Newcomer's Introduction to JRC-ITU


Important links mentioned in the following text

Before your start

You will receive this information already while you are waiting for your nomination act or employment contract. Before this can be issued, two important checks have do be done, please see the information that you have received from the responsible HR staff in Karlsruhe or Ispra:


Medical examination following written request (usually by email).


Reliability screening through the supervising authority of Baden-Württemberg (see request form). This form must be sent in original, accompanied by a copy of your ID card or passport and original extracts from the criminal records of all countries where you have resided for more than three months during the last 10 years, except Germany (preferred languages English, German, French). Please do not order any translations.


Once a start date is agreed with the JRC, we will give you information about available provisional apartments in the area. Most newcomers decide for a single room in KIT guest house, located in Karlsruhe city center. Rental is possible for maximum 6 months. You find more info on the KIT International Guesthouse Website.

Please note that a booking is only possible through our HR team.


We also propose private apartments in Graben-Neudorf, suited for family or as a shared flat and in Stutensee, suited for a couple.

There are also professional rental companies such as City Apartment Karlsruhe.

When you ask us to reserve an accommodation, please consider that you should arrive at least 1 day before your real start day, which will be the 1st or 16th of a month. Please indicate also if you come alone or with partner/family, with car or without.


JRC-ITU European School Karlsruhe

Staff of JRC Karlsruhe have the possibility to enrol their children aged between 0 and 3 years in one of the crèches in which JRC Karlsruhe has secured a certain number of places. The parental contribution towards the crèche fee depends on the family's income and composition.

Applications for enrolments are possible at any time. For the procedure and more information on childcare for 0 to 3 year old children, please contact . From the age of 3 ½ years staff children can attend the kindergarten of the European School Karlsruhe. For more information and registration procedure, please have a look at the Eskar Website.

In Karlsruhe or ITU's surrounding villages you will usually find several kindergartens (ecclesiastical, municipal or private) which, charging a monthly fee, take children for day-care if vacancies are available.

Staff of the European Commission have the right to enroll their children at the European School Karlsruhe (ESK) free of charge. If you are considering this, you should complete and return, as soon as possible, the application along with copy of birth certificate and class record or report from previous schools and send it to the school. You can download the application form from the ESKAR Website. The ESK offers education in three language sections: German, English and French. However, all the official languages of the EU member states are represented. Thus a students’ mother tongue remains their first language throughout their schooling. The ESK also offers after school care (MoMi and NaMi) against payment. For further Information please contact the ESK or have a look at the ESKAR Website.

You can also find some information on Living and Working in Germany on the EURES website or on the German Federal Employment Service Website.

You and your partner/spouse can see the local EURES adviser in your country to discuss issues linked to moving to Germany, for more information see the EURES website.

General information about Living in Europe is also published at European Commission: Your Europe.

On the first day

JRC-ITU Welcome NCO Entrance

The Institute is located about 12 km north of Karlsruhe, surrounded by forest, close to the towns Linkenheim-Hochstetten, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen and Stutensee. It is located on the site of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the former national Research Centre Karlsruhe (KIT Campus Nord). For directions, see KIT North Campus Travel Information. JRC-ITU staff has access to a part of its facilities, particularly the canteen and cafeteria, a small shop and the library.


You will be invited to come to JRC-ITU before 9h00 on your first day. This will be the 1st or 16th of a month or the first working day after. If you cannot come with your own car, we offer a pick/up service from your provisional apartment.


On the day you take up duty, you will be received by your HR officer. He/she will provide you with a folder containing forms that make up your personal file and which will serve as basis for the determination of rights when entering into service. Your personnel officer will also provide you with the necessary information you need to settle in Karlsruhe.


At 10h00 the statutory staff will follow a presentation of rights and duties given by the PMO (Pay Master Office) by videoconference – only given the 1st of a month. We recommend seeing the Commission's Newcomer info website before!

At lunch break, your tutor and other colleagues of your unit will pick you up for lunch and for registration with KIT. At 14h00 every newcomer has to participate in the mandatory radiation protection training, followed by the chemical instructions. Any medical exam, outfitting with clothes and the information about wardrobes and card safe are also possible on the first day.


You will also receive a brochure about Living and working in Germany, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its on-line version in several languages can be found on Discover Germany. Some countries also offer information about living in Germany, see the example of Connexions France (FR). Some private initiatives also offer information such as Expat Karlsruhe.


A mentor in your unit is supposed to help you with issues linked to your start, together with other experienced colleagues nearby.


Working with JRC-ITU, you will have to use up to three badges (see photo). One is the KIT badge, necessary to access the KIT site, use the KIT shuttle bus to the city centre /Campus Süd) or to pay your lunch at the canteen. Cash payments are not possible. This badge is issued with the "KIT-Ausweisantrag" in your welcome folder. The second badge is the JRC-ITU badge which you must wear all time inside the JRC-ITU premises. It must be kept in your personal locker when you leave and is determined which areas/rooms you may enter. The third badge is the Commission service card, only for statutory staff and necessary to prove your status when visiting other Commission buildings. JRC-ITU grant holders and trainees are considered as visitors in other Commission sites.


Please note that German law requires all residents to carry identity papers which they may be asked to show at any time, not only for police control, but also to obtain accommodation, open a bank account or call on an official service.


You will also receive a "routing slip" with the names of persons and services that you should meet in the first 2 weeks. On the first day you should always see the time registration office for your rime registration card and other issues.

Registration with the German Authorities

No residence permit is required for EU citizens in Germany. However, you must register within one week at the registration authorities. This registration office is usually called "Einwohnermeldeamt" or "Bürgerbüro". The main office for the city of Karlsruhe is in Kaiserallee 8 - appointments can be fixed online. For further information about the addresses and opening hours of Bürgerbüros in Karlsruhe see Karlsruhe Citizen Services.


Your salary can be paid on any bank account in the European Union of which you are the account holder. Please complete the "Financial Identification Form" carefully, sign it, and ask your bank to sign and stamp it too. Please check also that the IBAN code is filled in correctly. This will allow the settlements office for salaries and other expenses and allowances to validate your bank account for all future payments. The form for Germany is attached, those for other countries are listed under the European Commission: Financial Programming.

We recommend that all officials, contract agents and grant holders hold a bank account in Germany. To open a bank account, you must show your

  • identity papers (passport or id card)
  • letter of recruitment / employment contract
  • registration with the German authorities ("Anmeldebescheinigung")

If necessary we can provide you with a certificate of employment.


Please complete the "Financial Identification Form" carefully, sign it, and ask your bank to sign and stamp it too. Please check also that the IBAN code is filled in correctly. This will allow the settlements office for salaries and other expenses and allowances to validate your bank account for all future payments.


Several banks offer contracts without monthly fees. They only charge fees for bank cards or credit cards which are usually reimbursed. See their web sites for details.

BBBank (with a branch at KIT Campus Nord. English and Spanish speaking staff)

other banks with branches all over Germany:


In case you have never received any payment from the European Commission, you must also be registered yourself as "legal entity". Therefor please use one of the forms on the following European Commission: Financial Programming website and add a copy of your ID card or passport.


During the introduction session you will also receive a "routing slip" indicating the persons and services that you should see in the first weeks. Some of them have prepared newcomer information sessions once every 4-6 weeks, also available on the intranet. Some of them have some short information only and you should see them on the first or second day (example time registration).


All Commission staff and trainees will receive a ticket for free transport in the Karlsruhe area, usually called "Job Ticket". KVV is the company grouping all public transport in the larger area, including bus, tram, S-Bahn, local trains. Please indicate the tram or train stop next to your residence, for example "Mühlburger Tor" if you live in KIT guest house. It is valid for all means of transport between KIT campus Nord and this stop, not beyond! When you register with the city, you also get a free KVV ticket valid several days in the whole KVV area (as Baden-Baden). You can also use all KIT company buses as the "KIT shuttle" to Campus Süd without any KVV ticket, just showing your KIT badge. The detailed timetables are published on the intranet pages. Our HR staff will explain you the best ways from your residence address to KIT Campus Nord. If you live near a S-Bahn 1 stop, there are two lines in the morning to the tram stop inside the Campus and two lines going out in the evening.


You will note that food and drinks inside JRC-ITU cannot be paid in cash. You can have a yellow plastic key against 10 € deposit and you can charge up to 70 € on it.

In the first weeks

JRC-ITU Welcome NCO Flags

Do not forget to register with the German authorities immediately (Bürgerbüro, Meldestelle), to open a bank account and bring the relevant documents to your HR officer.

In the first weeks you will receive two important letters from German authorities:

One comes from the tax authority (Finanzamt) indicating your tax-ID number (Steuer-ID-Nummer), necessary if you have other taxable income or if you request public allowances as Kindergeld or unemployment allowance. The other one comes from the public TV and Radio services asking the mandatory fees (Rundfunkgebühren). Every household in Germany has to pay 17,98 € per month.

We also recommend that you register with the consulate or embassy of your home country to get useful information or to be registered for national elections. An overview of all embassies and their websites can be found at the Federal Foreign Office.

Most countries have consulates in Stuttgart or Frankfurt, others only the embassies in Berlin or Bonn.

You will be invited to follow newcomer information sessions given by different services as training, social services, finances, quality management etc.

You will get to know your colleagues of the unit, some colleagues form your home country and you can share your experience when settling in a new home country. Some are also very active in outside activities, usually run by COPAS "Comité Paritaire pour les Actions Sociales" – Joint Welfare Committee.

In the first months

JRC-ITU Welcome NCO Library

When looking for a permanent apartment, please contact colleagues, neighbors and real estate agencies. The JRC does not offer a professional relocation service. Please bear in mind that Karlsruhe is a big university city and a lot of students are also searching on the market. In the attached JRC-ITU Newcomers - Apartment search file [154 KB] document you will find some options for apartment search.

Until a foreseen change in legislation the tenant who is renting an apartment has to pay a high fee ("Provision") to an agent, equivalent to 2 months of rent plus 19 % VAT ("2,38 Monatsmieten"). A lot of colleagues consider the neighboring cities as you have excellent public transport connections by train and S-Bahn. Whenever you move to another apartment, you have to register at the "Bürgerbüro" of your new residence city.

Your car

When registered yourself in Germany, your car should also be registered here. However, if you still hold a residence in another country, it can remain registered there. But be informed: German car insurance and car tax are lower than in most EU countries!

Like lots of German cities, Karlsruhe has introduced a "low emission zone" ("Umweltzone") to mitigate air pollution caused by traffic. Low emission zones are identified by traffic signs and additional signs. The law stipulates that vehicles have to be marked with stickers ("Umweltplakette" on the windscreen inside the vehicle) and lays down the criteria vehicles have to meet for the different kinds of stickers. Stickers are valid for all low emission zones in any city in Germany and can be obtained from special departments of Bürgerbüros or at most garages.

You need a new technical visit ("TÜV") which can be done with most garages or the public services as TÜV, DEKRA, GTÜ. It is not necessary if the car is not older than 4 years. Do not forget your "Umweltplakette"!

With the European certificate of conformity issued by your car dealer or the next garage, you have to see an insurance company of your choice issuing a provisional insurance confirmation. Usually the banks have their own insurance partners such as BGV, R+V or Sparkassenversicherung.

Then you contact the authority with these documents to register your car. You will also have to sign an authorisation to pay the taxes. The "Kraftfahrzeugzulassungsstelle" is part of the "Bürgerbüros" in Karlsruhe. If you live outside Karlsruhe, there are different offices depending on your residence city.

Your driving licence ("Führerschein") need not be exchanged.

Target Audience

Statutory staff of the European Commission (officials, temporary agents, contract agents).

Grant holders (research fellows) with employment contract under national German law.

Trainees with a trainee contract, other "visiting staff".

The term "Commission staff" designs officials, temporary agents, contract agents and grant holders only.


Authors & Legal disclaimer

This text is only intended for information purposes and has no legal authenticity. Prepared by The Human resources (HR) and Social Services staff of the Resource Management Karlsruhe.

Most legally binding information is fixed in the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities. These rules are the only ones to have legal authenticity and it is to them that the administration of the Commission, or the official concerned must refer, in any judicial-administrative procedure.

The European Commission is not responsible for the content or availability of any external sites mentioned on this website / in this brochure.

Changes are possible. Your feedback and suggestions are appreciated. Please contact us in person or by email. Our general email directions:


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