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Document C:2023:178A:FULL

Official Journal of the European Union, CA 178, 22 May 2023

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ISSN 1977-091X

Official Journal

of the European Union

C 178A

European flag  

English edition

Information and Notices

Volume 66
22 May 2023




V   Announcements




European Economic and Social Committee

2023/C 178 A/01

Vacancy notice No 16/T/23 concerning the post of Secretary-General (M/F) in the Secretariat of the European Economic and Social Committee (Publication under Article 2(a) and Article 8 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union)




V Announcements


European Economic and Social Committee



Official Journal of the European Union

CA 178/1


concerning the post of Secretary-General (M/F) in the Secretariat of the European Economic and Social Committee

(Publication under Article 2(a) and Article 8 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union)

(2023/C 178 A/01)

Closing date for applications: 22 June 2023 at 12 noon (Brussels time)

Vacant post: grade AD 16

1.   Who we are

Ever since its establishment as a consultative body in the founding Treaties, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has strengthened the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of the European Union, by harnessing the expertise of its members. The EESC’s 329 members represent employers, workers, and civil society organisations from all Member States. Through their experience and representativeness, dialogue and efforts, the members are committed to finding a common approach so as to express the views of organised civil society for the benefit of the general interest of the European Union.

The EESC and its members work closely with the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission to help ensure that European policies and legislation best reflect the economic, social and civic circumstances on the ground.

The EESC adopts opinions, information reports and evaluation reports on EU legislative proposals, policies, and other issues affecting the people of Europe. Most of the Committee’s opinions result from a mandatory consultation in the fields established by the Treaties, or a voluntary consultation by the Commission, the Council, or Parliament. Others are exploratory opinions, generally requested by the country holding the current or upcoming EU presidency. The EESC also adopts own-initiative opinions.

In addition to its central role in the EU’s legislative and policy processes, the EESC plays an equally important role in promoting the development of a participatory European Union that is more in touch with public opinion. The Committee acts as an institutional forum representing, informing, expressing the views of and securing dialogue with organised civil society. Thanks to the extensive networks of its members, the organisations they represent and their affiliates, the Committee is able to reach out to European citizens across all 27 EU Member States, enabling a two-way exchange of information and proposals.

The EESC employs in its secretariat approximately 700 staff and manages a budget of around EUR 160 million. Part of the EESC’s secretariat works for the joint services that are shared with the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). The EESC also shares its buildings with the CoR.

For further information, please visit the EESC’s website and social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

2.   Duties

The secretary-general manages the general secretariat of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in line with the requirements of the EESC’s Rules of Procedure (1). These duties are performed under the direction of the EESC president representing the Bureau and entail in particular:

ensuring proper management of the EESC administration in order to focus on: creating the necessary conditions for the members of the EESC to carry out their work in the most effective way possible and to achieve maximum policy impact, expanding the EESC’s network of contacts and visibility, and continuously developing the culture of service to the members, in particular as technology and working methods evolve. To this effect, the secretary-general submits to the Bureau the proposed establishment plan and organisation chart of the general secretariat that will allow the EESC and its internal bodies to operate smoothly and transparently;

assisting the president — and, when necessary, in conjunction with other EESC bodies — in preparing and running meetings of the Bureau and the plenary assembly and ensuring that decisions taken by the assembly, the Bureau and the president pursuant to the EESC’s Rules of Procedure are prepared and implemented efficiently and effectively, and are properly recorded to safeguard the institutional memory of the Committee;

assisting the president as required in representing the EESC’s interests vis-à-vis the other European institutions and bodies and internationally;

leading and supervising all administrative entities which make up the general secretariat, including with regard to matters related to staff, as well as the management of buildings and other assets of the EESC. This also entails supervision of the work of the EESC and CoR joint services;

ensuring the proper implementation of all inter-institutional cooperation agreements and maintaining relations with other institutions and bodies of the European Union;

exercising the powers granted by the Staff Regulations of the European Union and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, in accordance with Rules 102, 103 and 104 of the EESC’s Rules of Procedure;

using the delegated powers to carry out operations connected with the implementation of the EESC budget, in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Regulation, the internal financial rules and the EESC Rules of Procedure.

3.   Eligibility

On the closing date for applications, candidates must meet the conditions set out below:


General conditions

be a national of one of the European Union (EU) Member States and enjoy full rights as a citizen (prior to appointment, the successful candidate will be asked to provide a police certificate confirming the absence of any criminal record);

have fulfilled any obligations imposed on them by the laws on military service;

provide character references appropriate to the performance of the duties concerned. Candidates’ attention is drawn to the restrictions imposed by the Staff Regulations of Officials of the EU concerning outside activities, elected office and conflicts of interest;

meet the physical fitness conditions required for the performance of the duties involved (prior to appointment, the successful candidate will be examined at one of the EU institutions’ medical centres in order to confirm that the candidate meets the statutory requirements);

be below retirement age, which is, for temporary agents of the EU, set at the end of the month in which the age of 66 is reached.


Specific conditions


Qualifications and skills required

Candidates must have a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma officially recognised in one of the European Union Member States:

of at least four years’ duration, when the normal period of university education is four years or more,


of at least three years’ duration followed by one year’s professional experience in a field relevant to the job description, when the normal period of university education is three years or more. This year of experience will not be taken into account when evaluating the professional experience stipulated under point 3(b)(ii).


Professional experience required

After gaining the qualifications set out under 3(b)(i), candidates must have acquired at least 15 years’ full time equivalent postgraduate level professional experience, including at least 7 years of professional experience in a senior management position.


Knowledge of languages

Candidates must have a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the European Union (EU) and satisfactory knowledge of another official language of the EU. For operational reasons, an advanced knowledge (equivalent to C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) of English and French, both oral and written, is required.

Candidates are informed that the language options in this vacancy notice have been defined in the interests of the service, which require the new secretary-general to be immediately operational and capable of communicating effectively in their daily work, otherwise the efficient functioning of the institution could be severely impaired. It has long been the practice to use mainly English and French for internal communication in the EESC and these are also the languages most often needed when communicating with external stakeholders.

4.   Selection criteria

If the eligibility criteria set out in point 3 (Eligibility) (a) and (b) are met, candidates’ applications, including Curriculum Vitae (CV) and cover letter, will be assessed on the basis of the selection criteria set out below:

Knowledge of and experience or contacts with civil society organisations (2);

Thorough knowledge of the EESC’s working environment and functioning, and of the policies of the European Union;

Good knowledge of financial management, control and supervision of the budget, and EU budgetary and administrative procedures;

Ability to represent the EESC vis-à-vis their counterparts in the EU institutions and public authorities;

Excellent negotiation, communication and networking skills;

Capacity to anticipate and tackle problems, risks and opportunities inherent to the management of a multicultural secretariat in a changing inter-institutional context;

Capacity to develop and implement long-term strategies on major operational, legal, administrative and financial issues, including management of buildings;

Ability to define and communicate clear objectives and promote accountability, and to report on the results achieved;

Proven ability to lead and motivate staff and to identify proactively future skills and organisational needs in a fast-changing world;

Capacity to deliver results, with a view to providing high quality services to the stakeholders;

Proven ability to develop new and innovative ideas and provide transformative leadership;

Good understanding of and ability to promote modern IT strategies and processes including digital transformation;

Strong integrity and respect for ethical rules;

Postgraduate courses, studies or a higher university equivalent degree (such as a Doctorate, PhD, etc.) would be an asset;

Knowledge of other EU languages would be an asset.

5.   Selection procedure

The EESC believes in diversity and strongly favours balanced representation of genders, of all Member State nationalities and of all the official languages of the European Union. It has an equal opportunities policy that precludes any discrimination based on gender, disability, race, political or religious views or sexual orientation.

5.1.   Admission to the selection procedure

The screening panel will examine the applications and draw up a list of candidates who meet the eligibility conditions set out in points 3(a) and (b). It will base its decision solely on the information given in the application and substantiated by the supporting documents enclosed with it.

Candidates who do not fulfil the conditions listed in points 3(a) and (b) will not be deemed eligible. They will be informed accordingly.

5.2.   Assessment of qualifications

On the basis of the selection criteria, the screening panel will assess eligible candidates’ qualifications with a view to drawing up a list of the candidates whose profiles most closely match the description of duties set out in point 2. To do this, before examining the applications, the screening panel will first assign each selection criterion a weighting that reflects its relative importance. The points will be added up to identify those candidates whose profiles best match the duties to be performed.

The screening panel will base its decision on the information given by the candidate in the CV and cover letter.

Eligibility (general and specific conditions) and selection criteria must be met by the deadline for submitting applications. To facilitate examination of the applications, candidates should highlight in their cover letter their motivation for applying and the aspects of their CV that they consider most relevant for the duties involved including their abilities in relation to meeting the selection criteria.

The screening panel may limit the number of short-listed candidates going through to the next stage to those who obtain the highest number of total points in the assessment of their qualifications.

The candidates who are not short-listed will be informed.

5.3.   Interview and test

Candidates who have successfully completed the previous stage will be invited for an interview in order to be assessed and compared on the basis of their qualifications, professional experience, abilities and knowledge, as set out above. The screening panel may decide to invite candidates to undergo a written test, in addition to the interview.

The interview (and test, if any) will be conducted in English and in French.

Interviews are expected to be held at the EESC’s Brussels offices in September 2023.

A limited number of candidates who, after the interview phase (and written test, if any), are deemed to best meet the requirements of the post will be invited for assessment at an assessment centre. They will be informed of the programme and methodology in good time and will be able to indicate their preferred language (English or French). The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate their managerial skills (managing tasks, people and information, and personal and interpersonal management). The result of the assessment will be non-binding and is intended to provide the screening panel with additional input for the selection procedure.

5.4.   List of suitable candidates

To complete the procedure, the screening panel will draw up a reasoned report listing the candidates in order of preference and will propose a list of candidates for the post and present them to the EESC Bureau acting as appointing authority for final decision.

The Bureau will examine the report and the list of candidates presented by the screening panel, interview the candidates proposed by the screening panel, and take the final decision by means of a vote.

6.   Summary of recruitment conditions

We are offering a temporary contract under Article 2(a) of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union for a period of 5 years. The contract will be subject to a probationary period of nine months. The contract may be renewed only once for a period of no longer than 5 years.

The temporary agent will be recruited at grade AD 16.

For the sake of independence, the chosen candidate shall have been released from all previously held posts by no later than the date on which he/she starts to work in the post. If the person is an official or other servant of the European Union, he/she will be bound either to resign from his/her current post, or to obtain leave on personal grounds.

For further information on working conditions, please refer to the Staff Regulations of the European Union:

The place of employment is Brussels.

7.   Applications

Applicants for this post must send an email to the functional mailbox and attach the following documents in English or French:

cover letter;

CV based on the Europass model (;

copies of identity card or passport;

copies of university degrees or postgraduate courses or degrees certificates;

copies of certificates of employment, clearly indicating the nature and duration of the relevant activity;

unless clearly indicated on university degree certificates, proof of knowledge of languages in the form of certificates or, failing that, a detailed explanation of how the knowledge was acquired;

for EU officials, an official document certifying career progression and current grade.

Incomplete applications will not be deemed valid and will not be examined.

The successful candidate will at a later date be required to produce originals of all the requisite documents.

Copies of supporting documents in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by a summary in one of those two languages.

The closing date for the submission of applications is 22 June 2023 at 12 noon (Brussels time). The EESC will disregard any applications received after this date and time. Applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit their applications, since heavy internet traffic or a faulty internet connection could lead to difficulties in sending in the application. The EESC cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such difficulties.

Candidates with a disability or specific needs which are such that they might cause difficulties during the procedure may state that fact on their application and provide any relevant information so that the administration can take appropriate measures, where possible. If applicable, candidates are invited to enclose with their application a separate sheet giving details of any arrangements which they consider necessary to assist them.

8.   Observations

If, at any stage in the procedure, it is established that the information provided in the candidate’s application cannot be backed up by supporting documents or that the candidate does not meet all of the conditions set out in this vacancy notice, the application will be declared null and void.

Applicants must not under any circumstances try to contact the members of the screening panel, directly or indirectly. The appointing authority reserves the right to exclude candidates who do so.

In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council (3), the recipient will process personal data only for the purposes for which they were transmitted.

9.   Requests for review — complaints

Regardless of their right to lodge a complaint under Article 90(2), to lodge a complaint about maladministration before the European Ombudsman or to submit an appeal to the General Court of the European Union under Article 91 of the Staff Regulations, candidates may request an internal review of any decision of the screening panel that directly and immediately affects their status in the selection procedure on grounds of non-compliance with the rules governing the procedure as laid down by the vacancy notice.

The request must be made by email ( within 10 calendar days of the date on which the candidate is notified of the decision by email. It must indicate the decision and the grounds on which the request is based.

The screening panel will take a decision and a reasoned reply will be sent to the candidate in due course.

(1)  See Rules 100 and 101: Rules of Procedure and Code of Conduct for members of the European Economic and Social Committee (May 2022) (OJ L 149, 31.5.2022, p. 1).

(2)  Pursuant to Article 300 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, ‘the Economic and Social Committee shall consist of representatives of organisations of employers, of the employed, and of other parties representative of civil society, notably in socioeconomic, civic, professional and cultural areas.’.

(3)  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 (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).