Lettre ouverte à la responsable communication d’EPSO

Chère Agne,

Je ne pensais pas que ce jour arriverait et pourtant nous y sommes : 6 ans après le lancement de ce blog, 1 an après mon premier tacle à l’encontre d’EPSO, j’ai enfin touché le Graal ! En un billet, vous avez exaucé mon voeu le plus cher, être enfin reconnu par l’élite des recruteurs européens. Mieux encore, vous avez même “liké” ma page Facebook !

Rien que pour ça, au nom de tous les euroblogueurs qui rêvent des mêmes égards, nous vous devons une reconnaissance éternelle ! Pour vous remercier de cette promotion inespérée, j’ai donc décidé de vous dédier ce droit de réponse…


J’avoue, tirer sur l’ambulance EPSO était si simple, mais tellement jouissif. Ne soyez pas triste, vous avez survécu au crash. 

Trêve de présentations, j’ai quelques questions à vous poser, certaines risquant même d’intéresser le grand public européen…

samantha oupsAvant cela, je rendrai un ultime hommage à vos “EU Raconteurs” qui se donnent tant de mal pour exister intéresser un public plus large que la bulle euro-bruxelloise. Je pense ainsi à notre ami “Moritz_Comm”, architecte, communicant et même Mr Météo, comme en témoigne ce tweet de janvier annonçant la tempête en Belgique. Finalement, Moritz, je l’aime bien, il me rappelle Patrice Drevet : toute mon enfance ! Et que dire de “Glen Publications Office” qui publie sa feuille de pointage romancée sur Facebook, prouvant au passage, que non, les fonctionnaires européens ne se tournent pas les pouces !

En fait, plus je découvre ces raconteurs d’histoires et plus je les trouve touchants. Je me dis d’ailleurs que d’autres pourraient enrichir le panel. Que diriez-vous de Samantha_OUPS, de Robert_VDM ou encore de Günther_PTDR ?

Parenthèse fermée. Venons-en aux questions en matière de communication et de recrutement…

  • Pourquoi s’entêter à produire de telles vidéos de propagande alors que vous ne savez pas comment gérer les dizaines de milliers de candidats qui tentent vos concours chaque année ?
  • Comment expliquer au citoyen européen “lambda” que l’Union Européenne soit aussi nulle à se “vendre” et à expliquer son travail ? A fortiori avec des “experts” payés plus de 4000€ net/mois, a fortiori avec des “experts” triés sur le volet pour leurs compétences et leur passion pour l’Europe par vos services de recrutement.

  • Ma chère Agne, comme vous l’énoncez sur votre CV, un candidat brille professionnellement lorsqu’il est passionné. Je ne saurai vous contredire. Mais alors comment expliquez-vous qu’EPSO ne considère l’intérêt pour l’Europe de ses candidats que comme une simple cerise sur le gâteau ? Combien de candidats profiteurs du système seront engagés cette année vs d’autres candidats guidés par l’intérêt général européen, et pour quels résultats ?

  • Comment justifier l’absurde mise en concurrence de jeunes diplômés sans expérience face à des profils plus séniors ? C’était ainsi le cas en 2011 avec votre concours EPSO pour “Administrateurs dans le domaine de la communication”

    aucune-experience-epso

    Quel recruteur professionnel oserait convoquer un étudiant à un entretien pour un job payé 4000€ et nécessitant de fait plusieurs années d’expérience ? Hormis EPSO, je n’en connais aucun !

    Et que pensera le grand public lorsqu’il apprendra que vous recrutez potentiellement des gens inexpérimentés à prix d’or, avec les résultats qu’on sait ?

Mea culpa

Au passage, je m’incline devant vos stagiaires, notamment ce cher Carli, tombés lors de mon instant de folie meurtrière numérique. Mea culpa également par rapport à vos tests que j’accusais à tort d’ignorer les compétences des candidats.

Suite à votre lettre, j’en en ai reparlé avec plusieurs amis ayant passé le dit concours en communication l’an passé. Avec la même conclusion à chaque fois : les tests d’incompétence EPSO évaluent bel et bien une certaine expertise dès la 1ère étape : le décryptage d’énigmes verbales, numériques et logiques.

De la pure communication 3.0 en somme, C clairement QFD !

C’est vrai, à quoi bon poser des questions stériles sur la bonne méthode d’impression d’une affiche 4×3 ou encore sur le bon ton à adopter sur un réseau social X ou Y ? L’avenir du communicant européen tient donc en trois concepts: des chiffres, des lettres et des ronds !

Pauvre de moi à assimiler votre usage des médias sociaux à de l’amateurisme dénué de stratégie cohérente. Si seulement j’avais davantage joué aux jeux des magazines TV durant mon enfance, peut-être serais-je fonctionnaire européen à l’heure actuelle ?


Conclusion

Pardonnez ma mauvaise foi Agne. Vous l’aurez remarqué, je ne suis qu’un pauvre imprudent dans ce petit monde européen. Et ce n’est pas l’étincelle de passion, qui nous guide, vous et moi, qui aidera les milliers d’incompétents* de mon espèce à entamer une carrière européenne ! 

Comme beaucoup d’autres avant moi, je suis contraint d’avouer que ma modeste expérience dans le web et la communication ne correspond pas à la perfection recherchée par EPSO. Je me consolerai en pensant à mes parents et amis à qui je sais expliquer en français, avec des mots simples et du coeur, ce que l’Europe fait pour eux et pourquoi. Comme quoi, les concours alambiqués, l’argent, les tonnes de brochures et les médias sociaux utilisés à tort et travers ne font pas tout…

Sans rancune Agne !? Peut-être nous croiserons-nous un jour prochain à Bruxelles, qui sait ?

Bien à vous,

Cédric, alias l’Européen jamais content.

PS: En écho au “Wind of change” sur votre blog, je me permets de vous offrir à mon tour cette petite pause musicale qui, je l’espère, vous ravira…

 
* C’est la conclusion que j’en tire après deux échecs à vos concours.

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20 commentaires




  1. mathew

    Trust me, mate, you’re better off outside, in the real world.

    I passed the first round of that competition as I neared the end of my era as a contractual agent. I enjoyed my time there (some of the time), but when I got that invitation to the second round I took a look at my life, and my personality, and decided to not go.

    Haven’t regretted it once since.



  2. agnema

    Dear, Cedric,

    I am thrilled, of course, but I feel it’s a shame you are throwing pearls before swine with this – beautiful, indeed! – verbal flush of Moliere’s tongue. In fact it even hinders my smooth understanding of your message – as a communication expert you should be able to adapt your text to a non-native speaker or were you expecting me to fail on grasping your bitter irony of someone, who has reasons for bitterness and even gives these out in the footnote? I understand you are nervous, but not so evil! As for my “like” of your FB, I thought it’s better if you have 44 rather than 43, sorry if I misunderstood the intention – anyway I am glad I like you, otherwise might have missed this ode for myself – still more at ease with FB than a Twitter buzz. Just in case military terms and WWII visuals in your post mean that fight is your intention, let’s rather move to my territory: what about formulating specific questions as comments to my blog? One by one, pls, not mixing together our non perfect first year in SM, recruitment policies set up not by EPSO, best practices on how to reduce 50000 candidates to the number that could be realistically processed by jury without extending process ad infinitum and similar.
    Triste, crash, ranceur – I am too old and too busy for this kind of reactions – suggest we indeed meet (well, I am not soooo old) and talk about things that bother you and your audience. I’m happy to be of a help – and have an idea how you could be of a help for us too. Imagine all the people…



  3. Maitresinh

    je suis un peu “off” la microeurosphere, et je vais juste faire un commentaire hors sujet de forme, mais quelle forme : la diversité est au coeur du projet européen, mais encore une fois, le tout anglais est roi sur le blog que tu pointes (que les commentaires soient en anglais, c’est autre chose s’il s’agit de leur langue maternelle)

    O sea que, no se, me llamaran de chauvinista o lo que quieran, pero, tratandose de comunicacion, creo que no se trata de un detallito.

    Apart from that, Cedric, keep doing the good job. I’m afraid we are not so many apassionate of both europe and pop-ular culture…



  4. Cédric Puisney

    @Mathew: It depends on what you can get in the real world. If only you’ve a chance to get it…

    @Agne: Don’t worry, this no WWII, I won’t send you any rocket! I also liked your bitter sweet blog post about me very much. It’s just sad that I had to write such a harsh article to be heard in this tiny bubble! Don’t misjudge me, I just can’t stand what seems to me as unfair, that’s all. As for the rest, you’re right, let’s meet irl and have a chat like adults do. ;-)



  5. mathew

    What you can get in the real world is control over your life – where you work, who you work with, what you do, why you do it. None of this control is available to functionnaires.



  6. agnema

    @Cedric: deal then. Time and place agreed. @Mathew: control over your life is something you take yourself, not wait untill it is available. Life time contract is not life time sentence – though I agree, quite few destinies have been smashed by golden cage syndrom. Still at the end it all depends on how strong, daring and genuine you are.



  7. mathew

    @agnema, You certainly have a way with words – you have never met me, know nothing about me, but apparently you’ve diagnosed me from afar and concluded that I’m not enough strong, daring or genuine enough *to stay inside the European Commission*??

    Wow. What planet do you live on – Arrogance III, orbiting the Dark Star Delusional IV in the distant galaxy of Denial? The people who know me think I was being strong and true to myself when I passed up the opportunity to stay.

    Working at the EC was the closest I’ve come to working in a sheltered workshop I’ll ever experience. I had colleagues who didn’t know how to make a table in Word. And not one of them really believed they were in control – at any given moment they could be transferred somewhere else to work in a field they had no experience, following deals made by people they’d never met. Happens all the time.

    And I can’t be the only one who feels this way, because the next person to join my team is leaving a functionnaire position next week to do so ;-)



  8. agnema

    @Mathew: never met you indeed, hope to do this one day. Could be next Monday evening, Cedric knows time and place. I did not diagnose you – but now would guess you have a grain of egocentrism to apply to yourself what I meant rather for myself and functionaires as a breed. Or my relative inexperience in the very genre of comments to the blog and failure to express clearly my point: I did not mean it is not daring enough to opt out of the possibility to be a fonctionnaire (though eeh, well – you will again accuse me of arrogance, but Aesop tale about fox and grapes comes to my mind), certainly it is brave to cut out off the golden cage (provided you are in) , but what is even more daring and less of a surrender – to try to stay strong and genuine in the surrounding which is different from what you think it should be. To try to change culture of organisation which is older than you and multinational by definition – that sounds indeed a pathetic task, but to keep doing what you think you should be doing in order change would one day happen – let it be a tiny change in a tiny corner – that’s a courage and resilience. I can’t blame you for opting out off the challenge to bring difference into the organisation which is too big, too political and too clumsy to adopt change easily – indeed if we believe there is only one life it makes sense to spend it the way that you’ll get more tangible and more immediate results. I am just not happy you did not think of saving taxpayer’s money on your CBT testing by thinking in advance whether EU careers is indeed what you want – but there you are not the only one.



  9. agnema

    @Maitresinh Just to draw your attention to the fact that the blog Cedric was referring to was my personal blog, and pls allow me the choice to do it in whatever language – my native Lithuanian or anything else that would allow me to express my thoughts by not getting ridiculised by google translation. What I am sure about from this weeks experience, is that we need to set up an official EU careers blog and there we will try to cover for more variety of languages – might be at the expense of rapidity and genuiness, depends on the resources we will be able to put into it.



  10. Maitresinh

    quote: What I am sure about from this weeks experience, is that we need to set up an official EU careers blog and there we will try to cover for more variety of languages (…)

    Agnen It’s the only thing i wanted to hear. Hopefully, it will be also in Lithuanian, or at least German, French, Italian, spanish and Polish.

    Cedric, tu vois, on a déja la un potentiel effet positif :)
    C’est la premiere fois que j’en constate un…bon, il n’est encore que potentiel..



  11. mathew

    You write that I “surrendered” because I gave up “trying to change culture of organisation which is older than you and multinational”. Also, that I didn’t have the “courage and resilience” to keep at it, opting for “more immediate results”.

    So, once again you make assumptions and judgements about someone you know little, if at all. Such a patronising, judgemental attitude is not a successful strategy for EU social media.

    One must always be true to oneself, and I just *knew* that I belong in the private sector – which rewards effort, talent and determination – rather than in a public bureaucracy which rewards political infighting and putting oneself ahead of the job.

    But also, because I saw that I was more likely to effect a change from the outside than from within. For example, after leaving the EC I launched Blogactiv.eu, probably making more of a difference in those 3 months than in the preceding 6 years at the EC, during which I probably spent an entire year writing internal notes, and two years fighting turf wars.



  12. agnema

    @Mathew: keep calling me arrogant and judgemental and I will keep calling you self-centred – again, I did not say YOU surrended – also because you have never been truly a functionnaire (as far as I can deduct from your comments without knowing who your grandma is). Also views I express in my own blog and in the comments as reactions to reactions to the same personal blog post – these is my own, not EU SM strategy. It mainly stems from my believe that at least in social media we can call things straight what we think they are, and be open to rephrase statements and change attitudes when pointed out where we were wrong. Might be cultural – but in the circles were I’ve got my SM bapteme there is zero level of tolerance for any attempt of political correctness or “being nice-ness”: say what you want to say, no nonsense or you get banned.
    I noticed your blogactive – and think it is great. Have bookmarked your post http://mathew.blogactiv.eu/2012/01/21/of-technocrats-journalistic-balance-and-telling-eu-stories/
    and wait for a calmer weekend to reflect on it in writing – because it is so true what you say there (serious, no nonsense). It’s great you’ve found place where you can make a difference, but you see, for me to make a difference would mean to find people who would be able to make difference being INSIDE EU institutions. We would need to meet round Cedric’s beer (did he not agree to pay?) to argue whether it simply means I am naive and stupid idealist or whether we indeed live under the wind of changes.



  13. mathew

    Well, it’s no longer my blogactiv – I only stuck around long enough to get it launched and then moved on.

    You know, I only made my original comment to Cedric to let him know that it’s not the end of the world to not get a job inside the EC, simply because it’s no picnic to be trapped in a gilded cage, with little control.

    I have absolutely no reason to take your comments personally, unless that is how they actually appear. So consider this ‘user feedback’ if you like, and have a nice weekend.



  14. agnema

    @Maitresinh: deal then – posts in German, French, Italian, Spanish and Polish, as requested by someone I did not know this morning yet – in official EU careers blog when it appears. Might not necessarily be in this order, and might have more English ones in between. Also don’t promise to ensure dealing with comments in all of these languages. Slightly upset about Lithuanian not qualifying for “at least”, check this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQUi2k4ek3E and maybe change your mind?



  15. agnema

    @mathew I felt there should have been something wrong with me not understanding the rules to have us growling each at other all day long. For me to put @mathew just meant to show that it was your comment that triggered flow of my old thoughts, not that they were comments on you as a person. Was I terribly wrong? Will watch more caredully this usage of @. As for your advice to Cedric as it is formulated in your last comment – it is different from that in the first: more explicit and easier to understand. I couldn’t describe better – though still believe things are slowly changing, quicker in some parts of institution and stickier in others. Good Cedric also gets some real value from his blog post :) Thanks a lot for all feedback and have nice WE too



  16. mathew

    @agnema It takes two to tango – i.e., I take part of the responsibility, principally for not giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    Perhaps because I don’t see yesterday as qualifying even as growling. If you want to get a picture of what you can expect when you discuss the EU in social media, check out my post about tackling Eurotrolls when I launched Blogactiv. It may give you pause.



  17. Cédric Puisney

    @Maitresinh: Il y a un vrai changement de paradigme qui est en train de s’opérer à Bruxelles depuis 2 ans, nous autres petits blogueurs y sommes lus et parfois même suivis avec intérêt. On verra ce que donne ce blog EPSO, mais sur le papier, je ne peux qu’approuver moi aussi.

    @Mathew: Attention à l’auto-promotion…

    @Mathew & @Agne: There’s no unique EU best career path. You just have to choose what fits you best and that’s what you guys have done. You can choose the business part and make money from the EU or you can choose to be an idealist and serve the EU general interest. Obviously some former idealists also happen to make business eventually…



  18. Maitresinh

    Ca me titille pour que je m’y remette en nettoyant et recentrant…et l’être suprême sait combien je garde de posts dans mes cartons. Mais bon, vu que le ratio temps/effet est encore enorme et incertain, et encore plus sur les questions que je traite…



  19. mathew

    You misrepresent me, sir! ;-) In fact she’d already discovered my blog; I was just pointing her to a very old (and hence difficult to find) post which – given her online sensitivity to my very light teasing – I thought she might find useful preparation for a career spent representing the EU in social media.

    As for ‘business vs idealism’, you have this completely backwards.

    It’s inside the actual Institutions where where the real cynics are to be found. My all-time favourite saying in such discussions is: “If you love the EU, stay away from Brussels”. Those inside the Institutions have generally seen too much, but stick it out anyway because of what agnema accurately described as ‘gilded cage syndrome’.

    It’s outside the Institutions where you’ll find plenty of young idealists … and they’re all trying to get in.

    And among them the occasional mid-lifer, like me, who is idealistic enough to stay in EU comms despite everything he’s seen after 20 years in Brussels.

    Personally, I am making about the same money outside as I did inside – the main difference, in terms of conditions, is the holidays, which functionaires get in abundance. On the other hand, I have more control over what I do, and genuinely feel I’m making a more concrete contribution.

    But I could be making much more money if I looked to private sector clients, for whom quality communications is not an afterthought. I just can’t bring myself to sell soap powder.



  20. Manuonzeroad

    Etant un fonctionnaire européen moi-même (mais étant passé par les concours à une époque où on nous interrogeait encore sur nos connaissances et notre motivation – et encore…), je suis forcé de souscrire à 100% à ce que dit Cédric…
    Je ne sais pas quand vous vous voyez, mais je donnerais cher pour assister à la rencontre!


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