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Document C2021/332A/01

The Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking — Publication of a vacancy for the function of Executive Director (Temporary Agent — Grade AD 14) — COM/2021/20065


OJ C 332A , 18.8.2021, p. 1–7 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

CA 332/1

The Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking

Publication of a vacancy for the function of Executive Director

(Temporary Agent — Grade AD 14)


(2021/C 332 A/01)


We are

The Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project aims to modernise and harmonise Europe’s air traffic management (ATM) systems by achieving a digital, resilient and efficient system that is sustainable, scalable and able to integrate safely a diverse range of new aerial vehicles alongside conventional, manned aircraft. SESAR’s ambition is to achieve the ‘Digital European Sky’, which fully matches the objectives and priorities of the European Green Deal’s digitalisation and decarbonisation objectives. SESAR is implemented through an innovation cycle comprising three interrelated phases (definition, development and deployment) and dedicated implementing entities.

The SESAR Joint Undertaking is a public-private partnership in the form of an EU body that was first established in 2007 (1) to manage the definition, research, development and validation activities of the SESAR Project. The SESAR Joint Undertaking plays a vital role in the SESAR project bringing new ATM concepts from ideas to the appropriate level of maturity for deployment. The Joint Undertaking was renewed in 2014 under the Horizon 2020 Programme.

In February 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal (2) to establish the new SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking under the Horizon Europe programme. If the proposal is adopted by the Council, the Single European Sky ATM Research 3 (SESAR 3) Joint Undertaking would succeed and replace SESAR Joint Undertaking.

The new SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is expected to start operations by the end of 2021 and seamlessly take over tasks, staff and infrastructure from the existing one. The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking would build on the achievements of its predecessor and would contribute to digitally transforming ATM with the ambition of making the European airspace the most efficient and environmentally friendly sky to fly in the world and to support the competitiveness and recovery of Europe’s aviation sector following the COVID-19 crisis. Its goals include: improving connectivity, air-ground integration and automation, increasing flexibility and scalability of airspace management and the safe integration of unmanned aircraft. By 2030, it should deliver the solutions identified in the European Air Traffic Management Master Plan (3) for Phase D at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6.

The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking would have founding members, which include the Union, represented by the European Commission, EUROCONTROL and many entities representing traditional (Air navigation service providers, airport operators, airspace users, research centres, ground and airborne equipment manufacturers); as well as new ATM stakeholders (drone operators). The Joint Undertaking would be governed by the rules of the Horizon Europe programme.

According to the Commission proposal, the bodies of the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking would be:


the Governing Board;


the Executive Director;


the Scientific Advisory Body;


the States’ Representatives Group.

We propose

The position of Executive Director of the Joint Undertaking.

He or she shall be the chief executive responsible for the day-to-day management of the Joint Undertaking in accordance with the decisions of the Administrative Board and shall provide the Administrative Board with all information necessary for the performance of its functions.

The Executive Director shall be the legal representative of the Joint Undertaking. He or she shall be accountable to the Administrative Board.

Regarding the SESAR Joint Undertaking, the Executive Director would be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Joint Undertaking, including in particular:


employ, manage and supervise the staff of the Joint Undertaking, including the staff referred to in Article 8(4);


organise, manage and supervise the activities of the Joint Undertaking;


submit to the Administrative Board his proposals concerning the organisation chart;


draw up and regularly update the global and the annual work programme of the Joint Undertaking, including an estimate on programme costs, and submit them to the Administrative Board;


draw up, in accordance with the Financial Regulations, the draft annual budget, including the staff establishment plan, and submit them to the Administrative Board;


ensure that the obligations of the Joint Undertaking, with regard to the contracts and agreements it concludes are met;


ensure that the activities of the Joint Undertaking are carried out with complete independence and without any conflicts of interest;


draw up the annual report on the progress of the SESAR project and its financial situation, and such other reports as may be requested by the Administrative Board, and submit them to the latter;


submit the annual accounts and balance-sheet to the Administrative Board;


submit to the Administrative Board any proposal involving changes in the design of the SESAR project.

According to the Commission’s proposal, the Executive Director of SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking would carry out the following tasks:


ensure sustainable and efficient management of the Joint Undertaking according to applicable rules and standards;


prepare and submit for adoption to the Governing Board the draft annual budget and the staff establishment plan;


implement the budget of the Joint Undertaking;


prepare and submit for adoption to the Governing Board the work programme and the corresponding expenditure estimates for the Joint Undertaking, to implement the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda;


submit for opinion to the Governing Board the annual accounts for the Joint Undertaking;


send the report on the budgetary and financial management to the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors in accordance with the financial rules of the Joint Undertaking;


prepare and submit for assessment and approval to the Governing Board the consolidated annual activity report;


monitor the private members’ in-kind contributions to operational activities, report to the Governing Board regularly on the progress in achieving the targets and propose remedial or corrective measures, where necessary;


establish a formal and regular collaboration with the European partnerships identified in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and in accordance with the strategic orientation provided by the Governing Board;


represent the Joint Undertaking in meetings within the scope of the Horizon Europe governance;


submit for approval to the Governing Board the list of actions to be selected for funding by the Joint Undertaking;


assess applications for associated members to the Joint Undertaking following an open call for expression of interest and submit proposals for associated members to the Governing Board;


inform regularly the other bodies of the Joint Undertaking on all matters relevant to their role;


sign individual grant agreements and decisions in his or her remit on behalf of the Joint Undertaking;


sign procurement contracts on behalf of the Joint Undertaking;


implement the communications policy of the Joint Undertaking;


organise, direct and supervise the operations and the staff of the Joint Undertaking within the limits of the delegations by the Governing Board;


establish and ensure the functioning of an effective and efficient internal control system, and report any significant change to it to the Governing Board;


protect the financial interests of the Union by applying preventive measures against fraud, corruption, and any other illegal activities by means of effective checks and, if irregularities are detected, by recovering amounts that were wrongly paid and, where appropriate, imposing effective, proportionate and dissuasive administrative, and financial penalties;


ensure the carrying out of risk assessments and risk management for the Joint Undertaking;


take any other measures necessary for assessing the progress of the Joint Undertaking towards achieving its objectives;


prepare and submit for adoption to the Governing Board a plan for the phasing out of the Joint Undertaking from Horizon Europe funding;


perform any other tasks entrusted or delegated to him or her by the Governing Board or as may be required by the Regulation establishing the Joint Undertaking;


have the power to delegate his or her powers to other staff members subject to rules to be adopted in accordance with Governing Board’s decision on delegating powers to the Executive Director;


set up a programme office for the execution under his or her responsibility, of all support tasks of the Joint Undertaking deriving from the Regulation establishing the Joint Undertaking;


direct the execution of the definition and development phases of the SESAR project within the guidelines established by the Governing Board;


submit to the Governing Board any proposal involving changes in the design of the development phase of the SESAR project.

We look for (selection criteria)

The ideal candidate should fulfil the following selection criteria:

Management skills

Solid leadership skills, being able to lead an important organisation, both at a strategic and at operational management level, in a dynamic and changing scientific and operational environment.

Sound capacity for judgement in a management position, in particular the ability to develop and implement a strategic vision, to lead, set objectives, motivate and develop teams in a multicultural and multilingual environment to the best of their potential.

Very good decision-making skills, including the capacity to take decisions in emergency situations.

Experience in budgetary, financial and human resources management in a national, European or international context.

Specialist skills and experience

Very good understanding of the European Union institutions and how they operate and interact.

Sound knowledge of, and experience with, European and international transport policy, in particular of the aviation policy.

Sound knowledge of public administration acquired at national, European or international level would be an asset.

Good understanding of research and development in the field of aviation and/or ATM, and developments in the international context would be an asset.

Personal qualities

Ability to communicate efficiently and fluently in a transparent and open manner with internal and external stakeholders, including press, the public, European, international, national and local authorities, international organisations, as well as to represent the Joint Undertaking in external fora.

Solid experience of negotiating in an international environment.

Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to maintain appropriate relations with EU institutions and with Member States’ competent authorities to ensure the proper functioning of the Joint Undertaking.

Ability to promote the Joint Undertaking’s guiding principles of openness, transparency, independence and scientific excellence.

Candidates must (eligibility requirements)

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

Nationality: candidates must be a citizen of one of the Member States 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 4 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 1 year when the normal period of university education is at least 3 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 (4) at a level to which the qualifications referred to above give admission. At least 5 years of that professional experience must be in the area of activities relevant to the Joint Undertaking.

Management experience: at least 5 years of the post-graduate professional experience must have been gained in a high-level management function (5) in a field relevant for this position and with direct people management responsibility over several multicultural and multi-disciplinary teams.

Languages: candidates must have a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the European Union (6) and a satisfactory knowledge of another of these official languages. Selection panels will verify during the interview(s) whether candidates comply with the requirement of a satisfactory knowledge of another official EU language. This may include (part of) the interview being conducted in this other language.

Age limit: candidates must be able to complete, at the deadline for application, the full mandate of four years before reaching the retirement age. For temporary staff of the European Union, the retirement age is defined as being the end of the month in which the person reaches the age of 66 years (see Article 47 of the Conditions of Employment of other Servants of the European Union (7)).

Selection and appointment

This selection procedure is launched based on the conditions for recruitment and employment as laid down by the SESAR Joint Undertaking Regulation (EC) No 219/2007. If and when the regulation establishing SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking (Single Basic Act) is adopted, the selection and appointment will follow the conditions laid down in the latter regulation.

The Executive Director will be appointed by the Administrative Board of the Joint Undertaking based on a shortlist provided by the European Commission.

To establish this shortlist, the European Commission organises a selection in accordance with its selection and recruitment procedures (see the Document on Senior Officials Policy (8)).

As part of this selection procedure, the European Commission sets up a pre-selection panel. This panel analyses all applications, proceeds with a first eligibility verification, and identifies candidates having the best profile in view of the selection criteria mentioned above, and who may be invited for an interview with the pre-selection panel.

Following these interviews, the pre-selection panel draws up its conclusions and proposes a list of candidates for further interviews with the European Commission’s Consultative Committee on Appointments (CCA). The CCA, taking into consideration the conclusions of the pre-selection panel, will decide on the candidates to be invited for an interview.

Candidates who are called for an interview with the CCA participate in a full-day management assessment centre run by external recruitment consultants. Taking account of the results of the interview and the report of the assessment centre, the CCA establishes a shortlist of candidates it considers suitable to exercise the function of Executive Director of the Joint Undertaking.

Candidates on the CCA shortlist will be interviewed by the Member(s) of the Commission responsible for the Directorate-General in charge of the relations with the Agency (9).

Following these interviews, the European Commission adopts a shortlist of the most suitable candidates, which will be communicated to the Administrative Board of the Joint Undertaking. The latter may decide to interview the candidates before appointing the Director from among the candidates on the Commission shortlist. Inclusion on this shortlist does not guarantee appointment.

Candidates may be required to undergo further interviews and/or tests in addition to those indicated above. They could also be required to deliver a statement before the relevant committee(s) of the European Parliament.

Equal opportunities

The European Commission and the Joint Undertaking apply a policy of equal opportunities and non-discrimination in accordance with Article 1d of the Staff Regulations (10).

Conditions of employment

The salaries and conditions of employment are laid down in the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants (11).

The successful candidate will be engaged by the Joint Undertaking as a Temporary Agent at grade AD 14. He/she will be classified depending on the length of his/her previous professional experience in step 1 or step 2 within that grade.

She/he will be appointed for an initial mandate of four years, with a possible prolongation for a maximum three years according to Regulation establishing the Joint Undertaking as applicable at the time of the publication of the vacancy notice.

However, if SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is established by the time of contract signature, the successful candidate will be appointed according to the rules set out by its founding regulation.

Applicants should note the requirement under the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants for all new staff to complete successfully a nine-month probationary period.

The place of employment is Brussels (Belgium) where the Joint Undertaking is based.

The post is available from 5 July 2021.

Independence and declaration of interests

Before taking up his/her duties, the Executive Director will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the public interest and to declare any interests, which might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence.

Application procedure

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

If you want to apply, you must register via the Internet on the following website, and follow the instructions concerning the various stages of the procedure:

You must have a valid e-mail address. This will be used to confirm your registration as well as to remain in contact with you during the different stages of the procedure. Therefore, please keep the European Commission informed about any change in your e-mail address.

To complete your application, you need to upload a CV in PDF format, preferably using the Europass CV format (12), and to fill out, online, a letter of motivation (maximum 8 000 characters). Your CV and your letter of motivation may be submitted in any of the official languages of the European Union.

Once you have finished your online registration, you will receive an electronic mail confirming that your application has been registered. If you do not receive a confirmation mail, your application has not been registered!

Please note that it is not possible to monitor the progress of your application online. You will be contacted directly by the European Commission regarding the status of your application.

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

Closing date

The closing date for registration is 1 October 2021, 12.00 noon Brussels time, following which registration is no longer possible.

It is your responsibility to complete your online registration in time. We strongly advise you not to 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 introduce any data. Late registrations are not accepted.

Important information for candidates

Candidates are reminded that the work of the different selection panels is confidential. It is forbidden for candidates to make direct or indirect contact with their individual members or for anybody to do so on their behalf. All queries must be addressed to the secretariat of the relevant panel.

Protection of personal data

The Commission will ensure that candidates’ personal data are processed as required by Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council (13). This applies in particular to the confidentiality and security of such data.

(1)  Council Regulation (EC) No 219/2007 of 27 February 2007 on the establishment of a Joint Undertaking to develop the new generation European air traffic management system (SESAR) (OJ L 64, 2.3.2007, p. 1), see

(2)  The Commission proposal for Council Regulation establishing the Joint Undertakings under Horizon Europe, 23 February 2021, see


(4)  Professional experience is only taken into consideration if it represents an actual work relationship defined as real, genuine work, on a paid basis and as employee (any type of contract) or provider of a service. Professional activities pursued part-time shall be calculated pro rata, on the basis of the certified percentage of full-time hours worked. Maternity leave / parental leave / leave for adoption is taken into consideration if it is in the framework of a work contract. PhDs are assimilated to professional experience, even when unpaid, but for a duration of three years maximum, provided that the PhD has been successfully completed. A given period may be counted only once.

(5)  In their curriculum vitae, candidates should clearly indicate for all 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.



(8) (only exists in English).

(9)  Unless the Member of the Commission concerned, in line with the Commission Decision of 5 December 2007 (PV(2007) 1811) and 30 September 2020 (PV(2020) 2351), has delegated this task.



(12)  You can find information on how to create your Europass CV online at:

(13)  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).