Durão Barroso

(11 ratings)

79% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • the pay is good, the work-life balance is definitely positive, and there is a pretty good esprit de corps(in 10 reviews)

  • Good working environment, working in confortable context(in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Hierarchical structure that slows down all decision making(in 3 reviews)

  • In the end I was glad the private sector would have me back(in 3 reviews)

49 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Doing international trade negotiations for the EU

    Trade Negotiator (Current Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsInternational, intellectually challenging, working for public good

    ConsAdministrative career (lack of reward for most competent players)

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay more attention to competence of managers

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Prepare to jump through many political hoops

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsIt's a very international workplace, which for me was very interesting. The compensation is great. Work-life balance is good. If you wish to work in public policy, it's a very interesting place to be. There is interesting work that can be done, if you develop the skill to find it.

    ConsThis being the public sector, for permanent officials it is optional to actually work. Office politics reign supreme above competence. While there are definitely people who work hard and care about what they're doing, the general atmosphere is of indifference. People also love to gossip about institutional politics and bicker about minimal issues.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPromote a culture where people are rewarded for good work and are encouraged to reach out of the Brussels bubble. Encourage better hiring practices and HR policies. Lead, instead of trying to operate on consensus. That is, if you actually care.

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Go there to retire!!!

    Economist (Current Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    Pros- good health-insurance package, good holiday for a Contractual Agent

    ConsContractual Agents are semi-officials that have less rights than the officials

    Advice to Senior ManagementNo career progression possible, too slow to get anything done (5 years plans)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Highly educational, took time to grasp and have impact

    National Expert (Former Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsI loved the multicultural aspect as well as the large scale scope of the work done at the EC.

    ConsThe organization is quite rigid and hierarchical. It took a lot to work my way out of the preset role I was put in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementExplore new management principles, value ideas from employees across the organization, and develop better incentives to innovate.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    27 years of experience on the Commission floor

    Scientific Administrator (Current Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsYou have the possibility to make some real impact on European legislation, depending on your level of continual enthousiasm; efforts are appreciated; salary is very good for the level of responsability one has to take.

    ConsAs with any law making, processes steady but slow, which may lead to impatience

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone. Management is doing a terrific j to keep its employees happy.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great place to do a traineeship and do interesting work!

    Blue Book Trainee (Current Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsThe atmosphere is very nice and cooperative, the co-workers are helpful, welcoming but can be at times busy so wont have 100% to devote to you..

    ConsWork and experience may vary greatly depending on unit. Some trainees do mostly research, others do more office work. Make sure you are vocal about what your preferences are and what you prefer to do..

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Positive atmosphere, great colleagues

    Internal Audit Trainee (Former Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsMulticultural environment, plenty of in house courses and seminars, learning languages. A variety of departments and policy areas to choose from. Internal mobility.

    ConsOverly bureaucratic and slow. Promotions are not linked to work results.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRevise the incentive scheme and promotion system to motivate people.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Life in the European Commission

    Project Manager (Current Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsWorking in an international and multidisciplined teams with some exceptional co-workers. Get a good view of what happens in other MS countries. Good work environment. At the forefront of a lot of interesting research projects. Good pay, plus meal vouchers, flights back to home country, and decent holidays. Good infrastructure set up to help staff, e.g to relocate familys, find schooling, accommodation etc. Regular medical checks. Good pension arrangements.

    ConsVery difficult to enter the EC - most jobs are via huge competitions (the Concours), which are always massively oversubscribed and notoriously hard to pass. Especially unfair for UK applicants as part of test is in a second language which must be English, German or French (most EU people speak English as second language already - but Brits must learn French or German (my second language was Spanish, but i had to learn French just for the competition). Lots of bureaucrocy at the EC. Recruitment processes and indeed all HR processes take forever and a day and much longer than reasonable. Many of the best staff are short term contracts so there is a high turnover of staff and the loss of some very good people just at the point they are most trained up and experienced to make a real difference. Also people work very long hours, usually much more the usual weekly hours, so much work, short contracts, means a lot has to be crammed in to a short time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOffer people longer contracts (though recently I note contract lengths have increased from 3 to 6 years for temporary agents). Cut down the paperwork. Give the HR and admin functions an overhaul - they are too slow and too inefficient

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Interesting work in a bureaucratic organization

    Project Officer European Commission JRC - CA Cat FG IV (Former Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsGood pay, good work security, interesting assignments, possibility to work abroad, multicultural and multilingual work environment and colleagues, novel socio-political experiment.

    ConsSlow, too bureaucratic, not respecting own rules, rather confuse lately, gets involved in too many things, not much respect for trade unions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay people according to what they do rather than how long they have been doing it. Focus on core competencies rather than expecting just anyone to do any job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Traineeship gave me a good insight in the institution

    Trainee (Former Employee) Brussels (Belgium)

    ProsDepending on the DG, the work can be very relevant for everyday life. I particularly liked the influence that actions taken by the Commission (i.e. the staff) may have on the quality of life for the average European.

    ConsAs a trainee, it seems there are only limited possibilities to really get to know the colleagues. It does not seem very customary to interact with colleagues outside of work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe organisation seems very much top-down oriented. As a result, the expertise of the administrators in the units might not be taken advantage of in all cases.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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