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I have a lot of professional expertise and experience but the only way to become a permanent EU official is to compete with tens of thousands of applicants.

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Indeed competitions for AD generalists can attract tens of thousands of candidates every year as according to the Staff Regulations (the official document describing the rules, principles and working conditions of the European civil service), one only needs a graduate degree to apply. For candidates with a certain level of professional experience, EPSO organises many specialist competitions with specific selection criteria which take into account professional experience.

These tailored selection procedures for specialists (lawyers, economists, researchers, etc.) have very specific requirements when it comes to professional experience, education, etc., so it is really only eligible candidates who are able to apply.

Where possible, and taking into account the number of candidates (often in the hundreds) and the profiles sought, specialist competitions are organised without computer-based multiple-choice tests upfront. Since 2010, less than one third of specialist competitions began with computer-based tests. The focus is therefore directly on educational qualifications and professional experience at the start of the competition.