Select Committee on European Scrutiny Thirty-Second Report




COM(02) 126

(a) Draft Decision of the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the Ombudsman establishing a European Communities Recruitment Office.

(b) Draft Decision between the same bodies on the organisation and operation of the European Communities Recruitment Office.

(c) Draft Agreement between the same bodies setting out the common principles for a shared selection and recruitment policy and the principles for managing reserve lists.

Legal base:(a) Article 2(3) of Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No. 259/68;

(b) Article 2(3) of Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No. 259/68 and Article 5 of the decision at (a) above;

(c) The Decisions at (a) and (b)

Document originated:6 March 2002
Deposited in Parliament:3 April 2002
Department:Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Basis of consideration:Minister's letter of 20 May 2002
Previous Committee Report:HC 152-xxvii (2001-02), paragraph 3 (1 May 2002)
To be discussed in Council:No date set
Committee's assessment:Politically important
Committee's decision:Cleared

  20.1  We considered these proposals for the establishment of an inter-institutional European Communities Recruitment Office (ERO) on 1 May 2002. Whilst welcoming them, we noted that there could be some difficulty for the institutions in recruiting sufficient interpreters and translators to cope with their needs after enlargement. We therefore asked the Government whether the institutions were making any advance preparations.

The Minister's letter

  20.2  The Minister for Europe (Mr Peter Hain) describes the preparations that are being made. Language staff will be amongst the first to be recruited. Temporary staff from each prospective Member State are expected to be in place about a year to six months prior to enlargement. Throughout 2003, competitions for permanent posts will be run, so that reserve lists of successful candidates will be available as soon as possible after enlargement. Many of the temporary staff are expected to compete successfully for permanent posts. The institutions cannot recruit any permanent staff from candidate countries until after enlargement.

  20.3  The Minister is confident that the European Recruitment Office will provide an efficient and improved service.

European Parliament's concerns

  20.4  When the Commission Vice-President for Administrative Reform, Mr Neil Kinnock, appeared before the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament on 21 May, concerns were expressed about the effect of the proposals for a European Recruitment Office on the autonomy of the European Parliament. The Commissioner later responded in writing to a note on these from the Chairman of the Committee and we understand that the European Parliament is now expected to propose only minor amendments to the text.


  20.5  Having drawn our concerns on this issue to the Government's attention, and having now received this reassurance from the Minister, we clear the document.

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