To me, European Union membership is all about widening our possibilities as Maltese. Our freedoms and rights as Europeans translate into wider access to opportunities be they in our personal choices, employment or business as citizens and consumers. This week I came across an initiative meant to widen further that accessibility in another field, where it matters indeed.
The European Personnel Selection Office(EPSO), the guys charged to select the best professionals to work for the EU institutions, have launched a call for cooperation with disability organisations to spread the word on the possibilities of working for the EU.
The good thing about this goes beyond the involvement of disability organisations in collaborating closely with the European selection office. The initiative also includes an active adaptation of European Union recruitment techniques to allow a fairer level playing field for the participation of persons with disabilities in written and oral exams. European recruitment procedures are now meant to adapt to the particular disability of the person concerned.
To this end, EPSO introduced a series of practical adaptations to assessment exams for recruiting EU officials from the physical adaptation of testing facilities to a more selective adaptation of assessment parameters. To my mind, these adaptations will need to be tested with against use in order to be refined to deliver up to expectation.
The well-known adage in education comes to mind that our educational methods frequently pretend us to climb trees when some may be agile monkeys while others are zebras or crocodiles. If we devise the matrix of our society on the abilities of a few, then certain opportunities will simply be inaccessible to many of us. That is as unjust as it is inefficient in a society which wants to make the best out of its every asset.
What’s your role in this? We can all help by spreading the word in Malta within organisations and with concerned individuals about EU employment opportunities. From the EU institutions’ side, we are duty-bound to ensure the widest access, now it is up to the Maltese to test the system. More information here: https://epso.europa.eu/content/join-our-network-disability-organisations_en
Dr Peter Agius is a European Official and PN candidate for the European Elections