Friday, 26 June 2009

Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Since 2007 I have been successful in the Open Competition organized by EPSO for ADMINISTRATORS (AD5) level:
EPSO/AD/53/06 - CYPRIOT CITIZENSHIP (CY), Field 3: Economics. [1]

Furthermore since March 2009 I am participating in a 5 months period traineeship programme within the Directorate-General of the European Commission Humanitarian-aid Office (D-G ECHO) in Brussels, Belgium. As part of the Finance Management Unit I have taken both administrative and assistant level responsibilities inter alia assessment of NGOs candidates, monitoring of late payment interest and administrative and logistical support.

My Academic and Professional background could be summarized as the following. My Scientific interests and goals are related to the branch of Social Sciences. More specifically I am reffering to the scientific disciplines of Economic Science, Political Science and International Relations. My Professional interests and goals are related to posts concerning the field International Relations and Economics applied through employment in International Organizations.

I studied at the department of Economics of the Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki graduating with a BSc (Ptychio) in Economics and specialised in the Division of Business Studies. Moreover I followed an exchange student’s programme of the EC (Socrates-Erasmus) in Budapest Business School in Hungary attending modules regarding Strategic Marketing studies and Understanding East-Central European Countries in the framework of the European Union. Especially the last one instigated my interest in Political Science and International Relations.

After graduation and for a period of more than five years I worked in the private business sector in Cyprus and Thessaloniki with a short break being a volunteer in the Athens Olympics in 2004. Mainly I worked at the Bank of Cyprus in Thessaloniki for a period of four years where I seized the opportunity to apply the economic knowledge I had acquired from my studies. To be exact I mainly focused in sales & marketing methods in the area of consumer and business credit aiming to increase the turnover of banking products such as business loans, accrual accounts, overdrafts and long-term deposits. Moreover I negotiated on behalf of the Bank of its clients or potential client’s salary scheme agreements, i.e. negotiating with public services and private enterprises of the framework of their payroll schemes and indicating their benefits if the payroll is carried out through the Bank of Cyprus channels.

Simultaneously with my professional life I decided to continue my studies in the fields of Political Science and International Relations. For that reason and for the time being, I am pursuing a second degree at the department of International and European Studies of the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki aiming to graduate the soonest possible with a BA (Ptychio) in International and European Studies.

Studying International and European Studies gave to me the impetus to further continue my studies in a higher level. That was possible due to the fact of holding a Bachelor degree. Hence I am pursuing a Post-Graduate Degree in International Studies at the aforementioned department aiming to graduate till the end of 2009 with a MA (Metaptychiako) in International Studies, having left only to write my thesis. Namely I intend to put forward my arguments on a potential solution of the Cyprus problem in the framework of Regional International Organizations such as the EU and NATO.

Involvement in civil society includes inter alia the representation of my fellow students in Aristotle’s University at the Students Council and the Senate of the University during my studies. Moreover I was the Treasurer of the Greek Association of Political Science Students (GAPSS) and currently I am involved in the alumni commission of the GAPSS, member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) based in Ljubljana, Slovenia and a member of the Solidarity sub-committee of the trainees in the EC. In addition, the completion of military service with an officer’s grade in Cyprus National Guard along with the aforementioned activities has improved my organisational competences in coordination and administration of people and further enhanced my organisational and communicational skills in the application of project and team management.

Summarizing, my previous experience in the private business sector through my employment in a bank, an insurance company and in the family enterprise along with the attendance in several vocational training seminars related to the afore mentioned enterprises gives to me the necessary capabilities and professional skills and competences to meet the expectations required by working in an international organization. My background studies in Economics, Political Science and International Relations, the participation in several Conferences and Models with themes on International Organizations such as the UN, NATO and EU, and involvement in the IAPSS and GAPSS NGOs cultivated my interest for working in one of the Institutions of the European Union. Furthermore the study experience abroad (Erasmus), the volunteer experience during the Olympic Games (Athens 2004) and the traineeship experience in the European Commission (D-G ECHO) has enhanced my skill of interacting with people in a multinational and culturally-diverse working environment.

Using the professional experience along with the academic knowledge I have acquired I am strongly motivated to work for the European Union Institutions. Working for the EU is very challenging for me since I have taken part in the experience of the European Integration project since inter alia the introduction of Euro in 2002 in Greece and the accession of Cyprus in the EU in 2004. My expectations are to undertake responsibilities equivalent to civil servants of the EU as soon as possible bearing in mind that civil servants working for the EU are called to face a wide field of tasks and responsibilities which are placed in an international professional environment. To conclude with, the curriculum of my studies together with the cumulative work environment know-how I have acquired gives to me the strong background needed in order to face this challenge.


Vasilis Kiliaris

[1] The information has been extracted from the Reserve lists published in the EU website: [25 June 2009]

Monday, 15 June 2009

Solidarity Sub-Committee Vs Study Trip Teams

With this article my aim is not to provoke or dispute the quality, the efforts, the morality and the integrity of my fellow Stagiaires in this Spring Stage Program in the European Commission. On the contrary I intend to present my personal opinion of the role of the Stagiaires in the EC based on my personal experience and point of view being both a member of a Study Trip Team, i.e. AIDCO-ECHO Stagiaires Study Trip Team, and a member of the Solidarity Sub-Committee.
The Stage program offers numerous opportunities for a Stagiaire to actively participate in the most of them exploding his/her limited amount of time during the stage period. The Stage Committee having under its auspices the Sub-Committees is responsible for running a smooth and fruitful program for the complete body of the Stagiaires Community. These Sub-Committees have a different concept and role during the whole period of the Stage. A leading position, even though this is equal among others, has the Solidarity Sub-Committee.
The Solidarity Sub-Committee (SSC) is a group of the European Commission Stagiaires who share the common interest in the problems faced by less fortunate people in the World. Furthermore the SSC has the privilege to be the one and only Sub-Committee responsible to carry through the most important mission of the Stagiaires Association, i.e. to provide a considerable amount of money to the EC personnel NGO “Europe Third World” (ETW) in order to implement in a successful way one of their humanitarian aid projects in the developing world.
The SSC inter alia assists the Stage Committee or the other Sub-Committees to implement their projects and events by providing labor working hours for the tasks assigned to the SSC by the last, e.g. the SSC members work on a volunteer base on the cloakrooms of the parties organized during the stage period. Furthermore the SSC organize its own projects and events in order to have a successful fundraising strategy in regard with the financing of the aforementioned Project of the NGO ETW, e.g. the SSC organize pub quiz, film projections and dance classes for the EC personnel and their fellow Stagiaires. Last but not least the SSC has the sole responsibility to bring into success the biannual Awareness Week (AW) in regard with the NGO ETW, its Vision and Mission and the Project finance in a developing country.
On the other hand the Stagiaires involved in the Study Trip Teams (STT) dedicate a significant amount of their personal time in order to implement their tasks in regard with a successful fundraising strategy in order to support their project, i.e. to visit an EC Delegation in a developing country. This strategy involves inter alia different types of events and activities, inter alia parties, sales of products and extraordinary events such as pub quiz, speed dating evenings etc. The aim of the Study Trip (ST) organized by the Stagiaires in D-G AIDCO and D-G ECHO is to view concrete results and direct impact of Europe Aid and Humanitarian Aid projects on the field following the theoretical phase of the stage in Brussels.
Analyzing both strategies someone can easily recognize the difference on the concept of each party and the similarities of the means used to realize their cause. Having in mind the limited potential budget each Stagiaire has from the beginning of his/her stage period – 5 000 to 6 000 EUR – we realize that this budget has also limited potentials in order to finance the above mentioned projects. This contradiction has as a result the two parties to consider themselves as competitors and not as partners. Just imagine if every Directorate-General organized its own STT. For example D-G RELEX could also have a ST in an EC Delegation abroad. D-G JLS could have a ST in the Schengen area countries and D-G TRADE a ST in China etc. Their possibilities to succeed on their goal would be minimized and they would be compelled to expand their fundraising strategy outside the Stage community circle by including on their target group the whole body of the EC personnel and the local civil society actors in Brussels and abroad.
To conclude with, my personal opinion on this issue is that the limited period of time of five months and the limited budget each Stagiaire has during his/her Stage program can only be productively, efficiently and effectively utilized if there is a commitment on the Vision and Mission of both the EU/EC traineeship and the Stage Committee. This Vision can only be carried out through the official channels of the program, i.e. the Sub-Committees. Hence a Solidarity and Voluntary based mentality is sine qua non in order for their role to be successfully implemented.


The EC Trainees present the Awareness Week

SOLIDARITY Sub-Committee

Subject: Guidelines for the Awareness Week

The EC Trainees present the Awareness Week

What is the Awareness Week

[EN] The Awareness Week (AW) is organized each year by Stagiaires of the Commission belonging to the Solidarity Sub-Committee (SSC). [1] The concept of the AW is to arouse the interest on Developing Countries problems and their current situation. The target group is the European Community’s civil servants working in the Institutions of the EC mainly located in Brussels. For that purpose during the working days of a whole week, twice a year, the trainees are trying to inform and aware the EC personnel via inter alia stand points, flyers, newsletters etc. Furthermore an extraordinary closing event is taking place on the last day of the AW. Moreover a fund raising campaign is planned in order to finance a project selected each year by the previous SSC that had been already evaluated and being in process during the current mandate of the SSC. [2] This year’s project is located in Burma (Myanmar) following the Cyclone Nargis side effects.

When: 15-19 June 2009
Where: EC Buildings
How you can contribute: Donate and join us on the last day open air event (19th of June)

[1] The Solidarity Sub-Committee is a group of the European Commission Stagiaires who share the common interest in the problems faced by less fortunate people in the World.
[2] The project is evaluated and selected by the Commission’s personnel NGO “Europe Third World” (ETW).
For more information regarding ETW read Annex I : EUROPE-THIRD WORLD INFORMATION BULLETIN