I refer to your article (02.09.07) and subsequent correspondence regarding “Maltese employed in EU institutions” (19.09.07). As a Maltese (Gozitan) working in Luxembourg I would like to subscribe to your laudable initiative of providing information about such jobs as are available – all in the public interest. Allow me to say that the salary is not the only attractive element of such jobs abroad.
Anybody working for the EU institutions would instantly vouch that the nature of most posts offered is not only interesting but allows one to work at the heart of a developing European Union – sometimes, at the forefront of the developing jurisprudence or policy development. Living abroad for some time can be an eye-opener for many a young (and not so young) person interested in broadening his horizons beyond the confines of our island.
There are numerous ancillary advantages involved. To get a job with the institutions you ride on your own wave – i.e. you study, you pass an exam and, following an interview, you are employed and paid based on merit and merit alone. At least in Europe, taxpayers can rest assured that their taxes are being spent on personnel engaged through a process based on merit where you no longer have to worry that your place is taken by some blue/red-eyed boy.
All is not rosy in Luxembourg and Brussels though. For those of us who have Luxembourg as a base we are still virtually cut off from our homeland – the local national carrier flies once a week to Malta (and stops doing that in winter). A normal trip from Luxembourg to Malta using Air Malta involves almost ten hours of travelling whether you choose to use Frankfurt or Brussels as a base to fly from. There is still no sign of low-cost airlines (or Air Malta) using either Frankfurt-Hahn or Metz-Nancy airport (which would drastically reduce travelling times).
Finally, moving abroad to work for the institutions can also include an added, unexpected perk. Thanks to the weird interpretations of our Electoral Laws the bulk of Maltese working abroad might no longer have to face the dilemma of which party to vote for come election time. The fact that we live abroad for most of the year makes us prime candidates for that wonderful MLPN democratic practice of striking voters off the electoral register – which makes Maltese working in the EU a bit like the US citizens living in Washington DC.
Thank you once again for this opportunity to further enlighten anybody who is interested in moving and working abroad.
Jacques René Zammit
Référendaire – European Court of Justice