(E D A)

Vacancy notice
(Agency’s Temporary Staff)

Post: Head of Unit PESCO
Directorate/Unit: Capability, Armament & Technology Directorate
Type of post : Temporary agent post
Grade : AD11
Management of staff: Yes
Location: Brussels
Indicative starting date: 1 September 2018
Level of Security Clearance: SECRET UE/EU SECRET

Closing date for applications 13 June 2018

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


The European Defence Agency was established on 12 July 2004, and is governed by Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1835 defining the statute, seat and operational rules of the European Defence Agency.

The Agency has its headquarters in Brussels.

The main task of the EDA is to support the Council and the Member States in their effort to improve the Union's defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as it currently stands and as it develops in the future.

The Agency is structured into four directorates. Three operational directorates: Cooperation Planning & Support; Capability, Armaments & Technology; and European Synergies & Innovation and the Corporate Services Directorate.


The Agency is an “outward-facing” organisation, constantly interacting with its shareholders, the participating Member States, as well as with a wide range of stakeholders. It works in an integrated way, with multi-disciplinary teams representing all the Agency’s functional areas, to realise its objectives. Its business processes are flexible and oriented towards achieving results. Staff at all levels need to demonstrate the corresponding qualities of commitment, flexibility, innovation, and team-working; to work effectively with shareholders and stakeholder groups, formal and informal; and to operate without the need for detailed direction.


The Capability, Armament & Technology directorate prepares the programmes of tomorrow by maximising synergies between capabilities, armaments and Research & Technology. The directorate brings together the Agency’s work in the areas of: Information Superiority (Communication & Information Systems, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Space, Cyber Defence; Air (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Air-to-Air Refuelling, airlift and aerial systems technologies); Land and Logistics (Counter-IED, armoured systems, camp protection and land systems technologies, land systems, ammunitions, medical support and deployability); Maritime (Maritime Surveillance, Mine Counter Measures and naval systems technologies); and the Joint domain (mobility, transport, medical and Ammunition). Particular attention is given to identifying future Critical Defence Technologies needed to support military capabilities. The Directorate also provides PESCO secretariat functions.


The PESCO Unit provides PESCO secretariat functions and supports the PESCO participating Member States. It implements the EDA upstream role within EDIDP and provides planning functionalities enabling joint assessment of initiatives relevant for the EU Capability Landscape. It supports the assessment capacity of the units of the CAT Directorate.

Under the supervision of the Capability, Armaments and Technology (CAT) Director, the Head of Unit “PESCO” is directly accountable for the functioning of this unit. He/she will be responsible for the following activities:

  • provide the Agency’s contribution to the PESCO Secretariat functions and to this end continuously liaise with the EEAS, including the EUMS;
  • ensure the provision of the assessment of PESCO Project proposals (the capability view) and the National Implementation Plans (NIPs) in those areas / commitments allocated to an assessment through EDA;
  • ensure the Agency’s contribution to the High Representative’s report and recommendations on PESCO Project proposals and their implementation by Member States, and to the High Representative’s assessment and recommendations on NIPs;
  • facilitate PESCO Capability development projects, in conjunction with other Heads of Unit, providing expert support to PESCO pMS;
  • ensure EDA contribution in the EDIDP upstream role, including in preparing the representation of the Agency in the Programme Committee within the EDIDP framework, supporting EU Member States in the definition of the work programme and in the assessment of project proposals;
  • develop the relevant planning, coordinating with other Heads of Unit within the Agency, to promote the coherence of PESCO projects with the European capability landscape and provide recommendation to Member States to further develop their projects in a complementary manner with those activities taking place in other institutional frameworks;
  • interact with relevant stakeholders such as EU agencies/organisations, Member States and industry. Chair respective meetings with Member States and other stakeholders, such as the European Commission, the European External Action Service and represent EDA in meetings, conferences and seminars;
  • ensure the coherence of activity within his/her Unit and maintain close coordination with other Heads of Unit within the Agency so as to enable transversal work, share and harmonize best practices and monitor the coherence of activities and assessments within EDA;
  • manage a team, in particular by taking care of improving relevant skills and knowledge, setting priorities to optimize the workload of the staff, managing duties, missions and absences;
  • take on additional tasks as required in the interest of the service.

Duties may evolve according to development of the EDA’s structure and activities, and the decisions of EDA management.


 a. Conditions for eligibility

  • be a national of a Member State participating in the Agency;
  • be entitled to his/her rights as a citizen; 
  • have fulfilled any obligations imposed on him/her by the laws concerning military service;
  • produce the appropriate character references as to his her suitability for the performance of his/her duties;
  • be physically fit to perform his/her duties;
  • have a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the participating Member States and a satisfactory knowledge of another of these languages to the extent necessary to discharge his/her duties;
  • hold, or be in a position to obtain, a valid Personnel Security Clearance Certificate (national or EU PSC at SECRET UE/EU SECRET level). Personnel Security Clearance Certificate’ (PSCC) means a certificate issued by a competent authority establishing that an individual is security cleared and holds a valid national or EU PSC, and which shows the level of EUCI to which that individual may be granted access (CONFIDENTIEL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL or above), the date of validity of the relevant PSC and the date of expiry of the certificate itself. Note that the necessary procedure for obtaining a PSCC can be initiated on request of the employer only, and not by the individual candidate.);
  • have 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, or a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least one year when the normal period of university education is at least three years or be a graduate of a national or international Defence College.

b. Essential selection criteria

(1) Professional

The candidate will be required to demonstrate that he/she has:

  • a thorough understanding of joint military capability development and proven track record of at least 5 years of professional experience in national and European and/or other international environment (e.g. NATO), including:
    • Concept Development;
    • Defence Plans;
    • Capability Development;
    • Capability Projects.
  • a thorough understanding of Capability Development areas including, at least, one of the following domain:
    • Land;
    • Maritime;
    • Air;
    • Information (including Cyber and Space).

  • understanding of the EDA’s main tasks and functions, including the new PESCO Unit's importance and contribution to the PESCO secretariat’s main tasks and functions;
  • the ability to work in and with complex organizational and procedural processes, identify and propose relevant change proposals;
  • proven ability in drafting and presenting conceptual papers;
  • a track record in delivering successful business outcomes;
  • a very good knowledge of written and spoken English;
  • experience in leading organizational and process change;
  • excellent leadership and management skills, including certified knowledge of project management best practices and chairing meetings.

(2) Personal

All staff must be able to fit into the Agency's way of working (see para. 2). Other attributes important for this post include:

  • proven ability to work in a multinational team;
  • strong results-orientation and motivation;
  • strong flexibility and innovativeness;
  • strong conceptual, planning, drafting, interpersonal and analytical skills;
  • good communication skills.



The Head of Unit PESCO will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the Agency’s interest and to make a declaration in relation to interests that might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence.


The Head of Unit PESCO will be appointed by the Chief Executive.

Recruitment will be as a member of the temporary staff of the Agency for a four-year period (unless a shorter period is mutually agreed between the parties). Renewal is possible within the limits set out in the EDA Staff Regulations. The successful candidate will be recruited as AD11.

The pay for this position consists of a basic salary of 9.875,37€ supplemented with various allowances, including as applicable expatriation or family allowances. The successful candidate will be graded on entry into service according to the length of his/her professional experience. Salaries are exempted from national tax, instead an Agency tax at source is paid. For further information on working conditions please refer to:

Failure to obtain the requisite security clearance certificate before the expiration of the probationary period may be cause for termination of the contract.

Candidates are advised that part of the recruitment process includes medical analyses and physical check-up with an Agency’s Medical Adviser.

Applications are invited with a view to establishing a reserve list for the post of Head of Unit PESCO at the EDA. This list is valid until 31/12/2019, and may be extended by decision of the Chief Executive. During the validity of the reserve list, successful candidates may be offered a post in the EDA according to their competences in relation to the specific requirements of the vacant post.

Inclusion on the reserve list does not imply any entitlement of employment in the Agency.


The EDA is an equal opportunities employer and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of age, race, political, philosophical or religious conviction, sex or sexual orientation and regardless of disabilities, marital status or family situation.


Candidates must submit their application electronically solely via the EDA website. Applications by any other means (hard copy or ordinary e-mail) will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted no later than midnight. Candidates are reminded that the on-line application system will not accept applications after midnight (Brussels time, GMT+1) on the date of the deadline.

When applying, candidates from Ministries of Defence or other governmental entities are encouraged to inform their national administration.

A selection panel will be appointed. Please note that the selection panel's internal proceedings are strictly confidential and that any contact with its members is forbidden.

Each application will be screened based on the requirements of the job profile stated in the vacancy notice. The most suitable applicants will be called for an interview and a written test.

If recruited, you will be requested to supply documentary evidence in support of the statements that you make for this application. Do not send any supporting or supplementary information until you have been asked to do so by the Agency.

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

For any prior enquiry, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) section, or send an e-mail to


Please note that EDA will not return applications to candidates. The personal information EDA requests from candidates will be processed in line with Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. The purpose of processing personal data which candidates submit is to manage applications in view of possible pre-selection and recruitment at EDA.
More information on personal data protection in relation to selection and recruitment can be found on the EDA website: