The European Fast Stream is designed for people whose ultimate ambition is to work permanently for one of the EU institutions (such as the European Commission or European Parliament) and become a European civil servant. It works by giving you experience and training that will boost your chances of passing the EU’s demanding recruitment competition, known as the concours.
As a European Fast Streamer, and afterwards as a European civil servant, you could influence policy on an EU-wide scale, for example by working to tackle climate change or combat terrorism. You might be personally involved in the EU’s programme of aid to developing countries or in formulating policy on sustainable energy or integrated transport.
You will be based in a major UK government department with significant EU-related responsibilities. There you will benefit from EU-related postings and will also have the chance to work in the European Commission for five months on an internship (as long as you have not already worked there before). Your training will include intensive coaching in French or German, as you will take much of the concours in one of those languages.
After two years, if you have not been successful in the EU concours, you will remain in the UK Civil Service as a Fast Streamer, but will then be expected to refocus your work onto different areas of your department’s responsibilities. Of course, you will also have the opportunity to take the concours after that date and may well be successful later.
What are we looking for?
To apply, you must have achieved or be predicted to achieve at least a 2:2 degree. In addition, you must have French or German to at least A-level (GradeA - C) standard. You must undertake to enter all EU competitions for which you are eligible during your time in the European Fast Stream and to complete the necessary training.
To work in the EU institutions you must be a national of an EU member state though, in fact, the purpose of the European Fast Stream is to increase the number of British citizens in the EU institutions. To join the FCO as a European Fast Streamer you must be a British citizen.
The EFS is a popular scheme, but not many places are available in it. Time spent in the EFS will certainly enhance your chances of success in the concours, but if you are seriously committed to an EU career, we recommend that you also keep an eye on the website of the European Personnel Selection Office, which recruits on behalf of the EU institutions. That way, you won’t miss opportunities to apply direct to the institutions. Visit http://europa.eu/epso/index_en.htm
Would you like to download a copy of the European Fast Stream brochure? (pdf)