International Civil Service

Working for an international organisation

Luxembourg offers some unique opportunities for employment in what is sometimes called the ‘international civil service’ sector.

International Civil Service

Luxembourg is home to a number of other international and multinational organisations and agencies. Working for these government and quasi-government agencies often entitles you to a sort of semi-diplomatic status, a variety of tax and social benefits and often a ‘comfortable’ salary.

Foremost among these opportunities is the European Union, the EU and its various agencies, directorates, organisations and support functions employ more around 2,000 people in Luxembourg. Only EU nationals can apply, and for most jobs you’re expected to have fluency in at least one or two languages other than your mother tongue. If you speak one of the more ‘unusual’ languages of the EU (e.g. Finnish, Greek or Danish), your chance of being hired will greatly improve and you may find yourself eligible for special training programmes as well.

A few departments and agencies within the EU are gearing up for the addition of new member states, and a working knowledge of Polish, Hungarian or Czech could also come in handy. The EU agencies try to maintain a balance among employees from the various member countries, and British nationals are traditionally underrepresented in many job categories; this is one place where British nationality can be a distinct advantage in looking for a job! The EU website (http://europa.eu.int ) includes links to many of the agencies and other departments within the EU, an increasing number of which are posting job vacancies on their websites.

There are also a number of non-government organisations (NGOs) located in various cities throughout Luxembourg, some of which enjoy some or all of the advantages of the so-called International Civil Service. Jobs for these and other international agencies are regularly posted in international publications such as The Economist or the Guardian Weekly, as well as on the organisations’ websites.

Luxembourg is home to a number of other international and multinational organisations and agencies. Working for these government and quasi-government agencies often entitles you to a sort of semi-diplomatic status, a variety of tax and social benefits and often a ‘comfortable’ salary.

Foremost among these opportunities is the European Union, the EU and its various agencies, directorates, organisations and support functions employ more around 2,000 people in Luxembourg. Only EU nationals can apply, and for most jobs you’re expected to have fluency in at least one or two languages other than your mother tongue. If you speak one of the more ‘unusual’ languages of the EU (e.g. Finnish, Greek or Danish), your chance of being hired will greatly improve and you may find yourself eligible for special training programmes as well.

A few departments and agencies within the EU are gearing up for the addition of new member states, and a working knowledge of Polish, Hungarian or Czech could also come in handy. The EU agencies try to maintain a balance among employees from the various member countries, and British nationals are traditionally underrepresented in many job categories; this is one place where British nationality can be a distinct advantage in looking for a job! The EU website (http://europa.eu.int ) includes links to many of the agencies and other departments within the EU, an increasing number of which are posting job vacancies on their websites.

There are also a number of non-government organisations (NGOs) located in various cities throughout Luxembourg, some of which enjoy some or all of the advantages of the so-called International Civil Service. Jobs for these and other international agencies are regularly posted in international publications such as The Economist or the Guardian Weekly, as well as on the organisations’ websites.

This article is an extract from Living and Working in Holland, Belgium & Luxembourg.

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