Successful candidates

Candidates who are successful in a selection procedure are placed on a ‘reserve list’, from which all EU institutions can recruit directly. But what happens next?

Recruitment by the institutions
  • All institutions need staff in numbers that are proportional to their size and functions.

  • ​As job opportunities arise, the institutions check the profiles of the successful candidates in order to identify those who best match their needs (for example, in terms of education, professional experience and language skills). 

  • You may be invited by a number of institutions or services for interview (for reserve lists open to multiple institutions).

  • For practical reasons, candidates may also undergo a medical examination before any decision is taken on appointment.

  • You have the right to refuse any offer, but there is no guarantee of another offer before reserve list expires. Please also be aware that a comment may be added to your file.

  • According to the Staff Regulations, officials already working within the institutions must be considered before successful candidates on a reserve list.

Your EPSO account and CV
  • Please keep all personal information in your EPSO account up to date.

  • You should also upload and regularly update your CV, preferably in the Europass format (via the 'upload CV' tab).

  • There is no need to send your CV directly to the institutions. Your CV, competency passport and information about your availability are visible to the institutions through the database of successful candidates.

  • You can ask EPSO (via the contact form) to be marked as unavailable for a certain period. The validity of the reserve list will not be extended accordingly.

  • If you want to archive a complete copy of your application file (including EPSO's correspondence) you should save and/or print it as soon as possible, as the correspondence will remain in your account for one year only.

Reserve list
  • The 'reserve list' is a database containing information on the profile, competencies and availability of all the successful candidates in a particular selection procedure.

  • Being on a reserve list is not a guarantee of recruitment, but on average 50% of candidates are recruited within 7 months.

  • Reserve lists are normally valid for one year (or three years for specialists). The validity may be prolonged (by EPSO) according to the needs of the institutions. A decision will usually be taken shortly before the list expires and published on the EU Careers website.

  • The initial validity of a list starts from the moment successful candidates are notified about their placement on the reserve list. The initial validity is published in the Official Journal and on Reserve lists page.

  • Any delay in the publication of the list in the Official Journal has no impact on the recruitment process itself.

  • If you are already in the process of being recruited when the list expires recruitment may still go ahead.

Quotas
  • The institutions are assigned a certain quota of successful candidates that they can recruit from the reserve list. This information is only available to EPSO and the institutions.

  • The quotas reflect the recruitment needs of a particular institution(s) over a given period.

  • Recruitment from the list during the period in which the quota(s) are applied is subject to the approval of the institution(s) concerned.

  • The quota is normally lifted three or six months (in the case of some specialists comepetitions) after the publication of the reserve list, or can be extended, on approval of the institution(s) concerned.

Access to vacancies
  • The vacancy system allows you to view vacancies related to the competition(s) in which you have been successful. You can apply for these vacancies until your reserve list expires.

  • The publication of vacancies in your EPSO account is the responsibility of the institutions. They decide which vacancies to open to which list(s).

  • Institutions are not obliged to open their vacancies to all or part of the successful candidates.

  • If quotas are applied to your reserve list you may not have access to vacancies until the quotas have been lifted.

  • When institutions publish vacancies, you will see "Show Vacancies" in the blue title bar of the relevant competition in your EPSO account. 

  • This gives a list of vacancies, each with a vacancy code, job title and the institution offering the vacancy.

  • Clicking on it will provide you with detailed information about the location, duties, tasks and contact details.

  • You should check your EPSO account regularly, as institutions can upload vacancies at any time and there may only be a limited application period. You will not be notified automatically when new vacancies have been published. 

  • If applying for a vacancy please ensure that you are eligible, that your CV is up-to-date and that you mention the relevant competition in your cover letter.

  • Please note, for some Commission vacancies you may be able to view notices which are relevant to your category of reserve list (e.g. AST-SC, AST or AD), but which you are not eligible to apply for. For example, if the post is at AST3 level, but you are on an AST1 reserve list then you are not eligible.

  • If you have any questions about your eligibility, or any other details relating to the vacancy or the recruitment procedure, please contact the recruiting service using the con¬tact details in the vacancy notice.

  • Please send your application to the recruiting institution only and not to EPSO as all recruitment is handled by the institutions directly.

Useful links
  • You can find an overview of all the EU institutions which recruit from EPSO reserve lists and links to their specific recruitment pages on the Europa website.

  • If you have questions about a specific vacancy please contact the recruiting service using the contact details in the vacancy notice.

  • You can also contact us if you have further questions about what to expect next or your availability for recruitment.

Please note that the Notice of Competition and Rules Governing Open Competitions set down the legal framework for each selection procedure. This page is only designed to provide additional guidance.