Official Journal of the European Union

CA 391/1

Notice of vacancy CONS/AD/142/18

(2018/C 391 A/01)



Legal Service — JUR

Place of work


Title of post

Legal Adviser to the Council — Director-General of the Legal Service

Function group and grade

AD 15

Security clearance required



26 November 2018

Who we are

The General Secretariat of the Council (GSC) assists the European Council and the Council of the European Union (Council) and their preparatory bodies in all fields of their activities. It provides advice and support to members of the European Council and the Council and to their Presidents in all areas of activity, including legal and policy advice, coordination with other institutions, elaboration of compromises, drafting as well as all the practicalities that are necessary for the good preparation and running of the European Council and the Council.

The Legal Service is the legal adviser to the European Council and the Council, assisting the European Council, the Council and its preparatory bodies, the presidency and the GSC in ensuring the legality and the drafting quality of acts. In cooperation with other Council departments, it contributes to identifying legally correct and politically acceptable solutions, taking a creative approach where appropriate. To that end, it gives opinions in complete impartiality — orally or in writing, at the request of the Council or on its own initiative — on any question of a legal nature. The Legal Service also represents the European Council and the Council in proceedings before the courts of the Union. The constant objective of the Legal Service is to provide timely contributions which are distinguished by their full respect for the law, their impartiality and their clarity.

The Legal Service comprises six thematic directorates that cover all of the Union’s areas of activity and one directorate which is responsible for the quality of legislation.

What we are looking for

The GSC is recruiting the Director General of the Legal Service, Legal Counsel of the European Council and of the Council. This is a challenging post in a multicultural and politically complex environment. We are looking for a lawyer with professional experience at a very high level and a strong political sense. He or she should also have senior management experience in the legal domain. He or she should be able to provide an overall strategic orientation and ensure effective management of the directorate-general's activities and staff. He or she should be able to provide advice at the highest level, at his or her own initiative or upon request, to the Presidency and the Council, to the President of the European Council (PEC) and to the Secretary-General. Moreover, he or she should be able to establish excellent relations and ensure communication with internal and external interlocutors at all levels.

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

GSC managers are expected to advise their hierarchy and stakeholders, manage their staff and represent the organisation. These expectations are set out in more detail in the GSC Horizontal Managers’ profile in Annex I.

Overall purpose of the job

Provide high-level legal advice, orally or in writing, in the areas within the service’s remit

Lead his or her directorate-general under the authority of the Secretary-General


Provide high-level advice and written or oral opinions at high level on legal and institutional questions, on his or her own initiative or upon request, to the Secretary-General, the Council, the rotating Presidency and, where appropriate, to the PEC on all aspects of dossiers in order to contribute to finding solutions which are legally correct and acceptable for the concerned instance

Ensure that managers and staff in the Legal Service are motivated and engaged in attaining their objectives

Manage and coordinate the work of the Directorates in cooperation with the Directors

Develop and implement the strategy and work programme of the directorate-general

Define the objectives of the directorate-general and ensure their attainment according to required deadlines and quality standards

Contribute to the broader organisational management and development in the GSC through various channels

Represent the directorate-general at director-general level both within the GSC and externally, in particular in its relations with the rotating Presidency, and in its relations with the other institutions and agencies

Foster a culture of effective communication and cooperation both within the service and with other GSC services and promote service orientation towards the directorate-general's internal and external stakeholders

Assist and represent the European Council and the Council in disputes and, where appropriate, represent them in cases before the EU’s courts

Job environment

Workplace: Brussels, Justus Lipsius Building

Specific competencies

Professional competencies

Given that French and English 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 language is required. Knowledge of other official languages of the EU would be an asset.

Extensive knowledge of EU law (key competency)

Extensive knowledge of the functioning and procedures of the EU

Knowledge of the role of the European Council and Council and of their decision-making processes

Good decision-making skills, sound judgment in critical situations and good multitasking skills

Performing tasks and achieving results

Set high standards for quality of work (key competency)

Personal qualities

Ability and willingness to develop creative and effective solutions

An outstanding sense of responsibility

Ability to adapt to changes in the working environment, priorities and working methods

Interpersonal skills

Strong political sense, excellent communication, presentation and negotiating skills

Ability to build trusting working relationships with high-level representatives of relevant internal and external stakeholders

Ability to manage and motivate large multicultural, multidisciplinary teams

Management Competencies

Ability to meet the expectations for managers set in the GSC Management Profile

Who can apply

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions for admission at the time of applying:

a)   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.

b)   Specific conditions

Hold a high-level university degree in law giving access to doctoral studies in law or have an equivalent professional qualification (1).

Have at least 15 years of professional experience providing legal advice with a very high level of responsibility.

Have substantial management experience of which at least 3 years should be in a senior management role in the legal domain.


The GSC is committed to equal opportunities (see Annex II) and actively welcomes applications from all qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds and from the broadest possible geographical basis amongst the EU Member States.

To promote gender equality, the GSC encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at senior management level.

The Human Resources Directorate can provide assistance to candidates with disabilities during the recruitment procedure. Reasonable adjustments for staff with disabilities can be made at the workplace.

The GSC also offers many measures to reconcile professional and private life.

For further information on equal opportunities at the GSC, please contact the Equal Opportunities Office (egalite-des-chances@consilium.europa.eu).

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 (2). 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.

Successful candidates must be prepared to follow the GSC management training programme, if necessary.

This post is published in accordance with Article 29(2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union (senior management post).

This post has also been published to all Institutions of the European Union.

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. The reports established by the assessment centre 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 candidates, on the basis of their applications. Based on that comparative assessment, the advisory selection board will shortlist the candidates whom it considers most suitable and will invite them to the first interview. As this first selection is based on a comparative assessment of the applications, fulfilling the requirements of this vacancy does not guarantee being invited to the first interview. From among the interviewed candidates, the advisory selection board will pre-select candidates to attend an assessment centre run by external recruitment consultants, 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 by beginning of December 2018;

The first interviews are foreseen for the first half of January 2019;

The assessment centre is expected to take place by the end of January 2019;

The second round of interviews is foreseen for the beginning of February 2019.

How to apply

The closing date for applications is Monday 26 November 2018 at 23:59 hours (Brussels time).

Applications must be sent by email to

Selection.of.Officials-Applications.Management.Posts@consilium.europa.eu (3), and received within the above indicated closing date. 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/142/18 Legal Service)

Before submitting their application, candidates should carefully check whether they meet all the eligibility criteria in order to avoid automatic exclusion from the selection procedure.

In order to be valid, applications must include:


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: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/general-secretariat/jobs/job-opportunities/


a detailed curriculum vitae (4), accompanied by a letter of motivation, in English or French, preferably in the Europass format (http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu), covering the candidate's entire career, listing, inter alia, the candidate's qualifications, language knowledge, experience, and current duties; and


scans of diplomas certifying education and scans of documents and certificates relating to professional experience. Supporting documents must come from a third party and it is not sufficient to simply send the CV mentioned under (b).

All supporting documents attached to the application must be in word text, .pdf or .jpg format, named (in English or French) and numbered in sequence (Annex 1, 2, etc.). A list of all annexes must also be attached. Applications that arrive via cloud based data storage solution or file-share platforms will not be considered.

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

An email acknowledging receipt of your application will be sent to you. If after one week following the closing date for applications you have not received the acknowledgement email, please contact Selection.of.Officials-Applications.Management.Posts@consilium.europa.eu.

Re-examination of applications

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

Data protection

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)  Article 5(3)(c) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union (the Staff Regulations) require candidates to have at least:


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.

(2)  OJ L 274, 15.10.2013, p. 1.

(3)  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.

(4)  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.


Equal opportunities in the general secretariat of the council

As an employer, the GSC is responsible for ensuring equality of opportunity between men and women and for prohibiting discrimination on any grounds. The main aims of its Equal Opportunities policy are to:

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

achieve a balanced representation of men and women, especially in management posts;

improve the situation of persons with disabilities, in terms of accessibility of its buildings and a work environment that is inclusive and adapted to their needs:

Adjustments for people with disabilities (‘reasonable accommodation’) may involve the rearrangement of duties or responsibilities, provision of technical aids and other adjustments to the working environment. Such measures will be taken unless they would impose an undue burden on the resources of the institution.

protect its staff from harassment at work;

take into account the needs of staff to strike a balance between their work and family commitments by offering a good package of family-friendly measures, including flexitime, telework and job-sharing.

Work-life balance measures

A Flexitime system operates throughout the GSC in accordance with a 40-hour working week, flexi leave being possible for non-managerial staff. In many job environments, an individual timetable, falling within the framework hours of 07.00 to 20.00, can be agreed. Part-time work can be granted, for example to care for a dependent child up to the age of 12, or 14 when the official is a single parent.

Statutory maternity leave is twenty weeks and on return to work up to two hours per day can be granted for breastfeeding. Fathers have the right to paid paternity leave of ten days. Parental leave of up to six months per child can be granted with a flat-rate allowance. In the case of serious illness or disability of a child, maternity, paternity and parental leaves are longer. Family leave with a flat-rate allowance is also possible in the case of family members with a serious illness or disability. Special leave is granted in such cases as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, and death or serious illness of a family member. In exceptional circumstances, unpaid leave on personal grounds (CCP) can be accorded.

Depending on tasks and job environment, teleworking is possible under the standard teleworking scheme (e.g. 2 days in the office and 3 at home per week) or under the occasional teleworking scheme (up to 60 days at home per year).

The following childcare facilities are available for staff with children, according to priority criteria:

GSC crèche for children from 0-4 years, after-school care and holiday-time facilities organised by the European Commission and after-school activities at the European schools.

For further information, send an email to egalite-des-chances@consilium.europa.eu.


Request for review — appeals procedures — Complaints to the European Ombudsman

If, at any stage of the selection procedure, you consider that a decision adversely affects you, you may use the following means:

Request for review of the decisions taken by the advisory selection board

Within ten days of the date of the letter notifying you of a decision taken by the advisory selection board, you may submit a written request for a review of such a decision, setting out the reasons for your request, to:

Council of the European Union

Selection of Officials Office

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175


email address: Selection.of.officials@consilium.europa.eu

Appeal procedure

You may lodge a complaint against a decision of the Appointing Authority, under Article 90(2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union, within 3 months of the notification of the decision, to:

Council of the European Union

Legal Advisers to the Administration Unit, ORG.1.F

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175


email address: unite.conseillers.dga1@consilium.europa.eu

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

Complaints to the European Ombudsman

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 the Decision of the European Parliament of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties published in Official Journal of the European Communities L 113 of 4 May 1994.

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.


Data protection

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 (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 institutions and bodies of the European Union and on the free movement of such data (1).

The legal basis for the selection procedure is the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the Council Decision of 23 September 2013 on the security rules for protecting EU classified information (2013/488/EU). The selection procedure is conducted under the responsibility of the Human Resources Directorate (DG 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 members of the Advisory Selection Committee, and, if necessary, to the legal advisers' unit. Administrative information identifying the candidate and/or 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 advisers 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 Selection.of.officials@consilium.europa.eu.

Applicants may have recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor edps@edps.europa.eu.

(1)  OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1.