Examinations for entry into Belgium’s foreign service will be restricted to French-speakers only this year, in an attempt to restore the balance of French- and Dutch-speakers.
The measure was announced this week by the minister for foreign affairs and defence Philippe Goffin (MR). A procedure for the selection of new entrants to the diplomatic corps will be organised by the government’s recruitment agency Selor, provisionally for 27 January.
French is usually described as the language of diplomacy, but the Belgian corps is suffering from a shortage of native French speakers. The service is now looking for graduates from the French-speaking universities, regardless of academic discipline, to fill one of the 30 posts vacant from the corps of 117 diplomatic and consular posts, divided into three areas: diplomatic, consular and development policy. Some of the posts are for immediate entry, while others will see the successful candidate placed on a waiting list.
“In light of the linguistic prerequisites required to take part in this selection round, the foreign affairs ministry recommends that candidates interested in this exceptional career consult the Selor website and that of the ministry as soon as possible,” the ministry advises.
Meanwhile on Monday 27 January, an information session is planned at 18.00 in the Egmont Palace in Brussels for information on the entrance exam, the internship and the career of a diplomat. Interested parties must sign up on the foreign affairs website from Monday 13 January.