Category Archives: Coming Week

Coming week to 18 July

A round-up of UK-relevant issues on the Commission’s calendar for next week. Usual caveats apply.

12 July: Commissioner Vassiliou in London, meets David Willetts and Nick Gibb, Department for Education

12 July: European Commission to propose package to boost consumer confidence in financial services

13 July: Commissioner Geoghan-Quinn meets Reg Empey of the Ulster Unionist Party

13 July: Commission to publish a report on free movement of workers

13 July: EPSO to launch recruitment competition for English language translators (other languages as well, see EU careers for details)

13 July: Commission makes a new proposal on GMO cultivation

14 July: Commissioner Hedegaard in London, meets Chris Huhne, SoS for Energy and Climate Change. Speech at the International Climate Leadership Network

14 July: Commissioners meet representatives of the oil and gas industry to discuss safety following the Gulf of Mexico leak

15 July: Commissioner Ashton visits Georgia

15 July: Theresa May, Home Secretary and Ken Clark, SoS for Justice, visit Commissioner Reding in Brussels. Ken Clark also visits Commissioner Fule

15 July: Commissioner Piebalgs in London,participates at the launch of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade report; meets with SG of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma; meets Andrew Mitchell, SoS for International Development

15 July: Launch of new portal to help with cross-border civil justice procedures

16 July: Commissioner Ashton in Kazakhstan for OSCE Ministerial meeting

17-19 July: Commissioner Ashton visits the Middle East

Coming week 14 – 20 June

Some highlights of UK-relevant events on the Commisison’s calendar next week

14 June

Commissioner Almunia visits London: CBI, LSE, Business for New Europe event

Commissioner Barnier meets the CEO of Morgan Stanley

15 June

Event at the Commission’s London Rep to launch a clip on “Translating into English – in Europe” – linguistic careers in the EU institutions

17 June

Commissioner Barnier meets Sir David Walker, Chairman of Review of Corporate Governance in UK banks

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn does an online chat on her plans for an Innovation Union

Working for a living

This week is clearly careers week. I don’t think I’ve done a single careers talk since I arrived, and I’m doing two this week. On Monday we had someone from EPSO, our recruitment service, in the Rep holding open sessions for graduates (or soon-to-be-graduates) on the new round of recruitment and the new system. I was there to give a bit of a personal view of working in the Commission, describing my career path, and of course answering questions. The experience of new aspirants to an EU career will be a bit different from mine, as they will be taking tests designed to test competence and not knowledge. So no more questions about how many traffic accidents were there in the EU, or what is the weight of printer paper (both terrifyingly examples of questions in past competitions!). I was only at the final session of the day, but it was striking how many of the people who came along were from other Member States. Apparently this was less the case earlier in the day, but it raises yet again the issue I mentioned at Abingdon about the spectre of a loss of UK influence within the EU institutions.

Tonight I’m going to City University to talk to their Sociology MA candidates about possible careers for social science students. Given that I did a social science Bachelors and am starting a Sociology MA at City in September, it seems a shoe-in for me to do!

So, if I’m having to stand up in front of people and encourage them to consider a career here, I have obviously have had to think about what makes it a career I enjoy. So here is a purely personal look at the main things:

1) I love being able to use languages on a daily basis (and so that’s something I really miss here). As a spokesperson I got to do interviews in French and English, brief journalists in those languages and German and improve my minor languages by reading the press cuttings. Really made all those years of language learning worth it.

2) I’m a bit of a butterfly (5 different posts and 4 houses during my 15 years in Brussels), so working for an organisation with such a broad range of subjects means I can imagine about a lifelong career without worrying about getting stuck in a rut.

3) Leading on from that, there’s something for everyone. If you’re a really technical type, whose life revolves around widget regulations, then you can spend your whole career on widgets. If you want to move around a lot you can. There are many jobs giving an overview of a broad policy area, and many that are highly specialised.

4) The calibre of people you work with, both within the Commission/other institutions and their broader ecosystem of trade assocations, think tanks, law firms etc is very high. So intellectually it’s an amazing environment to be in. Like university with better food…

5) There is a strong element of idealism. I came to the view when I was a teenager that it is in our continent’s best interests to work together, and I was happy to be given the chance to work daily to make that happen.

I’m sure if I sat down for a beer and talked about this, more would come up, but that’s it for the moment. If any of this strikes a chord with you, why not apply for one of the recruitment competitions coming up? If you’re on Facebook you can follow developments via the EU Careers fan page.

Coming week to 26 March

As promised, here’s what might be of interest next week. Please note, other events notification services exist (!) and I am selecting what seems important or relevant to the UK, so if I’ve missed something, it’s probably not intentional and certainly not any attempt to hide anything!

22 March

London: launch of My Friend Boo, a cartoon series to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Brussels: Tony Blair, representative of the Middle East Quartet, meets Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs

London: Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht gives a speech at the LSE

London: UACES hold event on Communicating European Citizenship

London: Careers day event being held at the Representation by EPSO, the EU’s recruitment body

23 March

25th anniversary celebrations of the European Capitals of Culture, events in Brussels

Brussels: Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki meets Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council

Brussels: Economics and Finance Commissioner Olli Rehn meets Mark Hoban, UK shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Brussels: Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier meets Sir David Tweedie, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board

24 March

Budget day in the UK

Brussels: announcement expected on plans to make rules on divorce clearer for international couples

25 March

Brussels: European Council – meeting of Heads of state and government. Continues on 26 March

Brussels: Prize ceremony for winners of Juvenes Translatores competition.

Coming week to 19 March

I thought I’d experiement with putting information here about which Commissioners are coming to town, events organised by us and so on. It’ll usually be updated on a Friday or a Monday, when the Calendar comes out. It will be unashamedly UK-centric, and bringing together publicly available information. Please let me know if you find it useful.

All week – European Ombusdman visits UK, speeches in various cities.

16 March – Conservative shadow justice and home affairs team visits Commissioner Reding in Brussels

18 March – David Lammy, UK Minister for higher education and intellectual property meet Commissioner Barnier in Brussels

19 March – Commissioner Ashton is in Moscow for the Quartet meeting. Commissioner Andor is in Brussels at a conference of the GINI (Growing Inequalites’ Impact) project. Conference at BFI Southbank on using European cinema as a learning aid