Call for Applications: EMSA/CA/2017/17 - Administrative Assistant

Post: EMSA/CA/2017/17 - Administrative Assistant
Directorate/Unit: Reserve list to be used by various departments
Type of post: Contractual Agent
Function group: II
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 4 December 2017

The selection of candidates will follow the EMSA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EMSA website http://www.emsa.europa.eu - vacancies. Please note that to make an EMSA on-line application you will need to create your EMSA profile using a valid e-mail address and a password.

1. Background

The European Maritime Safety Agency was established for the purpose of ensuring a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety, maritime security as well as prevention of and response to pollution by ships within the EU.

The idea of a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) originated in the late 1990s along with a number of other important European maritime safety initiatives. EMSA was set up as the regulatory agency that would provide a major source of support to the Commission and the Member States in the field of maritime safety and prevention of pollution from ships.

The European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002, as amended, provides the legal basis for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

2. Tasks of the Agency

The Agency provides technical, operational and scientific assistance to the European Commission and Member States in the fields of maritime safety, maritime security, prevention of, and response to, pollution caused by ships as well as response to marine pollution caused by oil and gas installations.

The Agency also contributes to the overall efficiency of maritime traffic and maritime transport and supports European cooperation on coastguard functions.

3. Reserve list to be used by various departments

Depending on the Agency’s needs and the qualifications and profiles of the applicants, the successful candidates could be offered employment in a determined section within one of the departments.

4. Functions and Duties

The Administrative Assistant will be responsible for providing administrative support for the Bureau of the Executive Director, one of the Agency's Departments or one of the Agency's Units. In particular they will:

  • Provide administrative, financial and logistical support for the organisation of internal and external events (such as meetings, workshops, training events, selection procedures, missions, public events, etc.);
  • Provide administrative and logistical support in the preparation and production of reports, publications and online information;
  • Prepare notes, minutes of meetings, routine correspondence, presentations and/or other texts upon request;
  • Act as an initiating agent for financial commitments, reimbursements of candidates/experts and payments of expenditure;
  • Contribute to administrative quality checks on files for signature;
  • Handle correspondence and ensure appropriate follow-up, including recording incoming and outgoing correspondence through the relevant electronic tools;
  • Manage the hierarchy's agenda: organise and coordinate appointments and meetings for the Executive Director or Head of Department or Head of Unit;
  • Be responsible for filing and archiving;
  • Act as a backup for different departments/units.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


A.1 Education and Experience:

  • A post-secondary education attested by a diploma, or;
  • A secondary education attested by a diploma giving access to post-secondary education and appropriate professional experience of three years. The secondary education diploma giving access to post-secondary education may be replaced by a certificate of adequate professional training of not less then three years on condition that there was no similar professional training giving access to higher education at the time it was issued or;
  • Successful completion of intermediate education plus two years relevant supplementary specialised training plus five years’ appropriate professional experience.

A.2 Language skills:

The main working language in the field of maritime safety is English. Candidates must therefore have a very good command of oral English as well as in writing, with a satisfactory knowledge of at least one other official language of the European Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the above mentioned duties.


B.1. Essential:

  • At least five years of proven relevant professional experience related to the above mentioned functions and duties. Candidates should specifically mention on their CV the range of tasks covered, the level of work done and their relevance to the functions and duties of this vacancy notice;    
  • Experience in working in a multicultural/international environment;
  • Working knowledge of ABAC or other accounting systems. Candidates should specifically mention on their application the level of work done justifying their working knowledge of these accounting systems;
  • Working knowledge of ARES or other document management tools. Candidates should specifically mention on their application the level of work done justifying their working knowledge of these electronic tools;

B.2. Advantageous:

  • Three years of professional experience in the EU Institutions or Agencies;
  • Knowledge of other EU languages.

The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential criteria.

Applicants must meet the required eligibility criteria concerning the required educational qualifications and years of experience, as well as the essential criteria by the deadline for this call for applications.

In addition to the requirements above, candidates invited to the interview and test phase may also be assessed against the following supplementary requirements:


  • Good organisational and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to deal with people tactfully;
  • Strong customer-focused approach to work, demonstrating responsiveness and flexibility;
  • Ability to clearly communicate in an effective manner with colleagues, superiors, and external contacts at different levels;
  • Capacity to work with minimum supervision;
  • Sense of initiative and responsibility;
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deliver within precise deadlines, to organise the workload and to prioritise tasks;
  • Proficiency in using the MS Office package (Word, Excel, Power Point and Outlook);
  • Excellent drafting skills in English.

6. General Conditions

In order to be eligible the candidate must:

  • Be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union or of Iceland or Norway;
  • Be entitled to your full rights as a citizen;
  • Have fulfilled the obligations imposed on you by the laws concerning military service;
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties involved and
  • Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post.

7. Conditions of Employment

The Administrative Assistant will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

The duration of the contract is three years, with possibility of renewal.

If recruited from the reserve list, the successful candidate will be recruited in function group II (FGII). The grade will be determined in accordance with the number of years of professional experience. Please note that recruitment is done in the first step of the grade.

The basic monthly salary for the entry grade of Function Group II, (FGII, Grade 4, Step 1) before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2016 is 1,649.34EUR.

In addition to the basic salary, staff members may be entitled to various allowances, such as an expatriation allowance (16% of basic salary), household allowance, dependent child allowance and education allowance. The salary is subject to a Community tax deducted at source and staff members are exempt of national taxation.

EMSA offers a comprehensive welfare package including pension scheme, medical, accident and occupational disease insurance coverage, unemployment and invalidity allowance. Further information regarding rights and conditions of employment can be found in the following document.

The place of employment is Lisbon, Portugal.

Candidates are advised that if they are offered a post, and accept, they must undergo a compulsory medical examination to establish that they meet the standard of physical fitness necessary to perform the duties involved.

8. Submission of Applications

Candidates should ensure that they clearly indicate how they meet the selection criteria in their application and motivation letter.

Candidates must submit their application electronically solely via the EMSA website within the deadline. Applications by any other means (hard copy or ordinary e-mail) or submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

All candidates will receive an acknowledgement of receipt for their application.

EMSA is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all candidates who fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria without any distinction whatsoever on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age, marital status or other family situation or sexual orientation.

You may apply in any of the official languages of the European Union, but it would be helpful to apply in English in order to facilitate the selection process.

9. The Selection Process

For each selection process a Selection Committee is nominated. The selection is carried out in two phases:

1. In the first phase all eligible applications will be evaluated by the Selection Committee and scored against the selection criteria. Please note that non-compliance with at least one of the essential selection criteria will result in the exclusion of the candidate from the selection process. Advantageous criteria constitute additional assets and will not result in exclusion, if not fulfilled. The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Committee depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential selection criteria.

On this basis, the Selection Committee will invite to the interview and to the test phase the best qualified candidates (maximum of 20), on condition that they have achieved at least 60% of the highest possible score during the evaluation of applications. Should the case arise that there are various candidates scoring the same number of points in the 20th ranking, the number of candidates to be invited will be increased accordingly to accomodate this. 

2. In the second phase, the selected candidates will be invited to pass one or several written tests related to the job profile and to take part in a selection interview.

During this recruitment phase, the selected candidates will be evaluated by the Selection Committee. After the interviews and tests, the Selection Committee will draw up a list of the most suitable candidates to be proposed to the Appointing Authority. Only candidates receiving at least 70% of the maximum points at interview and at the test phase will be included in the list of the most suitable candidates. The Appointing Authority will select the successful candidate and decide whether to also adopt a reserve list. The successful candidates will be informed accordingly.

Candidates are strictly forbidden to make any contact with the members of the selection committee, either directly or indirectly. Any infringement of this rule will lead to disqualification from the selection procedure.

All candidates will receive an information letter of the outcome of their application.

Please note that a binding commitment can only be made after verification of all conditions and will take the form of a contract signed by the Executive Director.

The reserve list will remain valid for a period of 1 year following its establishment. Therefore candidates whose name will be put on a reserve list could be offered a contract during this period of time. Please note however that inclusion in the reserve list does not guarantee recruitment.

Please note that the selection process may take several months to be completed and that no information will be released during this period. Once a selection process has been completed, its status will be displayed in the e-recruitment.

Please note that once you have created your EMSA profile, any correspondence regarding your application must be sent or received via your EMSA profile.

For any prior enquiry, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) section, or send an e-mail to recruitment@emsa.europa.eu

Requests for information and appeal:

An applicant who would like further information, or considers that he/she has grounds for complaint concerning a particular decision may, at any point in the selection procedure, request further information from the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

For information on how to lodge a complaint and/or an appeal procedure, please consult the ‘General Information for Recruitment’ overview on our website for more information: