Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: The EU needs Linguists

Source: European Commission (EC) i, published on Wednesday, July 6 2011.

Brussels, 06 July 2011 - The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) today launches the 2011 linguists selection procedures to find both translators and interpreters to work in crucial roles across the EU Institutions.

The continued importance the EU places on recruitment of high-calibre linguists demonstrates its dedication to promoting multilingualism.

Maroš Šefcovic i, Commission Vice-President responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, appealed to graduates across Europe:

"Although these are very different roles, with very different skill sets, both translators and interpreters play a vital role in the work of the European Union. They allow knowledge and ideas to cross borders and enable Europeans of all nationalities to work together to improve the lives of half a billion people. I encourage all bright, dedicated linguists to consider joining us at the EU for a career where they can make a real difference."

The launch of the new selection procedures follows on from the successful introduction last year of a new-style competency-based assessment, which is now used to select new EU officials. The changes include a stable, more predictable cycle of selection procedures, and a focus on skills and competencies, rather than just knowledge.

M. Yves Quitin, Director General for Personnel at the European Parliament and Chair of the EPSO Management Board, welcomed this latest linguists' selection round:

"EPSO and the EU institutions have a real success story in terms of the new selection procedures which I am proud to be a part of. Other highly prestigious international organisations are now looking to us as world leaders in this field and applicants to these linguists' selection procedures should know that the assessment they take part in is one of the best in the world."

David Bearfield, Director of the European Personnel Selection Office, added:

"The first year of competency-based assessment has been a major success. Feedback from colleagues across the EU institutions is that the staff being selected under the new system are of the highest quality. Any applicants to this year's linguists' selection procedures can be confident that, if successful, they will be amongst the most talented translators and interpreters in the world."

Key Facts

  • The translators' selection procedure will open on 6 July and close on 9 August.
  • The interpreters' selection procedure will open on 12 July and close one month later on 12 August.
  • For translators, applicants can have Czech, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish or Slovak as their mother tongue. They will also need a thorough knowledge of at least two other EU languages.
  • Applicants to become an interpreter will need Czech, Latvian, Maltese, Spanish or Swedish as their mother tongue. For most language options they will need to be proficient in two or three other languages.
  • EPSO are looking for 163 successful applicants for the translator profile, all of whom will be employed at the graduate AD 5 grade, where they will need to have completed university studies in translation, languages or any other field, but not necessarily to have professional experience.
  • For interpreters, the EU institutions need a total of 100 successful applicants. These will be employed at one of two grades: AD 5 and AD 7. At both grades, applicants will need to have an undergraduate degree and have either completed training in conference interpreting or worked as a conference interpreter for one year. AD 7 applicants will also need to have gained several years' professional experience as a conference interpreter.
  • Each year the linguists' selection procedures are based on a different range of mother tongue requirements- depending on the needs of the EU institutions.
  • The 2010 translators' selection procedures attracted 5,648 applicants across five language profiles.
  • The 2010 interpreters' selection procedures attracted 1,445 applicants across five language profiles and at two grades (AD 5 and AD 7).

Potential applicants can find out more at: