Understanding the EU Civil Service: The General Secretariat of the Council Understanding the EU Civil Service: The General Secretariat of the Council

Despite its role supporting the Council of the European and the European Council, the General Secretariat of the Council is a well-kept secret. It stays out of the public eye and has attracted limited scholarly attention. As a result, little is known about its internal operation or about the people who work for it.

Ours is the first project on the Council Secretariat to be conducted by independent researchers. In keeping with the wider ambitions of our research on the EU administration, it aims to advance knowledge of the Council Secretariat. At a time when public administrations face severe challenges and increasing demands for transparency, it puts accepted wisdoms about ‘Brussels’ and ‘Eurocrats’ to the empirical test. 

The project asks a series of important questions:

  • Who are the people who work for the GSC? What are their educational and professional backgrounds? What are their values and beliefs?
  • How do personnel rate their career prospects and to what extent do they feel supported in their career development ambitions?
  •  What do staff think about the GSC’s organizational culture? Do they believe that the different parts of the organization work effectively together? 
  • Do staff feel well-managed? Do managers think that they have the right tools and resources to carry out their responsibilities?
  • What, if anything, do staff think needs to change about the GSC’s organization or working methods? Do staff have confidence in the GSC’s change management capacity?

Our findings draw on telephone interviews, a large-scale online survey, two rounds of interviews with staff across the organization, and several focus groups. For more information, we invite you to follow the links below:

•    The Project Team

•    Data Collection and Fieldwork

•    FAQs

•    News

•    Publications

•    Briefings (coming soon)


For further information, please contact Hussein Kassim h.kassim@uea.ac.uk  or Sara Connolly sara.connolly@uea.ac.uk