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Document C2021/370A/03

Notice of vacancy CONS/AD/173/21

OJ C 370A , 15.9.2021, p. 39–57 (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 370/39

Notice of vacancy CONS/AD/173/21

(2021/C 370 A/03)




Competitiveness and Trade

Place of work

Brussels, Justus Lipsius Building

Title of post


Function group and grade

AD 15

Security clearance required



1 October 2021 – 12.00 noon (Brussels time)

We are

The General Secretariat of the Council (GSC) assists the European Council and the Council of the EU and their preparatory bodies in all fields of their activities. Under the authority of the Secretary-General, it provides advice and support to the European Council, the Council and their Presidencies in all areas of activity, including policy and legal advice, coordination with other institutions, elaboration of compromises, supervising as well as attending to all the practicalities that are necessary for the good preparation and running of the European Council and the Council.

Directorate-General ‘Competitiveness and Trade’ will comprise three directorates, which will cover the areas of Internal Market, Consumer Protection, Intellectual Property, Competition, Industry, Research, Space and Trade; all of them report to the Director-General.

The task of the Directorate-General is to coordinate the activities of the Competitiveness Council, which meets at least four times per year and deals with Single Market, Industry, Research and Space.

The Directorate-General is entrusted with the legislative work in the vast area of competitiveness, and is involved in the monitoring and follow-up of different policy initiatives related inter alia to the Single Market and related policies, EU Industrial Strategy or the research, innovation and space policies. The Directorate-General assists the Council in its continued efforts to develop the full potential of the internal market.

In addition, the Directorate-General supports the Council and its preparatory bodies to implement the EU’s common commercial policy. This includes trade and investment relations, intellectual property rights and foreign direct investment. The Council also plays a central role in trade agreements as it mandates the Commission to open negotiations and gives negotiating directives to the Commission. The Directorate-General is responsible for assisting and dealing with six Council committees in this field, all of them active in the area covered by the Foreign Affairs Council. It oversees the preparation and follow-up of policy and legislative activities in the Council, including in its Trade Ministers' format, which meets usually twice a year.

We propose

The post of Director-General in DG Competitiveness and Trade is a challenging position in a politically interesting environment, leading a team of around 50 highly qualified staff.

Under the authority of the Secretary-General and in cooperation with the three Directors, you will manage and coordinate your Directorate-General and its resources in a professional manner, organise its activities and support and motivate staff in their work. You will develop and implement the strategy and work programme of the Directorate-General, you will define its objectives and ensure their achievement according to required deadlines and quality standards. You will foster a culture of effective communication and cooperation both within the Directorate-General and with the other Directorates-General, as well as with other GSC services.

In cooperation with other Directorates-General, you will be responsible for horizontal policy and procedural coordination with the aim to support continuity and coherence of the work of the Council and the European Council.

You will provide high-level policy and procedural advice to the Secretary-General as well as to the presidencies of the European Council, the Council and Coreper on all aspects of dossiers falling within the Directorate-General's remit and take part in meetings and, where appropriate, in briefings and/or negotiations with a view to reaching compromises and finding solutions. In this context, you will assist the presidencies in negotiations and ensure effective communication and cooperation with EU institutions, agencies and other bodies in the areas within the remit of the Directorate-General.

You will ensure overall strategic coordination, including with other Directorates-General on policy and objectives to be met.

Regular missions abroad, usually within the EU, are required.

We look for

We are looking for a manager with substantial experience in EU policy-making and the EU legislative process and an extensive knowledge of the Council and the European Council as well as EU institutional issues. Knowledge of the areas covered by the Directorate-General is an asset.

All GSC managers are expected to advise their hierarchy and stakeholders, manage their staff and financial resources and to represent the GSC. These expectations are set out in the GSC horizontal manager's profile, in Annex I.

Furthermore, the jobholder will need to possess:

the ability to think and plan strategically, to anticipate and identify potential problems and propose workable solutions and compromises;

excellent communication skills, including interpersonal communication skills;

the ability to maintain good working relationships with a range of internal and external interlocutors and the ability to demonstrate diplomacy;

leadership skills and the ability to promote a strong team spirit and to give guidance, and the ability to motivate and empower staff in a multicultural and diverse environment, with a strong emphasis on staff development;

the ability to plan and organise the overall work of the Directorate-General so as to meet critical deadlines and ensure a fair distribution of workload within the team, as well as the ability to manage change and support staff through change;

the ability to reach common agreements or goals by providing targeted advice to stakeholders and by effectively and constructively facilitating discussions.

Given that the GSC has a policy of mobility for its managers, who are expected to have broad experience, candidates should be willing and able to work in different areas of activity during their career at the GSC.


Applicants must meet the following requirements at the time of applying:


General conditions

be nationals of one of the Member States of the European Union;

enjoy their full rights as citizens;

have fulfilled any obligations imposed by the laws concerning military service.


Specific conditions

hold a university degree;

have at least fifteen years of relevant professional experience;

have at least three years' experience in a senior management role in the domain of EU policies;

given that English and French are used extensively for communication within the GSC and with other institutions, an excellent knowledge of one of the two languages and a good knowledge of the other is required. Knowledge of other official languages of the EU would be an asset.



This post requires security clearance allowing access to classified documents (EU SECRET level). Candidates applying for the post must be prepared to undergo security screening under Council Decision 2013/488/EU (1). Appointment to the post will only take effect on condition that the selected candidate has obtained a valid security clearance certificate. A candidate without security clearance will be offered a temporary contract until the result of the security clearance procedure is obtained.


The successful candidate must be prepared to follow the GSC management training.


In choosing the successful candidate the Appointing Authority shall be assisted by an advisory selection board. The advisory selection board will be supported by an assessment centre, run by external recruitment consultants. The reports established by the assessment centre for the same type of post will cease to be valid two years after the date on which the relevant exercises took place or upon termination of the framework contract between the GSC and the assessment centre in question — whichever date is the earliest.

The advisory selection board will initially evaluate and compare the qualifications, experience and motivation of all the applicants, on the basis of their applications. Based on that comparative assessment, the advisory selection board will shortlist those candidates who, in its opinion, are most suitable to be invited to the first interview. As this first selection is based on a comparative assessment of the applications, the fulfilment of the requirements of this vacancy does not guarantee invitation to the first interview. From among the interviewed candidates, the advisory selection board will pre-select candidates to attend the assessment centre as well as a second interview with the advisory selection board.

The provisional planning of the selection is as follows:

it is expected that candidates selected for the interviews will be informed in the first half of October;

the first interviews are foreseen to take place in the second half of October;

the assessment centre is expected to take place by the end of October;

the second round of interviews is foreseen for the first half of November.

NB: The above schedule is purely indicative and in particular subject to the implications of the restrictive measures put in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.


This post is published in all institutions of the European Union and outside the institutions, in conformity with Article 29(1) and (2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union.


The closing date for applications is 1 October 2021 at 12.00 noon (Brussels time).

Applications will be accepted by email only and must be sent to: (2) no later than the closing date and time. Late applications will not be considered.

The email address indicated above must be used for any correspondence concerning the selection procedure (the email must have in the subject the following title: CONS/AD/173/21 COMPET).

Before submitting their application, candidates should carefully check whether they meet the requirements listed above under ‘Recruitment policy’, in order to avoid automatic exclusion from the selection procedure.

In order to be valid, the application file must include the following documents in pdf (NB: locked, password protected or electronically signed documents are not accepted):


the application form (Annex V) duly completed and dated; the electronic application form can be found on the Council’s website under the following link: (file to be named ‘XXX (YOUR FAMILY NAME) — Application form.pdf’);


a detailed curriculum vitae (3), in English or French, preferably in the Europass format (, covering the applicant’s entire career, listing, inter alia, the applicant’s qualifications, language knowledge, experience and current duties (file to be named ‘XXX (YOUR FAMILY NAME) — CV.pdf’);


a motivation letter, in English or French (file to be named ‘XXX (YOUR FAMILY NAME) — Motivation letter.pdf’);


grouped in one pdf document, copies of diplomas certifying education and copies of documents and certificates relating to professional experience. It is not sufficient to simply send the curriculum vitae mentioned under (b). Supporting documents must have been issued by a third party (file to be named ‘XXX (YOUR FAMILY NAME) — Supporting documents.pdf’).

Failure to include these documents will make the application invalid.

All supporting documents referred to under (d), must be numbered in sequence (Annex 1, 2, etc.) and grouped as mentioned above.

Applications that arrive by post, or via cloud-based data storage solutions or file-share platforms will not be considered.

The successful candidate will be asked to provide the originals of the aforementioned documents.

Candidates will receive an email acknowledging receipt of their application. However, technical difficulties related to the transmission of emails can never be completely eliminated. Therefore, if no email that acknowledges receipt of the application has been received, candidates are encouraged to contact Since the advisory selection board will begin its work shortly after the closing date for applications, any necessary verifications as to the receipt of the application should be made in the week following that date.


The GSC is committed to diversity and inclusion (see Annex II).

The GSC recognises that a healthy work-life balance is an important motivational factor for many people and that flexible working is increasingly expected to be part of a modern working environment. It therefore offers a very good package of statutory flexible working arrangements and facilities such as after-school care and crèche.

As an employer, the GSC is committed to ensuring gender equality and to preventing discrimination on any grounds. It actively welcomes applications from all qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds, across all abilities and from the broadest possible geographical basis amongst the EU Member States. To promote gender equality, the GSC encourages applications in particular from women.

Assistance can be provided to persons with disabilities during the recruitment procedure. For further information, please send an email to


The procedures relating to requests for complaints, appeals and referrals to the European Ombudsman are set out in Annex III to this vacancy notice.


The rules governing the processing of personal data in connection with this selection procedure are set out in Annex IV to this vacancy notice.

(1)  Council Decision 2013/488/EU of 23 September 2013 on the security rules for protecting EU classified information (OJ L 274, 15.10.2013, p. 1).

(2)  This email address is linked to a functional mailbox and can only process messages with the ‘Normal’ sensitivity option; emails sent with other Sensitivity Options (e.g. ‘Personal’, ‘Private’, ‘Confidential’) cannot be processed. Please therefore select the ‘Normal’ sensitivity option. Maximum size of your email must be 25 MB. If your email, together with its attachments, exceeds this maximum size, please split your attachments over a number of emails.

(3)  Candidates are requested not to put photos on their CV.


The GSC Horizontal Managers' Profile

As a GSC manager you add value in acting both as an adviser and a manager and you are always a representative of the GSC.

In performing these roles you are expected to:

As a Representative

Act with integrity, externally as well as internally.

Act in the interest of the European Council and the Council as well as the Union as a whole. Ensure that any divergences are identified and managed.

Create relationships of confidence, trust and openness, and be an active networker.

Be result-oriented and influential, and at the same time respectful and service oriented.

As an Adviser

Contribute to the development of the Union. Be proactive and creative. Think ahead and plan for future developments. Act as a provider of solutions.

Advise our stakeholders to facilitate the achievement of their aims and in the interest of our two institutions. Be objective and fair.

Be aware of the interaction between decision-making and public debate. Make sure that your advice takes account of the political situation of our stakeholders and integrates communication considerations.

Facilitate legitimate decision-making through cooperation, good working relationships and compromise among Member States and with Institutions, and other stakeholders.

Stay well informed about developments within your area of responsibility, also beyond the immediate work of the European Council and the Council. Keep the big picture in mind.

As a Manager

Empower your staff, delegate and trust, support and motivate, give feedback and guidance, encourage initiative and courage to think out of the box; reduce hierarchy and control to a minimum, while maintaining quality.

Communicate clearly on objectives and expectations and ensure the flow of information to, from and among your staff as well as with other DGs, directorates and units.

Act always in the interest of the whole of the GSC, not just your own DG or Directorate or Unit, and make sure that we deliver to our stakeholders. Break down silos.

Have the courage to address conflict, underperformance and other difficulties in a timely manner; ensure your staff's wellbeing and development, and fulfil your duty of care to your staff.

In driving and facilitating change involve your staff to make sure that the GSC keeps up with developments and becomes more dynamic, flexible and collaborative. Walk the talk.

Take responsibility for the optimal use of GSC human and financial resources.


Diversity and Inclusion in the General Secretariat of the Council (GSC)

The General Secretariat of the Council is committed to providing equal opportunities to all its employees and applicants for employment. As an employer, the GSC is committed to ensuring equality between men and women and to preventing discrimination on any grounds. It actively welcomes applications from all qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds, across all abilities and from the broadest possible geographical basis amongst the EU Member States.

The main aims of the GSC's Diversity and Inclusion policy are to:

achieve a balanced representation of men and women. The GSC encourages applications from women especially for management posts, where they are currently under-represented;

improve accessibility of the working environment and ensure that it is inclusive. Reasonable accommodation arrangements for staff with disabilities can be provided unless they would impose an undue burden on the resources of the institution. Assistance can be provided to persons with disabilities during the recruitment procedure;

ensure that human resources and personnel management policies respect the principles of equality and non-discrimination;

protect staff from harassment at work;

reconcile professional and private life. The GSC offers a comprehensive package of flexible working measures, including telework, individual working time and the possibility to take parental leave for mothers and fathers in accordance with the Staff Regulation. The GSC has a crèche for children from 0-4 years. After-school care and holiday-time facilities are organised by the European Commission and open to children of GSC staff.

For further information, send an email to



If, at any stage of the selection procedure, you are dissatisfied with how your application is handled you have the right to complain.

Internal complaint

Where you receive a decision that you are dissatisfied with you may, within 3 months of the notification of the decision, lodge a complaint under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union, to:

Council of the European Union

Legal Advisers to the Administration Unit, ORG 1.F

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175

1048 Bruxelles/Brussel


Email address:

Replies to such complaints are given in writing by the Appointing Authority within 4 months of the receipt of the complaint. However, if your complaint arrives sufficiently early, it may be possible to have the advisory selection board review the decision that is the object of your complaint and to reply to you on that basis.

Judicial Appeal

If you are dissatisfied with the reply you receive from the Appointing Authority under the internal complaints procedure, you may submit a judicial appeal under Article 91 of the Staff Regulations to:

General Court of the European Union

Rue du Fort Niedergrünewald

L-2925 Luxembourg


Complaint to the European Ombudsman

After having exhausted all the possibilities for redress at the GSC, in particular the internal complaints procedure under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations, then like any other citizen of the Union, you may lodge a complaint with:

The European Ombudsman

1, avenue du Président Robert Schuman — BP 403

F-67001 Strasbourg Cedex


under Article 228(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in accordance with the conditions laid down in Decision 94/262/ECSC, EC, Euratom of the European Parliament of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties (1).

You should note that complaints lodged with the European Ombudsman have no suspensive effect on the period of time laid down in Article 90(2) and Article 91 of the Staff Regulations for the lodging of complaints or appeals with the General Court of the European Union under Article 270 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

(1)  OJ L 113, 4.5.1994, p. 15.



As the institution responsible for organising the selection procedure, the General Secretariat of the Council ensures that applicants' personal data are processed in accordance with 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 (1).

The legal basis for the selection procedure is the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the Council Decision 2013/488/EU of 23 September 2013 on the security rules for protecting EU classified information (2). The selection procedure is conducted under the responsibility of the Human Resources Directorate (ORG.1), Staffing and Mobility Unit, and the controller is the head of that unit. The information provided by the applicants will be accessible to members of the Office for the Selection of Officials and their superiors, to the members of the Advisory Selection Committee, and, if necessary, to the Legal Advisers' unit. Administrative information identifying the candidate and/or necessary for the practical organisation of the procedure may be forwarded to an assessment centre.

The purpose of the processing operation is to collect data identifying all the applicants for a post with the Secretariat General of the Council and to select one of those applicants.

The data in question are:

personal data which make it possible to identify the applicants (surname, first name, date of birth, sex, nationality);

information supplied by the applicants to facilitate the practical organisation of the procedure (postal address, email address, telephone number);

information supplied by the applicants to make it possible to assess whether they meet the admission conditions laid down in the notice of vacancy (nationality; languages; applicants' qualifications and the year they were awarded, type of diploma/degree, name of awarding institution, professional experience);

where applicable, information on the type and duration of applicants' security clearance;

the results of the selection tests taken by the applicants, including the evaluations drawn up by the assessment centre's consultants on behalf of the selection board.

The processing begins on the date of receipt of the application. Applications are filed and stored in archives for two years.

All applicants may exercise their right of access to and right to rectify personal data. Substantiated requests should be emailed to the Office for Selection of Officials at

Applicants may have recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor (

(1)  OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39.

(2)  OJ L 274, 15.10.2013, p. 1.


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