BerlaymontSo there it is in the picture: the Berlaymont building of the European Commission. Grand headquarters of the supranational executive, fledgling European government… Ah, well, seems I am dreaming in more ways than one. I spent all of yesterday afternoon at a seminar that was supposed to equip me with the necessary skills to pass the concours, the first stage of the application process to work for the European Commission. However, the seminar simply demonstrated to me that there are whole areas of EU politics – specifically agriculture and fisheries, but many more besides those – that I simply have no clue about. With just less than a month to go until the tests I cannot see any conceivable way of passing the tests unless luck is miraculously on my side. And that’s just not rational. Further, as my job is to explain to people how the EU works, I’m going to look like one hell of a fool when I fail. So, I’ll console myself with this quote:

In examinations, the foolish ask questions the wise cannot answer.
Oscar Wilde


  1. Party Animal

    Well, the tests are supposed to be a kind of ‘filter’ to select the brightest and the best people to became ‘functionnaires’…I will try it at the end of the month, just for the sake of doing it…and maybe I’ll be lucky…Good luck Jon!!

  2. Good luck with it. I’ve never dared, and now I am far too old, and have had far too much gin and white wine pass under the bridge to manage that sort of memory test. I was looking at someone’s crammer at the weekend, and I fail to understand how that test really results in the employing of the best people across Europe to work in a civil service…Perhaps I am being culturely blinkered by my Britishness. Wouldn’t be the first time that accusation was made.

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