Post: EMSA/CA/2020/26 - Software Engineer for Integrated Services for Frontex
Directorate/Unit: Unit 3.1: Maritime Digital Services
Type of post: Contractual Agent
Function group: IV
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 26 April 2021

The selection of candidates will follow the EMSA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EMSA website - 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 3.1: Maritime Digital Services

The Unit ensures the development, operation and continual improvement of all Maritime Digital Services of the Agency. Supporting the achievement of EMSA’s business objectives, the Unit works in close cooperation with all business units, transforming their needs in technical systems and services, performing full operational ICT cycle, including continual improvement and developments.

The Unit acts as a platform for maritime services shared with Member States to supplement and enhance national capacity for vessel traffic monitoring, Port State Control, and maritime pollution preparedness and response. The Unit’s activities include also integrating and combining different types of data, building a maritime picture and producing customised services tailored to user requirements, avoiding thus duplication of effort, overlapping infrastructures and unnecessary expenditures.

Furthermore, the Unit coordinates the development and implementation of a cloud-based ICT strategy aiming to ensure that best solution and latest ICT applications are available to support the needs of the users. Combined with the use of Big Data analytic tools and the Artificial Intelligence algorithms, cloud-based solutions aim to increase EMSA capability to provide new added value services for various operational contexts, like: fisheries control, border control, security, safety of marine traffic, coastal protection, and environmental protection. The Unit is also contributing to the cybersecurity activities, to ensure the highest level of EMSA ICT security and for sharing experience and knowledge with the Member States and the industry.

4. Functions and duties

The Software Engineer for Integrated Services for FRONTEX will, under the responsibility of the Head of Unit 3.1 Maritime Digital Services, be responsible for: 

  • Developing software for providing services, information products and tools to Frontex, through system-to-system interfaces;
  • Document the developed/maintained software in the scope of the Frontex application at EMSA; Developing mock-up scenarios in the Frontex application at EMSA Test and Pre-Production environments for the validation and verification phases;
  • Providing technical assistance on the Frontex specific IT infrastructure being developed;
  • Supporting the guidance of testing and evaluation processes of the specific software components of the Frontex application at EMSA when required;
  • Maintaining relations with the users for the efficient use of the service, including providing technical training and Help-Desk assistance, as needed;
  • Supporting the coordination of Frontex project financed activities in terms of technical implementation (technical project management);
  • Assisting the Unit where required.

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 three 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 and when the normal period of university education is at least three years AND at least four 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

  • Proven Java development skills, specifically for Java Enterprise Edition and Web Services (either SOAP or REST);
  • Knowledge of Application Servers and Servlet containers and other technologies such as Spring, Hibernate and Kafka or similar;
  • Proven experience in troubleshooting and isolating issues in complex IT systems;
  • Good knowledge of relational databases and experience with designing normalised database schemas, object to relational mapping and performance optimisations such as Oracle RDBMS or similar;
  • Proven experience as a software analyst defining software requirements based upon discussions with end-users;
  • Proven hands-on experience of Linux systems;

B.2. Advantageous

  • Hands-on experience with performance tuning of complex IT systems under local and cloud IT infrastructures;
  • Experience with management of software code such as GIT or Puppet or similar;
  • Knowledge with continuous integrations tools such as Jenkins or Hudson or similar;
  • Experience with handover of delivered software to ICT operations or experience in ICT operations;
  • Professional or other experience in programming languages other than Java.

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.

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

B.3 Supplementary: 

  • Good sense of initiative and responsibility;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Excellent communication skills in English both orally and in written, and the ability to draft clear and concise reports;
  • Ability to work under pressure and to respond quickly to new demands.

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 28 of the Staff Regulations/Article 12.2 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants/Article 82.3 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, as appropriate, namely that they do not hold the nationality of a EU Member State.

7. Conditions of employment

The Software Engineer for Integrated Services for Frontex will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

This vacancy notice concerns a Contract Agent position, pursuant to Article 3a and Title IV of the Conditions of Employment of other servants of the European Union.

The initial duration of the contract is three years, with possibility of renewal. However the continuity of the contract of employment is subject to the continuity of the Service Level Agreement between FRONTEX and EMSA for the provision of surveillance tools and services in support of FRONTEX activities, including for the implementation of the EUROSUR.

The successful candidate will be recruited in function group IV (FGIV). The grade will be determined in accordance with the number of years of professional experience. 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.

The basic monthly salary, before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2020 for the entry grade of Function Group IV (FGIV, Grade 13, Step 1) is 3,239.50EUR.

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.

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 Community 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

Requests for information and appeal:

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 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 and/or an appeal procedure: 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 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:

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.