What Works in Career Path Development for Freelancers in Civilian CSDP missions

Summary: Based on individual interviews with EU Member States and three workshops jointly organised by DCAF and Ireland chairing a cluster discussion on career path development, this report presents good practices for freelancers' secondment in civilian CSDP missions.

The aim of this report is to highlight what works among the EUMS and to show some of the good practices that may inspire others to improve the number and quality of freelancers deployed to civilian CSDP missions. The main issue at stake is that EUMS have difficulties in reaching the target of 70% of secondees and in fulfilling all the positions required for a functioning mission. After exploring the reasons for that, and presenting the existing systems in different MS, the report presents seven  identified good practices:

  • Establish strong legislation and a common political engagement for international missions, backed-up by senior leadership of line ministries and institutions leading by example.
  • Dedicate resources to manage a large pool of potential candidates for deployment and all seconded freelancers.
  • Use an open, non-restrictive roster of experts as a tool for managing the potential candidates and the freelancers deployed.
  • Offer freelancers the same working conditions as to civil servants and recognise the differences in terms of job security and life-long career path. 
  • Ensure a proper preparation for freelancers before and during the deployment.
  • Keep regular contacts with the freelancers during and after their deployment.
  • Invest in career path development for freelancers to reach more strategic positions with a specific focus on women. 

Reference: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) (2021). What Works in Career Path Development for Freelancers in Civilian CSDP missions: a review of EU MS good practices


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