Call for Applications: EMSA/AD/2021/04 - Project Officer for Maritime Security

Post: EMSA/AD/2021/04 - Project Officer for Maritime Security
Directorate/Unit: Unit 2.1: Safety & Security
Type of post: Temporary agent post
Grade: AD7
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 22 April 2021

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 1990's along with a number of other important European maritime safety initiatives. EMSA was set up as the decentralised agency that would provide a major source of support to the European Commission and the Member States in the field of maritime safety, security and prevention of pollution from ships. The Agency was established by Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 and subsequent amendments have refined and enlarged its mandate to cover among other measures, the efficiency of maritime transport.

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.

EMSA's activities can be broadly described as:

  • providing technical and scientific assistance to the Member States and the European Commission in the proper development and implementation of EU legislation on maritime safety, security, prevention of pollution by ships and maritime transport administrative simplification;
  • monitoring the implementation of EU legislation through visits and inspections;
  • improving cooperation with and between Member States;
  • building capacity of national competent authorities;
  • providing operational assistance, including developing, managing and maintaining maritime services related to ships, ship monitoring and enforcement;
  • carrying out operational preparedness, detection and response tasks with respect to pollution caused by ships and marine pollution by oil and gas installations;
  • at the request of the European Commission, providing technical operational assistance to non-EU countries around relevant sea basins.

3. Unit 2.1: Safety & Security

Unit 2.1 is responsible for providing technical assistance on matters regarding ship safety, marine equipment, autonomous ships, maritime security, accident investigation, places of refuge, flag State implementation, and port State control. It also hosts the Management Unit of EQUASIS.

Unit 2.1 is responsible for technical assistance to the Commission and the Member States for various safety topics including damage stability of passenger ships, fires on ro-ro passenger ships, autonomous ships, loading/unloading of bulk carriers, container ship and fishing ship safety and safety management.

Regarding marine equipment, Unit 2.1 is responsible for the business management of the database of EU certified equipment and the annual update of the relevant marine certification standards in the EU legislation. It supports the work of the group of notified bodies for the harmonisation of implementation of standards by providing the technical secretariat, facilitates the market surveillance authority work and supports the Commission in the management of the mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with the United States.

As for maritime security, the unit is responsible for providing technical assistance to the Commission in the monitoring of Member States' implementation of the maritime security requirements under Regulation (EC) 725/2004, on enhancing ship and port facility security. It also provides support to the Commission and Member States on issues related to cybersecurity and maritime security issues at large.

With respect to accident investigation, the unit is responsible for technical assistance for the implementation of Directive 2009/18/EC establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector. It provides the Secretariat for the Permanent Cooperation Framework (PCF) of Accident Investigation Bodies. It is also responsible for the business management of EMCIP, the European Marine Casualty Information Platform, a tool to store and analyse casualty data and investigation reports provided by the Member States. Based on casualty data, it provides safety analysis and statistics related to marine casualties.

Unit 2.1 is responsible for technical assistance regarding the implementation of Directive 2009/16/EC as amended (Port State Control). This includes the participation in all bodies of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. It is also responsible for technical assistance regarding the implementation of Directive (EU) 2017/2110 on a system of inspections for the safe operation of ro-ro passenger ships and high-speed passenger craft and for flag State implementation.

It also hosts the Management Unit of Equasis ensuring its daily running and provides technical assistance on issues related to places of refuge.

4. Functions and duties

Reporting to the Head of Unit 2.1, 'Safety and Security', the Project Officer for Maritime Security will be responsible for the following:

  • Providing technical assistance, and participating as inspector in, to the Commission and to ESA inspections to monitor the implementation by Member States of Regulation 725/2004;
  • Providing technical assistance, and participating to the EMSA initiatives regarding Maritime cyber security, contributing to the analysis of cyber security weaknesses and the formulation of mitigating measures and setting-up of new services for Member States in this field;
  • Assisting the European Commission and EFTA Surveillance Authority with preparatory work for updating and developing Community legislation within the field of maritime security;
  • Providing objective, reliable and comparable information (including technical data) to the EU and EFTA Member States on maritime security (e.g. review of EU Member States’ annual Monitoring Reports);
  • Contributing and participating to Maritime Security related meetings, including participation to IMO meetings, and any other meeting or training relevant for the work of the Unit, as required;
  • Participate in other work related to the unit as may be assigned by the Head of Unit.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


A.1 Education and experience

  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies, attested by a diploma, when the normal period of university education is four years or more AND at least six years proven professional experience acquired after the award of university diploma, or;
  • A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma when the normal period of university education is at least three years AND at least seven years of proven professional experience acquired after the award of university diploma.

It should be noted that due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on the 31/01/2020, candidates from the United Kingdom who do not hold the nationality of another European Union Member State, are not eligible.

Only qualifications that have been awarded in EU Member States or that are subject to the equivalence certificates issued by the authorities in the EU Member States will be taken into consideration. Please note, that degrees awarded by the United Kingdom up to 31/12/2020 are considered as valid.

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 seven years of proven professional experience working in the field of maritime security implementation and/or maritime security inspections;
  • Proven professional experience in survey and inspection regimes associated with seagoing vessels engaged in international trade (e.g. Flag State surveys and/or Port State Control inspections);
  • A good knowledge and understanding of the implementation of relevant maritime security legislation and its interpretation, particularly Regulation (EC) No.725/2004;
  • Proven professional experience with cyber security issues in the maritime domain;
  • A very good knowledge of international and EU legislation and instruments on maritime security, including good working knowledge of the principal International Maritime Conventions and Codes related to maritime security;
  • A good knowledge of protocols and measures related to cyber security in the maritime domain.

B.2. Advantageous

  • An excellent level of written and spoken English;
  • Professional experience within a Maritime Administration;
  • Professional experience within an EU Institution or body working in a similar area of expertise;
  • A qualification and professional experience of management systems auditing.

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.

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

Security Clearance to at least ‘RESTREINT UE or equivalent is required for this post. In case the successful candidate is not in possession of such a clearance, EMSA will request it, but no appointment will be fully confirmed until it has been received.

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

Supplementary requirements (soft skills):

  • Good sense of initiative and responsibility;
  • Excellent analytical capacities;
  • Ability to draft clear and concise reports;
  • Ability to work in team.

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 his/her full rights as a citizen;
  • Have fulfilled the obligations imposed on him/her 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.

It should be noted that due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on the 31/01/2020, candidates from the United Kingdom who do not hold the nationality of another European Union Member State, are not eligible for calls for applications at EMSA due to the fact that they do not fulfil the requirements of Article 12.2 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, namely, that they do not hold the nationality of a EU Member State.

7. Conditions of employment

The Project Officer for Maritime Security will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

This vacancy notice concerns a Temporary Agent position, pursuant to Article 2 f) of the Conditions of Employment of other servants of the European Communities.

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

The successful candidate will be recruited in the grade AD7.

The basic monthly salary, before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2020 for grade AD7 first step is 5,734.60EUR.

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 European Union tax deducted at source and staff members are exempt of national taxation.

Please note that recruitment is done in the first or second step of the indicated grade, depending on the duration of the acquired professional experience. 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.

Please note that in line with the Staff Regulations recruited candidates shall be required to demonstrate before their first promotion the ability to work in a third European Union language.

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.

EMSA is an Agency focused on gender balance and a harmonic workplace and strongly encourages the applications of women for the positions where they are underrepresented.

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. Staff is selected without prejudice as to sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age 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 15), 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 15th ranking, the number of candidates to be invited will be increased accordingly to accommodate 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, with the possibility of renewal. 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:

How to request for information: An applicant who would like further information or considers that he/she has grounds for complaint concerning a particular decision of the selection procedure may send a request by e-mail to recruitment@emsa.europa.eu preferably within 10 working days from the date he/she was notified.

EMSA Human Resources will forward the request to the Chairperson of the Selection Committee and the applicant will receive a reply as soon as possible.

How to lodge a complaint:

An applicant may lodge a complaint under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities and Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities by email to recruitment@emsa.europa.eu or registered mail at the following address:

Human Resources Unit


Praca Europa 4

1249-206 Lisbon


The time limit for initiating this type of procedure is three months (see Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations as amended by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1023/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013, OJ L 287, 29.10.2013 from the time you become aware of the act allegedly prejudicing your interests.

Applicants can make a complaint to the European Ombudsman. Before submitting a complaint to the European Ombudsman applicants must already have contacted EMSA about the matter and used all the internal administrative options for review and/or complaints provided for in the Staff Regulations.

More information: https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/home

Personal Data protection


The processing of personal data in the Community institutions and bodies like agencies is regulated by Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC.

The Applicant shall have the right of access to his/her personal data and the right to rectify any such data that is inaccurate or incomplete. Should the Applicant have any queries concerning the processing of his/her personal data, (s)he shall address them to the delegated controller of the data, Head of Human Resources Unit. The Applicant shall have right of recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor.

For more on personal data protection and related documents see the Personal Data Protection page.