Alexander: EU needs more Brits

The government should send more civil servants to the European Commission (EC) as part of their regular career paths, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said.

By Winnie.Agbonlahor

29 Nov 2013

Speaking in London last week, Alexander (pictured above) said the benefits of increasing the number of British civil servants in the EC would be two-fold: it would both enable Britain to better influence the way the EU is reformed, and help government to “understand how the European Union process works” when these officials return to Britain.

Currently, the UK provides up only 5% of EU staff, although it represents 12% of the EU’s population. Alexander told CSW that he’s “not sure what the reasons are”.

Simon Fraser, permanent secretary at the Foreign Office, told CSW it’s down to a lack of language skills among the British workforce. His department has launched a new drive to encourage more applications.

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