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 Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?

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alina1986



Posts : 12
Join date : 2011-06-16

PostSubject: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:25 pm

I just found out how the preselection actually works and I find it extremely unfair because it appears that the committee that scores applications is made up exclusively of people of the same nationality as the candidate when this is supposed to be a EUROPEAN process. In my case, I hold a passport of a country that I have never lived in because of my parents' work, and my qualifications (high school, BA, MA) have all been obtained in different European countries. I speak three major European languages at the native level (English, Spanish, and French), but none of them correspond to the country I am a national of. How can my application be graded objectively by a jury composed of members of my passport country who are bound to be unfamiliar with the educational system of the countries that I have lived in or that may value more the knowledge of their own mother tongue despite the fact that it is useless internationally to other major languages? The quotas are already questionable, but this to me is representative of the very obvious limits of the European citizenship. Wouldn't it be more fair to have a multinational jury and to provide them with grade equivalencies? I just feel that this system penalizes candidates who have moved around a lot, which is ridiculous taking into account the nature of the traineeship.
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Rima



Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-02-02

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:01 pm

I totally agree. Let's say in Lithuania to get a cum laude diploma one needs to obtain a GPA of at least 9.5 (because it is indeed quite easy to get grades of 9 or 10 even in the best university there). In the Netherlands, on the other hand, cum laude is obtained with the GPA of 8, since grades of 9 or 10 are quite rear. So basically, if you are from Lithuania, but studied in the Netherlands and the people in the committee are not familiar with the system in NL, they will think that a GPA of let's say 8.2 is pretty low, while in fact it is quite high.
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Montecito08



Posts : 32
Join date : 2011-06-09

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:03 pm

As far as I understood is it the case that these preselection committees not solely exist of people from that particular country, but that at least one person has to be present that has a knowledge about the system in that particular country. Otherwise that would mean that every Maltese EC workerr has to be in the Maltese selection committee.

And I guess that members of the preselection committee have quite a broad knowledge of different grading systems; or know where to find this information. And I guess that if you have lived abroad or studied abroad, this will be in your advantage; but of course this depends to what university you went to.

Yes, the system based on nationalities is unfair, perhaps a system based on residency would be more fair.
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myrskypilvi



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Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:31 pm

... I actually just today happened to talk with my supervisor about this. She was one of the preselection committee members for her country of origin a year ago, and found it quite strange as well.

But not only because half of the people had studied abroad, but also because she herself has been working for the Commission for over 20 years & no longer really is aware of the educational system in her home country.

System based on residence would not really work either, I think. E.g. I've moved several times during my life, studied in three countries, worked in fourth etc., so which country should I be calculated to?

...But here I am, doing the traineeship, so such a background does not make it impossible... Don't give up hope!

And btw., you COULD point it out in your motivation part, that is explaining the differences of the grading systems etc. between your home country and place where you have studied.

What I think is the biggest problem is really establishing equal evaluation of all applicants in general, with some 10 000 applications to be sighted, which is done by dozens of different people, each paying more attention and adding more weight to different things.
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Aneena

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Join date : 2009-06-05

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:36 am

I left my home country at the age of 18, studied and worked abroad and got preselected, so I think it is possible. People working at the European Commission don't only look at your grades, but you also get points for working experience, motivation and some other things (the list was somewhere on this forum). You also get points for international experiences, so in your case you will have an advantage comparing to other citizens of your country. I don't think the system is that unfair, but if you weren't preselected just contact the traineeship office and ask for your points, maybe then you will see why you weren't chosen.
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alina1986



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Join date : 2011-06-16

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:02 pm

I didn't mean that the system penalized those who studied abroad. On the contrary, I do think that it helps and most successful candidates probably have "some" international experience. I was referring to more extreme cases (that exist nonetheless and are becoming more and more common) of persons who have little connection to their "passport country". To give an example, I have NEVER, EVER lived in my passport country-only during summer holidays- and my mother tongues do not correspond to that of that country. My question whether you think that if you let Spaniards pick Spanish candidates, Germans pick Germans ones and so forth, candidates who are perceived as having little o no links to their country of origin may be disadvantaged. Some committee members may be totally objective, but I think most are going to favor persons with a clearly defined national identity - even if they have studied abroad for a few years- when, in fact, the Commission is supposed to act on behalf the interests of the EU as a whole.

Total objectivity is impossible, of course, but I think candidates should be selected by a mixed European committee and not by national ones.
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krista



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Join date : 2009-12-02

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:22 pm

alina1986 wrote:
I didn't mean that the system penalized those who studied abroad. On the contrary, I do think that it helps and most successful candidates probably have "some" international experience. I was referring to more extreme cases (that exist nonetheless and are becoming more and more common) of persons who have little connection to their "passport country". To give an example, I have NEVER, EVER lived in my passport country-only during summer holidays- and my mother tongues do not correspond to that of that country. My question whether you think that if you let Spaniards pick Spanish candidates, Germans pick Germans ones and so forth, candidates who are perceived as having little o no links to their country of origin may be disadvantaged. Some committee members may be totally objective, but I think most are going to favor persons with a clearly defined national identity - even if they have studied abroad for a few years- when, in fact, the Commission is supposed to act on behalf the interests of the EU as a whole.

Total objectivity is impossible, of course, but I think candidates should be selected by a mixed European committee and not by national ones.

I am in the same case, but I don't feel that is has been a disadvantage for me. Actually, I think that I stand out more, because that I know of people from my passport country don't have a lot of international experience, and normally are not very fluent in many languages. BUT, I have to say that at least I do speak my passport country's language fluently, although I never studied there, and I only lived there for a little over a year working as an English teacher Very Happy
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Aneena

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PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:08 pm

Well here at the Commission many people live in Brussels since many years, they have wifes/husbands of other nationalities and their children have the European identity, since they don't feel nationals of any country at all. So I guess for people in Brussels it is quite normal. But indeed, if you have let's say German nationality, but lived your whole life in USA and studied there it might be difficult to compare your achievements with those of Germans, since the systems are quite different. Honestly I don't know how it works, but I guess checking with the traineeship office for your marks in case you're not preselected would solve many of your questions.
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Rima



Posts : 15
Join date : 2011-02-02

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:14 pm

The problem is that traineeship office provides just the overall mark, so you cannot actually know if your educational background, motivation or something else was not good enough.
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Teebs



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Join date : 2011-01-14

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:49 pm

alina1986 wrote:
I didn't mean that the system penalized those who studied abroad. On the contrary, I do think that it helps and most successful candidates probably have "some" international experience. I was referring to more extreme cases (that exist nonetheless and are becoming more and more common) of persons who have little connection to their "passport country". To give an example, I have NEVER, EVER lived in my passport country-only during summer holidays- and my mother tongues do not correspond to that of that country. My question whether you think that if you let Spaniards pick Spanish candidates, Germans pick Germans ones and so forth, candidates who are perceived as having little o no links to their country of origin may be disadvantaged. Some committee members may be totally objective, but I think most are going to favor persons with a clearly defined national identity - even if they have studied abroad for a few years- when, in fact, the Commission is supposed to act on behalf the interests of the EU as a whole.

Total objectivity is impossible, of course, but I think candidates should be selected by a mixed European committee and not by national ones.

As you say total objectivity is not possible. However, I think there are two factors which probably protect people like you from unfair discrimination in pre-selection.

1) The system seems to be based on marks given for very specific criteria. Since there are marks available for quite a few things and not that many marks total (if I remember correctly), that means that there simply isn't that much scope for making odd judgments based on nationality. Your motivation shouldn't be affected and your education and experience points will be based on fairly objective criteria. Aren't you also meant to provide transcripts with your certificates? I'm sure my degree transcript contained an explanation of the grades in it and my course structure.

2) The kind of people who take up careers as EU bureaucrats are likely, in my opinion, to be among the most cosmopolitan internationalist people in existence. If anything, the kind of people that choose to work in a multi-lingual internationalist institution dedicated to integration of their country with others are going to look favourably on you growing up internationally.
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lulu



Posts : 48
Join date : 2011-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Do you agree with the way preselection is carried out?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:28 pm

alina1986 wrote:
I just found out how the preselection actually works and I find it extremely unfair because it appears that the committee that scores applications is made up exclusively of people of the same nationality as the candidate when this is supposed to be a EUROPEAN process. In my case, I hold a passport of a country that I have never lived in because of my parents' work, and my qualifications (high school, BA, MA) have all been obtained in different European countries. I speak three major European languages at the native level (English, Spanish, and French), but none of them correspond to the country I am a national of. How can my application be graded objectively by a jury composed of members of my passport country who are bound to be unfamiliar with the educational system of the countries that I have lived in or that may value more the knowledge of their own mother tongue despite the fact that it is useless internationally to other major languages? The quotas are already questionable, but this to me is representative of the very obvious limits of the European citizenship. Wouldn't it be more fair to have a multinational jury and to provide them with grade equivalencies? I just feel that this system penalizes candidates who have moved around a lot, which is ridiculous taking into account the nature of the traineeship.

I believe that the committee is made up of people of the same nationality because this way is easier to assess the application as the documents sent along with the application form can be written in our own language, not necessarily in one of the 3 working languages of the EC. So if you are from Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania etc you will probably send documents supporting your app form in your mother tongue, and from there the need to have your file processed by people who have the same nationality. Except for this ,a person who has the same nationality is more likely to be familiar with the system from your country that a foreigner.
On the other hand I understand what your fears are, but, I think that you will not be disadvantaged. On the contrary... International experiences are very important and you might get many extra points while other co-nationals that have made all their studies in their country will not. So good luck. Smile
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