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Project Officer Air Capabilities

Website European Defence Agency

European Defence Agency (EDA) hiring: Project Officer Air Capabilities.


The European Defence Agency was established on 12 July 2004, and is governed by Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1835 defining the statute, seat and operational rules of the European Defence Agency.

The Agency has its headquarters in Brussels.

The main task of EDA is to support the Council and the Member States in their effort to improve the Union’s defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as it currently stands and as it develops in the future.

The Agency is structured into four directorates. Three operational directorates: Industry, Synergies and Enablers (ISE); Capability, Armament & Planning (CAP); Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) and the Corporate Services Directorate (CSD).


The Agency is an “outward-facing” organisation, constantly interacting with its shareholders, the participating Member States, as well as with a wide range of stakeholders. It works in an integrated way, with multi-disciplinary teams representing all of the Agency’s functional areas, to realise its objectives. Its business processes are flexible and oriented towards achieving results. Staff at all levels need to demonstrate the corresponding qualities of commitment, flexibility, innovation, and team-working; to work effectively with shareholders and stakeholder groups, formal and informal; and to operate without the need for detailed direction.


The Capability, Armament & Planning Directorate (CAP) proposes collaborative opportunities in support of EU capability development priorities. The Directorate is responsible for capability development planning, based on analysis of military requirements conducted together with Member States within the Capability Development Plan (CDP).

The Directorate coordinates in-house the implementation of the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), for which the Agency provides the secretariat, establishing a regularly updated overview of the European defence capability landscape.

The CAP Directorate implements EDA’s secretariat functions to the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), together with the European External Action Service, including the EU Military Staff. Within the PESCO secretariat, the Directorate coordinates EDA’s assessment of PESCO project proposals from the capability perspective, as well as the National Implementation Plans of PESCO participating Member States, and supports PESCO project implementation.

Based on coordinating the results of CDP, CARD and PESCO, the Directorate plans and prepares activities tailored to Member States’ needs. These activities span from advice and roadmaps to collaborative capability development projects, including the support to Member States in upstream EDIDP/EDF.

The CAP Directorate comprises six Units with the following key areas of activity:

  • Air Domain Unit: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Air-to-Air Refueling, Airlift
  • Cooperation Planning Unit: CDP, CARD, Defence Data
  • Land and Logistics Unit: Land platforms, Counter-IED, Personnel Recovery, Military Mobility, Logistics, Medical Support
  • Information Superiority Unit: Communication & Information Systems, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Space, Cyber Defence
  • Maritime Unit: Maritime Surveillance, Mine Counter Measures, naval training, harbor protection
  • PESCO Unit: PESCO secretariat and support to project development


Under the supervision of the Head of Unit Air Domain, the jobholder will be responsible for/contribute to the following activities:

  • contribute to capability development to support Member States in improving their capabilities; the work entails, in particular, conceptual work, doctrinal as well as training and exercise aspects, technical and technological developments and operational activities;
  • deal with aspects of the comprehensive approach in creating synergies between military and civilian capability development, including for hybrid threats;
  • participate in the definition of capability requirements and contribute to the development of the Capability Development Priorities and advertise generating new collaborative capability related projects along the lines agreed within the Strategic Context Cases (SCC);
  • contribute to the development and update of the SCC to implement the EU Capability Development Priorities;
  • contribute, as appropriate, to the assessment of PESCO project proposals and to the assessment of proposals related to the EU Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) and European Defence Fund (EDF) related project proposals upon Member States’ request;
  • contribute to inputs for the CARD bi-lateral meetings with Member States and the development of the CARD aggregated analysis and exploit the collaborative opportunities identified by the CARD report;
  • coordinate and chair Project Teams (PT) or Ad Hoc Working Groups to support Member States in their effort to initiate and further develop cooperative projects, in particular in the following capability areas: air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, anti-access area denial, missile defence;
  • facilitate and run ad hoc programmes/projects (Categories A and B), established in EDA by Member States;
  • monitor the activities in the field of R&T and industry engagement in a transversal, cross-Directorate approach and coordinate the work with the responsible Project Officers;
  • maintain the appropriate links with participating Member States and relevant other interested parties like the Council General Secretariat, the European External Action Service, the EU Commission and Agencies as well as NATO;
  • represent the Agency during conferences and seminars;
  • take on additional tasks as required in the interest of the service.

Duties may evolve according to development of the EDA’s structure and activities, and the decisions of EDA management.


In accordance with the Rules applicable to national experts and military staff on secondment to the European Defence Agency (2004/677/EC), Seconded National Experts are seconded to the Agency while remaining in the service of their national employer and continuing to be paid their national salary by that employer. Therefore, in order to be considered in the selection process, candidates for an SNE post must be sponsored by their national authorities. Confirmation is required in the form of a letter of sponsorship addressed to the Agency as far as possible by the closing date for the receipt of applications, and in any case not later than the recruitment date. The Rules are available on the EDA website http://www.eda.europa.eu – vacancies.

a. Conditions for secondment

To qualify for secondment to the Agency, experts shall:

  • have worked for their employer on a permanent or contract basis for at least 12 months before their secondment;
  • remain in the service of their employer throughout the period of secondment and continue to be paid by that employer;
  • have at least three years’ full-time experience in defence, administrative, scientific, technical, operational, advisory or supervisory functions relevant to the performance of the duties assigned to them. Before the secondment, the employer shall supply the Agency with a statement of the expert’s employment covering the previous 12 months;
  • be nationals of a participating Member State or falling within the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 1 of Council Decision (EU) 2016/1352 of 4 August 2016;
  • have a thorough knowledge of one official language of one of the participating Member States and a satisfactory knowledge of another of these languages for the performance of their duties.

b. Essential selection criteria

(1) Professional

The candidate will be required to demonstrate that he/she has:

  • a thorough understanding and professional experience of the challenges related to air forces in CSDP operations and missions, and the competence necessary to propose and champion effective short, medium and long-term solutions related to capability development across the entire spectrum of air domain related EU Capability Development Priorities;
  • air force background, preferably with strategic and conceptual assignments and significant operational experience;
  • knowledge of and experience in air force related armament programmes;
  • familiarity with the international environment of defence in general and especially with CSDP;
  • an understanding of the EDA’s main tasks, functions and products;
  • knowledge/experience of defence planning, capability development and preparation and conduct of projects/programmes/studies;
  • a track record of delivering successful business outcomes;
  • a very good knowledge of written and spoken English;
  • knowledge and ability to use simulation tools and research tools.

(2) Personal

All staff must be able to fit into the Agency’s way of working (see para. 2). Other attributes important for this post include:

  • strong conceptual, drafting and analytical skills;
  • flexibility and innovativeness;
  • ability to work in team and independently in his/her area of responsibility;
  • ability to work effectively in a multinational environment;
  • good leadership and organisational skills;
  • results-orientation, and strong motivation;
  • genuine commitment to the Agency’s objectives.

c. Desirable

The following will be considered an advantage:

  • hold a (recognised) Project Management qualification.

Closing date for applications: 20/01/2020.

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