Contrary to EU officials who are recruited for permanent contracts, contract staff are employed for a fixed maximum period, often with a shorter initial contract of 6-12 months, depending on the type of the job. In some EU bodies, it may be possible for the contract to be extended for an indefinite duration.
Contract staff (CAST) are recruited to do manual or administrative support–service tasks or to provide additional capacity in specialised fields where insufficient officials with the required skills are available.
There are four function groups for this category of staff:
I. manual and administrative support-service tasks
II. clerical or secretarial tasks, office management and other equivalent tasks
III. executive tasks, drafting, accountancy and other equivalent technical tasks
IV. administrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks.