EU recruiter, financial assistant, project management assistant etc.

Permanent officials of the EU Civil Service are divided into different functional groups and must pass a recruitment competition. Assistants (AST) make up one of these groups.

AST-level officials do similar work as administrators but have less responsibility. They are generally employed in executive and technical roles and play an important part in the internal management of the Institutions, such as recruitment, budgetary and financial affairs, IT and scientific laboratory work.

Anyone who meets the general eligibility criteria and relevant qualifications required can apply for the EPSO AST selection competitions. AST competitions are announced each year in November/December, with the pre-selection exams taking place in February/March.

To apply for an Assistant competition applicants must have successfully completed secondary education. Previous experience requirements are dependent on the AST competition’s grade. EPSO AST selection competitions are advertised from grades AST1 to AST11:

  • New staff usually enter at grades AST1 or AST3 
  • AST1 roles require a candidate to have completed secondary education and have some relevant experience, or professional qualification in the field. 
  • AST 3 roles require candidates to have completed secondary education, possess relevant professional qualifications and/or several years' of applicable experience. 

Every EPSO competition starts with its Notice of Competition being published in the Official Journal of the EU. The Notice of Competition is the official and authentic document in which the details and conditions of that specific competition are outlined: such as the exams to be undertaken, the number of people EPSO plans to place on the reserve lists, the language requirements, the application due date etc. Make sure you consult each AST competition’s Notice of Competition for the full details.

In addition to the specific requirements for any given competition, to become an EU official applicants must also meet some basic eligibility criteria. These include:

  • EU citizenship. Applicants must be a citizen of one of the EU's 28 Member States.
  • Not having a criminal record.
  • The ability to speak at least 2 official EU languages (one fluently, the other on a strong conversation level).
  • Must have fulfilled all military service requirements.

Getting a job at an EU institution is no easy task, but working in EU affairs is a great career choice. Find out every-thing you need to know about EU careers from Online EU Training, the leader in EU selection preparation and advice.

We offers a wealth of practice materials for all stages and levels of the EPSO selection exams, as well as an online community to share ideas and experiences, FREE e-books, helpful tips & tricks articlese-learning materials and free guidance to help EPSO candidates excel. If at any point you have a question or need additional help to understand the EPSO processes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please note that Online EU Training is an independent organisation and not part of EPSO or the EU Institutions.