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Document C2014/358A/01

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Vacancy notice for the position of Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights ( ‘FRA’ ) Vienna — (Temporary Agent — grade AD 14) — COM/2014/10366

OJ C 358A , 10.10.2014, p. 1–5 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
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Official Journal of the European Union

CA 358/1

Vacancy notice for the position of Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (‘FRA’) Vienna

(Temporary Agent — grade AD 14)


2014/C 358 A/01



The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. In recent years, it has built up an excellent reputation as an agency that delivers high quality fact-based reports, studies and advice in the field of fundamental rights. The FRA has received wide public and media attention. Its director is regularly invited to present its work to the Council of the European Union and European Parliament. It delivers a wide range of reports and surveys, such as for instance the 2014 report on Violence against Women in the EU or the Handbook on European Data Protection law, as well as opinions at the request of the EU Institutions. The Agency’s 90 staff members include legal experts, political and social scientists, statisticians as well as communication and networking experts. Its annual budget in 2013 amounted to almost EUR 22 million (1).

The FRA was established through Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 (2).

The objective of FRA is to provide assistance and expertise relating to fundamental rights to the relevant Institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the European Union and its Member States when implementing Union law. The Agency has a supporting role and informs the EU decision-makers’ policies in the area of fundamental rights. This task primarily includes empirics-based research on the effective implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

In carrying out its tasks, the Agency refers to fundamental rights as defined in Article 6(2) of the Treaty on European Union. The main tasks of the Agency are:


collection, analysis and dissemination of objective, reliable and comparable information and data;


formulation of conclusions and opinions on specific thematic topics;


publication of an annual report on fundamental rights issues covered by the areas of the Agency’s activity, an annual report on its activities and thematic reports;


development of a communication strategy and promotion of dialogue with civil society, in order to raise public awareness of fundamental rights and actively inform about its work.

The Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, adopts a Multiannual Framework for the Agency that determines the thematic areas of the Agency’s activity (the latter must include the fight against racism, xenophobia and related intolerance).


The Agency is headed by the Director. He or she may be called upon at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council to attend a hearing on any matter linked to the Agency’s activities, in particular in order to present the FRA’s work on specific topics. The Director shall perform his/her tasks independently. He or she is the legal representative of FRA. He or she will be accountable for the management of his/her activities to the Management Board. Working languages of the Management Board are English and French.

The director leads and guides the Agency in:


performing the tasks referred to in Article 4 of the Regulation establishing FRA, in particular carrying out scientific research, surveys, preparatory studies, feasibility studies, publish opinions on specific topics for the Union institutions and the Member States when implementing Union law as well as an annual report on fundamental rights issues covered by the area of the Agency’s activity (3);


preparing and implementing the Agency’s Annual Work Programme;


communicating to the public in relation to all matters within the FRA’s mission;


cooperating with governmental organisations and public bodies competent in the field of fundamental rights in the Member States, including national human rights institutions and National Liaison Officers;


cooperating with organisations at international level, including the Council of Europe, the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE);


cooperating with Civil Society, including through the coordination of the Fundamental Rights Platform in accordance with Article 10 of the Regulation establishing FRA;


implementing effective monitoring and evaluation procedures relating to the performance of the Agency against its objectives according to professionally recognised standards. The Director shall report annually to the Management Board on the results of the monitoring system;


all staff matters, and in particular exercising powers in respect of staff as laid down in Article 24(2) of the Regulation establishing FRA;


implementing the Agency’s budget, in accordance with Article 20 of the Regulation establishing FRA;


performing the duties of authorising officer, in accordance with all relevant EU law provisions (4); and


taking any other action necessary to ensuring that the Agency operates efficiently and in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 as well as any other relevant provision of EU law.

For further details and information, candidates are referred to the provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007, which they will be presumed to be aware of.


Selection criteria

Candidates should show:

a proven track record of leading and managing teams with multidisciplinary backgrounds at a high management level and motivating staff to elevated levels of performance,

sound judgement and proven success in a management position, in particular the ability to lead and set objectives,

evidence of in-depth knowledge and proven experience in matters concerning the respect and promotion of Fundamental Rights or Human Rights, in a national and/or international context; 10 years or more of relevant professional experience in the field will be considered as a clear advantage/asset.

excellence of written, oral and interpersonal communication skills;

excellent proven ability to communicate to the public, in particular through and with the media as well as excellent ability to cooperate with stakeholders;

evidence of good knowledge of EU legislation, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and policies relevant in the context of the protection and promotion of Fundamental Rights;

evidence of good understanding of the EU Institutions, their functioning and interaction; additional knowledge of other international organisations would be considered an asset;

evidence of conducting and/or managing relevant scientific research (including for example postgraduate/PhD studies)

experience in human and financial resources/budget management;

commitment to equal treatment, regardless of gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disabilities, age or sexual orientation;

experience in cooperation with actors concerned, such as Member States’ authorities, international organisations, universities and research centres, civil society.


Eligibility criteria

Candidates will be considered for the selection phase on the basis of the following formal criteria to be fulfilled by the deadline for applications:


Nationality: candidates must be a national of a Member State of the European Union.


University degree or diploma: Candidates must have:


either 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 (this one year’s professional experience cannot be included in the postgraduate professional experience required below).


Professional experience: candidates must have at least 15 years’ postgraduate professional experience at a level to which the qualifications referred to above give admission. It must include:


Fundamental Rights/Human rights experience: at least five years of the professional experience referred to above must be in the substantial working field of the agency, namely Fundamental Rights or Human Rights.


Management experience: at least five years of the professional experience referred to above must be in management function(s). Candidates should clearly indicate for each function its title and the exact role they have exercised. (5)


Languages: have a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the European Union as defined in Article 1 of Regulation No 1 of 1958 and an adequate knowledge of at least another of these official languages.


Age limit: Be able to complete, at the deadline for application, the full five-year-mandate before reaching the retirement age. For temporary staff of the European Union, retirement age is defined as being the end of the month in which the person reaches the age of 66 years (see Article 52 lit (a) of the Staff Regulations (6)).

Candidates that fulfil these criteria will be evaluated according to competence and experience requested under the selection criteria listed in the previous section.

Independence and declaration of interests

The Director will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the public interest and to make a declaration in respect of any interests which might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence.

Candidates must confirm their willingness to do so in their application.

Equal opportunities

The Agency applies a policy of equal opportunities and non-discrimination in accordance with Article 1d of the Staff Regulations (7).

Selection and appointment

The Director will be appointed by the Management Board of the FRA according to Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 (8).

A preselection panel will be set up by the European Commission for the selection process. This panel will invite to an interview those candidates who have submitted the best applications in the light of the selection and eligibility criteria mentioned in the previous section.

Candidates shortlisted by the preselection panel will then be called for an interview with the European Commission’s Consultative Committee on Appointments (CCA). Candidates called for an interview with the CCA participate in a full-day assessment centre run by external human resources experts. On the basis of the interview and the results of the assessment centre report, the CCA establishes a shortlist of candidates who will afterwards be interviewed by the relevant Commissioners.

The European Commission will then adopt a shortlist of successful candidates. Inclusion on the shortlist does not guarantee appointment. Candidates should note that, from its adoption by the European Commission, the shortlist will be publicly available. The European Commission will communicate this list to the Management Board of the Agency, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

Candidates from this list will be asked to address the competent bodies of the Council and the European Parliament Committees and to reply to questions. The Management Board of the Agency will then appoint the Director, taking into account the opinions and orders of preference given by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

The language to be used throughout the selection procedure is English.

Conditions of employment

The Director will be appointed by the Management Board as a member of the staff of the Agency, as a temporary agent at grade AD 14 pursuant to Article 2(a) and 10 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union, for a five-year period.

This term of office may be extended once for not more than three years, on the basis of an evaluation by the Commission. Under certain conditions promotion to AD 15 during the five-year or the extension period may be possible. As member of the FRA staff he or she enjoys the privileges and immunities as provided for in the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities. (9) The Director may be dismissed by the Management Board before his or her term has expired, on the basis of a proposal of a third of its members or of the European Commission.

The place of employment is Vienna (Austria), where the seat of the Agency is located.

The Director is expected to take office in late spring 2015.

Salaries and conditions of employment are those laid down in the Staff Regulations for AD 14 grade officials of the European Communities. Candidates should note the requirement under the Staff Regulations for all new staff to complete successfully a nine-month probationary period.

Application procedure

Before submitting your application, you should carefully check whether you meet all the eligibility criteria, particularly those concerning the types of diploma and professional experience required (‘Candidates must’). Failure to meet any of the eligibility requirements means an automatic exclusion from the selection procedure.

If you intend to apply, please register via the internet by going to the website

and follow the instructions there concerning the various stages of the procedure.

It is your responsibility to complete your online registration in time (10). Please do not wait until the last few days before applying, since heavy internet traffic or a fault with your internet connection could lead to the online registration being terminated before you complete it, thereby obliging you to repeat the whole process. Once the deadline for the submission of registrations has passed, you will no longer be able to apply. Late registrations via normal e-mail are not accepted.

You must have a valid e-mail address. This will be used to identify your registration and to keep you informed of the progress of the selection procedure. Therefore, please, inform the Commission of any change in your e-mail address.

To complete your application, you will need to upload a CV in Word or PDF format, and to fill out, online, a cover letter of motivation (maximum 8  000 characters). Both the CV and letter must be written in English, French or German.

On completion of your online registration, you will receive on-screen a registration number. This will be your reference number in all matters concerning this specific selection procedure. When you receive this number, the registration process is finished — it is confirmation that your data are registered.

If you do not receive a number, your application has not been registered!

Please note that it is not possible to monitor the progress of your application online. The European Commission will contact you directly regarding the status of your application.

The selection process, including correspondence with selection panels during this selection procedure will be carried out in English (11).

If you have a disability that prevents you from registering online, you may submit your application (CV and letter of motivation) on paper by registered mail  (12) , postmarked no later than the closing date for registration. All subsequent communication between the Commission and you will be by post. In this case, you must enclose with your application a certificate attesting your disability, issued by a recognised body. You should also set out on a separate sheet of paper any special arrangements you think are needed to make it easier for you to take part in the selection.

If you require more information and/or encounter technical problems, please send an e-mail to

Closing date:

The closing date for registration is 7 November 2014. Online registration will not be possible after 12.00 noon Brussels time.

Important information for candidates

Candidates are reminded that the work of the selection committees is confidential. It is forbidden for candidates to make direct or indirect contact with members of these committees, or for anybody to do so, on their behalf.

Protection of personal data

The Commission (during the preparatory phase) and later FRA will ensure that candidates’ personal data are processed as required by Regulation (EC) No 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 EU institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (13).

(1)  For further information please visit the FRA’s website:

(2)  Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 of 15 February 2007 establishing a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (OJ L 53, 22.2.2007, p. 1).

(3)  For further details see Article 4(1)(a)-(h) of Regulation (EC) No 168/2007.

(4)  Such as Articles 33 to 42 of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.).

(5)  In their curriculum vitae (CV) candidates should indicate at least for these 5 years during which management experience has been acquired: (1) title and role of management positions held; (2) numbers of staff overseen in these positions; (3) the size of budgets managed; (4) numbers of hierarchical layers above and below; and (5) number of peers.


(7)  See footnote 6.

(8)  For further details see Article 15 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 of 15 February 2007 establishing a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (OJ L 53, 22.2.2007, p. 1).

(9)  See Article 26 of the Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 of 15 February 2007 establishing a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (OJ L 53, 22.2.2007, p 1) and Headquarters Agreement between the Republic of Austria and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights of 16 June 2010, available at:

(10)  No later than 12.00 noon, Brussels time, on 7 November 2014.

(11)  The selection panels will ensure that no undue advantage is given to native speakers.

(12)  European Commission, Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security, Unit for Executive Staff and CCA Secretariat, COM/2014/10366, SC11 8/30, 1049 Brussels, BELGIUM.

(13)  OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1.