Agencies and freelance bidding for EU projects
Thread poster: Ruxi

German to Romanian
+ ...
Jan 10, 2007

I don't know which the proper forum area would be for such a question, so the moderators can place it where appropriate.
I thought for a long time to ask this question, but always postponed as I did not want to bring potential/possible offending to any agency.
My problem is that I wish to understand the way it works and what makes agencies, people and not at least the EU to do it this way. What do they gain?
My questions:
1. Is there anybody here who bidded directly or through an agency to EU projects with success?
2. What is the normal way to work? The agency first "collects" translators/CV's and then bids, or vice-versa?
I have usually noticed the first way to work and wonder wether it is correct and efficient (for both parts).
It is actually like wrong to promise to translators the bird on the tree and only use their documents. What do agencies gain this way?
3. Do you as a matter of fact agree with and accept potential jobs?
4. Does EU prefer agencies to individual freelance?
My experience is rather negative related to this questions:
1. Tried to bid twice through agencies. one has contacted me, one has posted the job some days ago on the site.
There are no bids actually posted on the EU website, so I don't even know wether it is a real project, they do not keep contact and not even write to announce you: "sorry, I lost, or I don't need you anymore".
Other agencies don't even mention details for the job (field, for which period of time aso).
2. Bidding directly - EU actually prefers agencies, because of security, financial security and management matters. Real skills seem not to be very important.

So what is your experience and how should one consider such potential jobs? Are they worth?

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Thomas Roberts  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Depends on the agency Jan 10, 2007

With very few exceptions, EC jobs are tendered out to agencies. The agencies can only submit a bid once they have assembled a portfolio of translators (otherwise how can the EC trust them?). This means that you have to contact the agency before the bid is submitted. The EC choses the agency which has the most reliable portfolio, so quality seems to be most important. They draw up a list of tender winners, then start offering work to the first on the list. Whenever the first starts turning work down or produces substandard work, then turn to the next on the list. In my (albeit limited) experience a lot of importance is given to skills, and translations are double checked by internal EC translators anyway, who can pick up on bad quality work.

Invitations to tender should be published in the Official Journal.

Some EC institutions do exceptionally accept offers of freelance collaboration, but unless this is specifically indicated on the website of the relevant organisation you can assume that they do not.

Economically is normally a good thing, but then this depends upon how much the agency is willing to pay you and how low the agency has to bid to win the tender.

Sometimes you might apply through several agencies for the same tender. Whether your agency wins or not depends more on the overall skills offered by the agency rather than on your own specific position.

If you really like this kind of work, the OJ publishes notices of official competitions for internal translators, which are really nice posts....

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Aleksandra Kwasnik  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:29
Polish to German
+ ...
Two other topic Jan 10, 2007

Hi Ruxi,

those two topics might also be interesting for you:


[Edited at 2007-01-10 11:58]

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