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Project Officer Space

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European Defence Agency (EDA) hiring: Project Officer Space


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 Information Superiority, the Project Officer Space is responsible for the following activities:

  • manage existing and identify new cooperative projects related to space-based technology (ISR – Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, including space-based Earth Observation (SBEO), Space Situational Awareness (SSA), and Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT));
  • coordinate / chair working groups of experts, from national and international organizations, to collect requirements and to analyse and develop project proposals in the above mentioned fields;
  • manage the preparation phase (as defined in the guide to the conduct of a programme preparation phase) of space-related projects or programmes;
  • apply a cross-directorate approach in the capability development process, ensuring coherence with R&T work strands and the applicable policy indications;
  • liaise and maintain the appropriate links with stakeholders regarding space activities including with the European Commission, EU SATCEN, the European Space Agency (ESA) and, where appropriate, other relevant institutions and bodies such as NATO;
  • contribute to the Agency’s policy orientation regarding space activities;
  • identify areas of technological dual-use interest;
  • support the Capability, Armaments and Planning Director in his relations with the participating Member States, national civil and military space agencies, ESA, OCCAR (in applicable cases) and the European Commission regarding the management of cooperative space programmes;
  • coordinate national industrial and technological standards development, ensure support to equipment standardization, interoperability and interconnectivity in terms of technology development and R&T;
  • analyse input from the Member States regarding collaborative database and identifying possible new areas for space programme co-operation.

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 five 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:

  • experience in armaments acquisition and international armaments collaboration;
  • experience in international space programmes management by national and international space agencies (e.g. ESA);
  • competence in the technical aspects of space-based ISR (incl. SBEO), Space Situational Awareness and PNT capabilities;
  • familiarity with European armaments cooperation structures;
  • familiarity with the international defence environment (especially CSDP) and with the European institutions;
  • a track record of delivering successful business outcomes.

(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:

  • ability to work in a team;
  • effective leadership and organisational skills;
  • flexibility, tact and pleasing disposition, with a strong sense of duty and responsibility;
  • results-orientation and strong motivation;
  • accuracy and dependability;
  • flexibility and innovativeness;
  • commitment to the Agency’s objectives;
  • good communication skills.

c. Desirable

The following would be considered an advantage:

  • University degree or other post-graduate qualifications in space related matters;
  • knowledge/experience on high-altitude/suborbital systems;
  • hold a (recognised) Project Management qualification.


The Project Officer Space will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the Agency’s interest and to make a declaration in relation to interests that might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence.


The Project Officer Space will be appointed by the Chief Executive.

Secondment will be as a member of the Seconded National Expert staff of the Agency for a three-year period (unless a shorter period is mutually agreed between the parties). Renewal is possible within the limits set out in the EDA SNE Rules. The successful candidates will be seconded as AD11 equivalent.

Applications are invited with a view to establishing a reserve list for the post of Project Officer Space at the EDA. This list is valid until 31/12/2020, and may be extended by decision of the Chief Executive. During the validity of the reserve list, successful candidates may be offered a secondment in the EDA according to their competences in relation to the specific requirements of the vacant post. Inclusion on the reserve list does not imply any entitlement of secondment to the Agency.


The EDA is an equal opportunities employer and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of age, race, political, philosophical or religious conviction, sex or sexual orientation and regardless of disabilities, marital status or family situation.

Closing date for applications: 20/01/2020.

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