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The present study describes, compares and analyzes selected legal safeguards that are in place in the United Nations Secretariat and in the European Commission in order to guarantee the independence and impartiality of their staff. Despite the fact that the nature, structure and functions of the United Nations and the European Union are generally regarded as dissimilar, both organizations are based on the same concept of international civil service, requiring international civil servants to act independently from Member States’ governments or any other external authority. This concept defines and underlines the overall human resources policies of both the UN and the EU. The present study analyzes specific parts of the UN and EU policies, namely those related to the staff appointment, placement and separation from service. They mark the entire employment cycle of international staff and are of direct relevance to the independence and impartiality of UN and EU staff. The study focuses on recent developments that have taken place in the United Nations Secretariat and the European Commission over the last decade as a result of their extensive human resources management reforms.