European Commission

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European Commission Reviews in Brussels, Belgium

Updated October 14, 2014
Updated October 14, 2014
110 Reviews
3.7
110 Reviews
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European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso
José Manuel Durão Barroso
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The work-life balance is excellent and so is the pay (in 14 reviews)

  • Good working environment, working in confortable context (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • The decision making process can be incredibly lenghty : with a stalled European project, the day to day work can get dull (in 3 reviews)

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

More Highlights

54 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    A constructive internship in Finance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Assistant in Brussels (Belgium)
    Former Employee - Financial Assistant in Brussels (Belgium)

    I worked at European Commission as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    It is a huge institution, amazingly diverse and powerful. You will meet skilled people coming from all over Europe and take part into important projects at the scale of a continent.

    Cons

    You need to master at least 2 to 4 different languages including French or German to feel comfortable at work. The work-life balance is easy to maintain as you are a public employee and the environment is not so stressful as the institution is not driven by profit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keeping employee motivate to overcome their capabilities is the main point to keep in mind. Indeed, as it is a public institution, there are no kind of reward system which could contribute to keep employee's motivation at its best.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Rewarding and interesting work at heart of Europe, good job security, well-paid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Administrator - Policy Officer in Brussels (Belgium)
    Current Employee - Administrator - Policy Officer in Brussels (Belgium)

    I have been working at European Commission full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    International work environment with highly educated and committed professional colleagues of 28 nationalities
    Working at political and technical heart of European integration project
    Dealing with many diverse issues (socio-economic, energy, environment, health, education, security, culture, etc.)
    High job security (as EU official) and well-paid
    Large international community in Brussels

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic (but not only bad reasons for that)
    Flat hierarchy structure - difficult to rise in hierarchy
    Brussels still a soulless provincial town with delusions of grandeur

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promotion and evaluation system still from the 1950s, there is no 'career management' whatsoever

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    As grey as it gets.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrator - Policy Officer in Brussels (Belgium)
    Former Employee - Administrator - Policy Officer in Brussels (Belgium)

    I worked at European Commission as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Salary, health insurance package (incl. spouse), 10-20% reductions at car dealerships, 10% reduction at gyms, centrally located relatively modern offices.

    Cons

    Mundane people, mundane work. When it comes to contract/temporary agents the system doesn't allow to retain or rehire these people flexibly and the EU machinery doesn't care what happens to you afterwards thus accepting a contract only rewards you short term, in the prevailing circumstances it will result in a career break which will be hard to fix without pain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look after your contractual and temporary staff, don't let the acquired knowledge to be lost and their careers to be broken.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Every DG has their own culture, here I will rate OIB

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Procurement in Brussels (Belgium)
    Former Employee - Procurement in Brussels (Belgium)

    I worked at European Commission full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Excellent life-work balance
    -Decent pay and benefits, including language training

    Cons

    -You must speak french to fit
    -Environment is too local, not very international contrary to the other DG's
    -Corruption, nepotism and incompetence are very widespread
    -Probably the service of the European Commission with less graduates working there
    -Old fashion management, highly hierarchical
    -High internal tensions among departments

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To create incentives to stop corruption, nepotism and incompetence
    To evaluate staff based of measurable milestones

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good to try, but not for long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Contract Agent II in Brussels (Belgium)
    Current Employee - Contract Agent II in Brussels (Belgium)

    I have been working at European Commission full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Multicultural environment, good learning possibilities, language training, and why not mention it, many holidays and exceptional holiday when needed for personal circunstances.

    Cons

    Limited professional development, extremely bureaucratic, thouroughly classist, advanced age ranges, long working hours, lack of efficiency in management coordination, lack of leadership, in despereate need of a profound clean-up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great colleagues but very inefficient

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Officer in Brussels (Belgium)
    Current Employee - Project Officer in Brussels (Belgium)

    I have been working at European Commission full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good atmosphere, good location (Brussels)

    Cons

    Stupid tasks, inefficent processes and very unequal management (in terms of skills and recognition)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clerverly choose your department: the atmosphere and the tasks depend a lot on the people around you

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Prepare to jump through many political hoops

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brussels (Belgium)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brussels (Belgium)

    I worked at European Commission full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    It'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.

    Cons

    This 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 ManagementAdvice

    Promote 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.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Go there to retire!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Economist in Brussels (Belgium)
    Current Employee - Economist in Brussels (Belgium)

    I have been working at European Commission full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No career progression possible, too slow to get anything done (5 years plans)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Doing international trade negotiations for the EU

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trade Negotiator in Brussels (Belgium)
    Current Employee - Trade Negotiator in Brussels (Belgium)

    I have been working at European Commission full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    International, intellectually challenging, working for public good

    Cons

    Administrative career (lack of reward for most competent players)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to competence of managers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Highly educational, took time to grasp and have impact

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - National Expert in Brussels (Belgium)
    Former Employee - National Expert in Brussels (Belgium)

    I worked at European Commission full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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