Report: Number of Finns in EU positions at risk of collapse – situation difficult to rectify through national measures alone
Finland and the other Nordic countries risk becoming underrepresented among the official staff in EU institutions. Concerns were raised about the issue in a report published on 6 October comparing the measures taken by certain Member States to promote their citizens’ careers in the EU. According to the report, national efforts alone will not be enough to rectify the situation over the short or medium term.
To ensure that EU policy takes into account the interests of all Member States and the Union as a whole, it is essential to have a balanced number of citizens from all Member States working in EU institutions. The decrease in the relative share of Finns in EU positions means there is less awareness of Finland’s special characteristics in the EU, and it weakens our administration’s understanding of and competence related to EU institutions.
At present, as many as 15 Member States are underrepresented in relation to their size, while some are overrepresented among EU officials. The geographical imbalance of officials has an impact on the legitimacy of the EU among citizens in the Member States.
Decline in the number of Finnish EU officials accelerating due to retirement
The number of Finns in EU institutions is decreasing due to the retirement of Finnish officials and the low success rate of Finnish applicants in the competition for EU positions. Over the next few years, an annual average of 29 Finns will retire from their positions in EU institutions, while only around 3.5 persons will be recruited from Finland through the official competitions. As many as seven times the current number of candidates would need to succeed in the competition for EU positions in the next few years in order to maintain the current level of Finnish representation.
Correcting geographical imbalances will require measures at the national and EU level
The report recommends that Finland draw up a national EU career strategy spanning at least two government terms. The strategy should focus primarily on recent graduates, students and young people. According to the report, the desired results will be very difficult to achieve in the short or medium term through national efforts alone. The EU also needs to respond and take specific measures to restore the geographical balance.
The study was carried out by KPMG Oy, 4Front Oy and the Centre for Parliamentary Studies at the University of Turku as part of the implementation of the Government’s plan for analysis, assessment and research for 2022.
Inquiries: Henrik Pekkala, Senior Manager, KPMG Oy, tel. +358 40 535 5638, henrik.pekkala(at)kpmg.fi and Timo Moilanen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 2955 30455, timo.moilanen(at)gov.fi
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