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Poor language skills preventing Irish from getting jobs with EU

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Minister Dara Murphy.

Minister Dara Murphy.

Minister Dara Murphy.

POOR language skills are stopping Irish people from getting jobs with EU institutions.

Lack of fluency in a second language is hampering many Irish looking to secure posts as 'Eurocrats', according to an internal Department of the Taoiseach report.

The briefing report, prepared for recently appointed European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy, also predicts a sharp fall in the number of Irish people working at senior levels in EU bodies over the next decade, with many officials due to retire.

Under EU recruitment rules, job candidates must have a thorough knowledge of one of the official EU languages and a satisfactory knowledge of a second. At least one of these languages must be English, French of German. An additional language is also a prerequisite for certain roles.

"Fluency in a second EU language is essential to securing a post within the institutions. This is one of the main stumbling blocks for many Irish people who would otherwise be well qualified for an EU career," the report said.

According to the report, there are almost 500 Irish officials serving in the European Commission, while a further 126 work at the European Parliament. According to the report, the age profile of these staff indicates over half are eligible for retirement.

The report said the Government hopes a number of initiatives will arrest the decline in Irish working for EU bodies.

Irish Independent