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The Recruitment of Maltese Translators at the EU - Part 5

We have previously seen how two of the institutions of the EU, namely the Commission and the Parliament, seem to disregard good administration in their recruitment policies. Both institutions have failed to safeguard fair and just procedures for all candidates, with staff already employed by an institution given precedence.

As things stand now, the Ombudsman will again have to investigate maladministration by those 2 institutions, namely the lack of transparency of the European Parliament (the non-publication of staff lists) and the recruitment of temporary agents by the European Commission after the publication of a reserve list.

During the past months, it was revealed that institutions of the EU are unwilling to disclose information which isn't sensitive at all. "Personal data can only be transferred under very strict conditions" was a phrase very often used. The investigation into the recruitment of officials and temporary agents wasn't restricted to the Commission and the EP. Questions were also sent to the Council and moreover Publications Office was asked to publish the full staff lists of all institutions, including the Council.

The Publications Office is only given the mandate to publish whatever is ordered by the institutions and it isn't in its discretion to publish staff lists. Regarding the Council I was informed that
at this stage, owing to technical reasons, the Council cannot upload all the individual entries of its staff
It is indeed questionable what technical reasons might be hindering the publication of all the names of the staff. Therefore the Council is just another joke of an institution, funded by lowlifes who go to work.

The European Court of Auditors also likes to resort to failed candidates in an open competition. It is indeed worrying that I sent an email to the ECA asking for an investigation into the recruitment policies applied, while knowing that the ECA itself was looking for a temporary translator towards the end of 2017.
First of all, let us note that the Court of Auditors is not bound to recruit from EPSO list(s).
It isn't but wouldn't it be the more cost-efficient way forward? Two interesting facts are:
  1. One of the successful candidates who was placed on the reserve list in 2017 started working at the Court of Auditors as a translator in 2010, before moving on to the Commission 1 year later, without ever having passed a competition prior to 2017. Out of respect I won't mention any names.
  2. The shortlisted candidates for the post of Maltese translator published by the ECA towards the end of 2017 were 3 unsuccessful candidates in the EPSO competition concluded in 2017. I don't know how many people applied for the post.
Apparently the Court of Auditors provides a good refuge to Maltese translators who lack the mental capability of solving numerical reasoning tests, as it seems that most language departments of the ECA employ permanent translators. I wasn't told what situation gave rise to the need of a temporary translator rather than a permanent one, but 3 out of the 4 Maltese translators at the ECA are temporary agents.

Another point which merits attention is that another competition was concluded in 2017 for Maltese-language linguistic assistants. 13 months after the publication of the final results, the Commission has failed to recruit anyone from this list. I'm sure that this issue affects all reserve lists, but it would be very time-consuming to cross-check every reserve list with the staff lists published. EPSO provides:
Being on a reserve list is not a guarantee of recruitment, but on average 50% of candidates are recruited within 7 months.
Surprisingly, that number hasn't even been met for the translators competition, with 8 out of a total of 20 candidates selected, according to my numbers. Then again, those 8 already working at the Commission don't really count as recruits, but officially they would. I don't know if EPSO publishes any specific numbers for each competition.

It is up to successful candidates to ensure that they are given more rights. People shouldn't shy back from asking uncomfortable questions. To this date the Court was never presented by a case regarding the rights of successful candidates. Sure, the Ombudsman addressed countless cases, some of which made unreasonable claims to the extension of their reserve lists, after being on said reserve list for more than 10 years.

Some are immediately recruited, some are recruited after 8 years and some are never recruited. I'm confident that things will change in the future and that recruitment will be more transparent. With public pressure increasing, the least the European institutions can do is ensure the loyalty of those who would like to work for them.


  1. It would be good if you could declare your interest in this situation of Maltese translators. It seems to me that you're on a reserve list but did not get accepted by any Institution. Am I wrong? You have simplified the process, you are mixing the recruitment of temporary staff (who have a contract which cannot be terminated whenever there is potential permanent staff on any reserve list) with the recruitment of permanent staff, which can only be done via a selection procedure. As you probably know, these days it is much easier to be recruited as temporary staff, given the very limited number of permanent posts available in the institutions (and the numbers keep on dropping).

    1. I believe the motivation behind the investigation was portrayed in Part 1 -


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