POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Kersch: open civil service to non-nationals



Dan Kersch, minister in charge of the civil service, wants to reform entry conditions and the exam for the civil service. (Luc Deflorenne/Archives)

Dan Kersch, minister in charge of the civil service, wants to reform entry conditions and the exam for the civil service. (Luc Deflorenne/Archives)

Dan Kersch, minister in charge of the civil service and administrative reform, has said he is in favour of changing the entry exams for the civil service and has floated the idea of opening it more widely to foreign residents.

In an interview with RTL radio on Thursday 16 November, Kersch said that there was a shortage of staff in certain areas, such as education, tax administration, and IT. He added that the Luxembourg civil service had to cater for 900,000 people (including cross-border workers), but could only draw from a pool of potential recruits of 300,000, as half of the resident population does not have Luxembourg citizenship.

Therefore, it might be a good idea to relax entry conditions, and while citizenship may no longer be a crucial criterion, speaking Luxembourgish and the other two official languages (French and German) would still be important. However, Kersch added the caveat that the civil service would not be entirely made open to non-Luxembourg nationals, just certain areas.

Furthermore, the minister wants a reform of the exam to enter the civil service, because too many candidates fail. It should focus more on those issues and subjects which are needed in the civil service, and candidates should be better prepared. The reform should be on the table in spring or summer 2018.

CGFP (civil service union) secretary general Steve Heiliger told RTL that currently 10% of civil servants were foreign residents, and that the union saw it as a positive step. However, Heiliger said that all areas of te civil service that were sensitive (“puissance publique”) should stay reserved for citizens.