Navigation path

Temporary agents

What do temporary agents in the Commission do?

Temporary agents may be employed to perform a wide variety of tasks, within one of the following categories:

  • (a) for non-standard (highly specialised jobs) or temporary tasks;
  • (b) to make up for staff shortages in cases where competition reserve lists have been exhausted;
  • (c) for Commissioners' private offices ('cabinets');
  • (d) for specific requirements in the scientific sector.

As a temporary agent in type (d), you could work in one of the various research centres set up by the EU to promote research and to manage European framework programmes for research and development. As a temporary agent in type (c), you could work in the private office of a Commissioner during their term in office.

Temporary agents in types (a) and (b) can be employed to do a wide variety of work, essentially the same kind of work as permanent Commission officials. However, this depends on factors such as the temporary needs of the Commission and the situation with regard to filling vacant posts.

How to become a temporary agent

Where can I find out about temporary agent posts?

If a Directorate-General wants to recruit a temporary agent for a highly-specialised job or temporary task (type a), they will send the job notice and the profile of the person they are looking to recruit to the Permanent Representationsof the Member States and also publish it on the EPSO website. They may also publish the vacancy on their own DG website; so it is worth checking these sites regularly if there is a particular DG where you would particularly like to work.

You can also apply to be a temporary agent by introducing your details into the EU CV online database.

Career and benefits


Once you have been recruited as a temporary agent, you will be graded according to the type of post you occupy, and your previous professional experience.

Although the rules on the length of initial contracts and subsequent contract extensions vary, as a rule, temporary agents in types (a), (b) and (d) may be hired by the Commission for a maximum period of six years and temporary agents who work in Commissioner's private offices are hired for a duration linked to the mandate of their Commissioner.

Temporary agents take part in the annual staff appraisal system that applies to permanent officials.

Salary and other benefits

Your salary, benefits, and working conditions as a temporary agent are essentially the same as those of permanent officials. This covers the range of family allowances (including expatriation allowance), social security benefits such as medical insurance and pensions (pension rights are accumulated on the same basis as permanent officials), tax conditions, family-related leave, annual leave and working hours. Find out more in the section Permanent Officials.

As a temporary agent you may also be entitled to a temporary unemployment allowance, when your contract expires. For more information see Title 2 (Temporary Agents) in the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities

Commission civil service