Career opportunities

More and more European organisations (Brussels boasts a labour pool of some 15,000 jobs in this area) are looking to hire communication specialists with a sound knowledge of the workings of European public affairs and good language skills.

Besides these organisations, it’s worth mentioning public jobs, based on competitive exams, in the different European institutions. The European Commission (each of its Directorate-Generals now has a ‘communication unit’) today recruits communication specialists.

The Member States, regions, and local and regional authorities are also looking for communication specialists who have an expert knowledge of the challenges of European affairs.

Those with a diploma from the Executive Master in European Public Affairs and Communication are ideally placed to find employment in a wide range of organisations. These include:

Local and regional authorities, Brussels-based European networks of towns and regions

Over 300 European offices for the regions are represented in Brussels. It’s a fast-growing sector that typically hires ‘nationals’, except in the European networks and federations of local and regional authorities (Eurocities, CEMR, AER, etc.). This sector is increasingly consulted and approached by the Commission.

Moreover, the cities and regions in the Member States are increasingly looking to recruit European communication specialists. Europe is becoming more decentralised, resulting in new requirements for decentralised European communication. Authorities managing European Structural Funds (a third of the European Union’s budget) and beneficiaries of European financial aid now have to follow very strict rules, imposed by the EU, regarding mass communication.

European NGOs, European non-market associations and the social economy

Brussels is home to thousands of organisations like this. These NGOs have more and more weight in European decision-making. European non-profit organisations need to call on more professional internal and external communication techniques, to support their advocacy work.

Big companies’ European representations

These big companies with offices to represent them in Brussels can be private or public.

European social partners

There are three: CEEP (European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and Services of general interest), ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) and BusinessEurope (private European enterprises). These European federations have numerous European branches by sector, also based in Brussels.

European think tanks

These are organisations involved in studies and forecasting. They have a political influence on the broad guidelines of the European Union. There are almost 50 think tanks in Brussels.

European lobby groups (consultants and large agencies)

Brussels has several hundred of these European lobby groups. They represent businesses of very diverse sizes, from single consultants to big multinationals. Around 5,000 European lobbyists are accredited with the European Parliament.

European communication agencies

There are around ten major European communication agencies in Brussels, with a total of several hundred employees. These agencies are often linked to national agencies in charge of European campaigns, which come in several varieties and are decentralised. The European Commission frequently calls on these European communication agencies for communication activities (events, web, campaigns, publications, graphics, written content, etc.).

European Commission

The European Commission, just like other European institutions, recruits its officials through competitive exams. However it is also possible to work there by getting fixed-term employee contracts (seconded national agents, auxiliary staff, temporary staff, and temporary employment agencies). The European Commission also calls on numerous remunerated trainees.

The European Commission has representation offices (whose main function is communication and information) in the different Member States and it has delegations in many third countries.

European Parliament

There are two ‘entrance doors’ to work at the European Parliament. The first is by passing the recruitment competitions, as officials, and joining the Parliament’s administration. The second door is through employment contracts, by working for the MEPS’ political groups – e.g. as a parliamentary assistant. Note that with each European Parliament election (every five years), half of the Parliament’s MEPs are changed. This institution has a large ‘turnover’.

The European Parliament has information offices in every European Union country.

The EESC and the CoR

Even though the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) are advisory bodies, these two institutions play an important role in the European decision-making process. The EESC includes three groups: employers, workers, and various interests (associations, etc.). The Committee of the Regions, a more recently created body, is gaining more authority, because its members are often political figures with high profiles in their respective countries.

European information relays

The European Union has almost a thousand European information relays across the bloc. They focus on young people and citizens generally, or certain social and professional categories. These relays include ‘Europe Direct’, the information centres for SMEs, the information centres for consumers, EURES (information on cross-border jobs), and European Documentation Centres. The majority of these relays and networks benefit from the European Commission’s financial support.

European Technical Assistance Offices (TAO)

These offices assist the European Commission with managing programmes or other actions (Leonardo, Socrates, Jeunesse, Medias +, etc.).

Technical Assistance Offices (TAO) for the European programmes, based in the countries (national agencies)

In the field of training, education, youth (sectors where the European Commission notably promotes many exchanges), these national TAOs are given increasingly important tasks, especially in the area of communication and information.

European information networks

For example: URBACT, a European information network on urban development initiatives (Paris).

European ‘thematic’ agencies

These are agencies working on behalf of the European Commission and are mostly based in European Union cities. Examples include: the FRA agency against racism (Vienna), the TEMPUS higher education agency (Turin), the CEDEFOP agency for vocational training (Thessaloniki), and the EUROFOUND agency for improving living and working conditions (Dublin).

Over the last year, students in the Executive Master got traineeships in prestigious places such as the Armenian office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Politico, GopaCom, the Théâtre National, a cooperative start-up, ICF Mostra, etc.