Post: EMSA/CA/2013/01 - Administrative Assistants
Directorate/Unit: Reserve list to be used by various departments
Type of post: Contractual Agent
Function group: II
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 20 February 2013

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 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 provides the legal basis for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

2. Tasks of the agency

The Agency’s tasks are broadly divided into four key areas in line with its founding regulation and relevant EU legislation. Firstly, the Agency assists the Commission in monitoring the implementation of EU legislation relating, among others, to ship survey and certification, certification of marine equipment, ship security, the training of seafarers and Port State Control.

Secondly, the Agency develops and operates maritime information capabilities at EU level. Significant examples are the SafeSeaNet vessel tracking system, to enable the EU-wide tracking of vessels and their cargoes, and incidents on board; and the EU LRIT Data Centre, to ensure the identification and tracking of EU flagged ships worldwide.

In parallel, a marine pollution preparedness, detection and response capability, which includes a European Network of Stand-by Oil Spill Response Vessels as well as a European satellite oil spill monitoring and vessel detection service (CleanSeaNet), contributes to an effective system for protecting EU coasts and waters from pollution by ships.

Finally, the Agency provides technical and scientific advice to the Commission in the field of maritime safety and prevention of pollution by ships in the continuous process of evaluating the effectiveness of the measures in place, and in the updating and development of new legislation. It also provides support to, and facilitates co-operation between, the Member States and disseminates best practices.

As a body of the European Union, the Agency sits at the heart of the EU maritime safety network and collaborates with many industry stakeholders and public bodies, in close cooperation with the Commission and the Member States.

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 unit within one of the departments.

4. Functions and duties

The Administrative Assistant will provide general administrative and secretarial support to the Unit/Department and, in particular, be responsible for:

  • Administrative support for the Head of Unit or Head of Department;
  • Handling of correspondence and ensuring appropriate follow-up;
  • Stock supervision;
  • Prepare and finalise notes, compose and type routine correspondence;
  • Record incoming and outgoing correspondence using a database;
  • Manage the library;
  • Open/register/filter incoming mail and route mail to appropriate individuals;
  • Manage leave requests and absences;
  • Carry out various administrative tasks such as diary keeping, filtering telephone calls, filing/archiving of correspondence and ordering office supplies;
  • Filing and archiving of correspondence;
  • Preparation of missions, organisation of seminars, events, workshops (financial commitments, invitations, logistics, room booking, hotel accommodation, expert reimbursements, etc.);
  • Preparation of financial commitment processes;
  • Act as initiating agent for payments of expenditure;
  • Filter calls for the Head of Unit or Head of Department, give general information to callers, take messages or transfer calls to appropriate individuals;
  • Keep agenda, organise and co-ordinate appointments and meetings for the Head of Unit or Head of Department;
  • Administrative support for the different sectors of the unit/department.

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Qualifications and experience required: 

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 an excellent command of spoken and written English, 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

  • Three years of professional experience relevant to the functions and duties mentioned above;
  • Good organisational and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to deal with people tactfully;
  • Good drafting skills in English and capacity to gather and organise information to produce presentations, arrange and gather information for meetings and prepare reports;
  • Strong customer-focused approach to work, demonstrating responsiveness and flexibility;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Capacity to work with minimum supervision;
  • Sense of initiative and responsibility;
  • Proficiency in using the MS Office package;
  • Ability to work under pressure and to respond quickly to new demands.  

B.2. Advantageous: 

  • Knowledge of ABAC or similar tools;
  • Experience in EU Institutions or Agencies;
  • Knowledge of a third EU language.

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 Assistants will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairman of the Selection Board.

The successful candidate will be appointed as a Contract staff member under the provisions of Title IV, Article 80 of the Conditions of Employment of other Servants of the European Communities.

The initial duration of the contract will be 3 years with possibility of renewal.

The successful candidate will be recruited in function group II. The grade (4 or 5) will be determined in accordance with the number of years of professional experience.

The basic monthly salary for the entry grade of Function Group II, (Function Group II, Grade 4, Step 1) before any deductions or allowances, at 1 July 2010 is 1631.30€.

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 from national taxation.

Please note that recruitment is done in the first step of the indicated grade.

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 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 Community, but it would be helpful to apply in English in order to facilitate the selection process. However you are requested to state your educational qualifications and positions held in the language of origin.

9. The selection process

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

1. In the first phase all eligible applications will be evaluated by the Selection Board 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 Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential selection criteria.

On this basis, the Selection Board 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 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 Board. After the interviews and tests, the Selection Board 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 then takes a decision to adopt the reserve list. The successful candidates will be informed accordingly that they have been placed on the reserve list.

All candidates will receive an information letter. 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 on our web site.

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:

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 Board.
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: