European Commission: British Nationality

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 16th June 2015.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK nationals were (a) permanent officials and (b) temporary agents on the staff of the European Commission (i) in each of the last 10 years and (ii) on the latest date for which figures are available.

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Holding answer received on 09 June 2015

The European Commission does not provide staffing numbers by nationality broken down between permanent and temporary agents. In total the numbers of UK nationals employed by the European Commission for each of the last ten years is as follows:

October 2005: 1453

April 2006: 1449

April 2007: 1410

April 2008: 1360

April 2009: 1337

April 2010: 1284

April 2011: 1162

April 2012: 1134

April 2013: 1079

April 2014: 1053

The latest figure available is for April 2015 and is 1008.

In relation to its share of the EU population, the UK has, for many years, been under-represented among the staff of the major EU institutions. In recent years the numbers have decreased as some British officials who were recruited when the UK joined the EEC have retired.

Increasing the number of British officials is a priority for the Government. The EU Staffing Unit, established in April 2013, is working to promote EU careers across the UK and support candidates with their application. In the short term, the Unit has increased secondments in positions of strategic importance to the UK. The European Fast Stream within the Civil Service has also been re-launched.

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