Country Officer - FMO

The Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) is the secretariat of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, and is affiliated to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Brussels.

We are looking for highly motivated and qualified candidates to fill a Country Officer vacancy.

The overall objectives of the Grants are to reduce economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and to strengthen bilateral relations between the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the 15 Beneficiary States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).

The Grants are based on a programme model where the Beneficiary States are responsible for the programmes and for projects implemented under the programmes. Some programmes and funds, notably regarding civil society, regional cooperation and decent work and a small number of energy and innovation programmes, are under the responsibility of the FMO.

The allocation for the funding period (2014-2021) totals €2.8 billion. The priority sectors in the period 2014-2021 are:
• Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness;
• Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction;
• Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy;
• Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms;
• Justice and Home Affairs.

The FMO offers an international, stimulating and diverse workplace, with a current staff of over 70 employees comprising about 20 nationalities. Our values are:
• Professionalism;
• Cooperation; and
• Trust, responsibility and respect.

For more information please check our website: www.eeagrants.org.

The position is open to nationals of the EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and to nationals of the member states of the European Union.

Division
Financial Mechanism Office
Location
Brussels
Lattitude
50.8462720094659
Longitude
4.370340409394657
Category/Level
A4
Duration of Appointment
Fixed-term three years (renewable once if in the interest of the FMO)
Start Date
1 July 2022
Closing Date
23-01-2022
Job Reference
VA 21/2021

Scope

The Country Officer serves as the primary contact point between the FMO, the National Focal Points (NFP) in Beneficiary State(s) and the Donor States. S/he provides country coordination, maintains oversight of and follows up on the implementation of the Grants in the assigned Beneficiary State, coordinates the preparation of Annual Meetings, provides guidance to the National Focal points on policy questions related to the Grants, contributes to work on the bilateral objective of the Grants and follows political, social and economic developments in the assigned Beneficiary State(s). S/he is also expected to have analytical abilities and be able to contribute to risk analysis and cross-cutting analysis of developments across Beneficiary States. The work also includes administrative tasks related to these responsibilities. The position involves frequent travel of short duration.

The Country Officer reports to the Director of the Country and Bilateral Cooperation Department.

Tasks
• Maintain oversight of the implementation of the Grants in Beneficiary State(s) of responsibility;
• Follow political, social and economic developments in the Beneficiary States(s);
• Participate actively in relevant FMO programme teams;
• Provide country expertise both internally at the FMO and externally to the Donor States;
• Work with Beneficiary State(s) and Donor States actors to enhance bilateral relations;
• Liaise with Donor States embassies to the Beneficiary State(s) as well as relevant EU institutions and partner organisations;
• Guide the National Focal Points on all questions related to the Grants, and coordinate internal FMO work related to the Beneficiary State(s) of responsibility;
• Coordinate preparation and follow-up of Annual Meetings between the Donor States and Beneficiary States;
• Assess Beneficiary States reporting to FMO and report to the Donor States and other stakeholders on results;
• Contribute to the implementation of the FMO’s risk management strategy;
• Contribute to other organisational and departmental horizontal tasks and fulfil administrative tasks in relation to the work.

Qualifications

Relevant University degree, Master’s level.

Experience

A minimum of 6 years of relevant work experience in public administration, diplomacy or international organisations is required. A combination of work experience in these sectors and programme management would be an asset. Relevant work experience in or with one or several of the Beneficiary States is an asset. For this position working experience with the EEA and Norway Grants, EU or other international funding schemes in Bulgaria would be considered a further asset.

Skills

• Analytical skills in respect of monitoring of progress of implementation as well as monitoring of political, social and economic developments;
• Ability to draft reports and analytical papers, and to present complex issues clearly and convincingly;
• Result-oriented, proactive and cooperative approach;
• Excellent diplomatic and negotiation skills;
• Strong interpersonal abilities, including a dynamic and flexible attitude, and cultural sensitivity;
• Self-reliance and autonomy, but also skills needed for team work;
• Ability to multitask and work to tight deadlines.

Languages

Excellent oral and written communication skills in English (the working language of the FMO). Further language knowledge, relevant for use in the Beneficiary States, is an asset. 

Employment Terms

Grade: A4

Annual starting salary: EUR 97,397

Appointments are normally made at step 1 of the grade. The Director of the FMO reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level different from that advertised.

FMO is an employer dedicated to the principles of diversity and equal opportunities. We select our staff without discrimination based on age, gender, religion, colour, culture, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy or family responsibilities.

We offer a very interesting and challenging position in a dynamic and diverse environment and the opportunity to work in a team of highly qualified people. Salaries and related payments are exempt from taxation by the EFTA Member States and, as regulated in headquarters agreements, in the EFTA host states. Depending on the candidate’s family status, benefits and allowances may apply.

For further information regarding this recruitment process please contact Ms Vera Medinskaya, Head of Administration and HR Unit, vme@efta.int, tel. +32 2 211 18 60.

Please note that only applications received via our web tool will be considered.

Deadline for submission of application: 23 January 2022.

Please note that the interviews will take place in February 2022.
Starting date: 1 July 2022.