Introduction:The foregoing chapters of this book have demonstrated the extent to which national civil servants are involved in EU-related activities, and the dynamics of national administrative activities in the context of the EU. This chapter shifts the focus from national civil servants working on the European Union to national civil servants working for the European Union. This is a class of national civil servants for whom finding a balance between national and European interests in their work is a permanent, although sometimes implicit feature of their daily professional activities. The duality of national and European roles is perhaps the most exacerbated for the seconded national experts (SNEs), i.e. national civil servants who are temporarily working for EU institutions, in particular those seconded to the European Commission.2 On the one hand, Commission SNEs have to be loyal to the Commission and represent European interests in this supranational organ of the EU. On the other hand, their employer is still the member-state government, and they are expected to return to their home organization after their secondment term ends. The SNEs are thus practically torn between two employers: their daily employer under whose supervision they work (the Commission) and the national employer who sent them on the secondment and continues to pay their salaries (the member-state).

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Note Ch. 5 in K. Geuijen, P. 't Hart, S. Princen & K. Yesilkagit (Eds.), National Civil Servants in EU Policy-Making (pp. 103-127). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Suvarierol, S., & van den Berg, C.. (2008). Bridge-builders or Bridgeheads in Brussels? The World of Seconded National Experts. Retrieved from