(Senior) Bilateral Officer

European Free Trade Association
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 26

Position description

The Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) is the secretariat of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, and is affiliated to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Brussels.

We are looking for highly motivated and qualified candidates to fill two (Senior) Bilateral Officer vacancies. The selected candidates will be appointed on a Senior Officer or Officer level subject to their relevant work experience.

We expect candidates who are eager to work with the EEA and Norway Grants objective of strengthening bilateral relations between the three Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the 15 Beneficiary States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).

The overall objectives of the grants are to reduce economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area (EEA) and to strengthen bilateral relations between the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the 15 Beneficiary States.

The Grants are based on a programme model where the Beneficiary States are responsible for the programmes and for projects implemented under the programmes. A few programmes, notably regarding Civil Society, Regional Cooperation and Decent Work, are operated by the FMO.

In the 2009-2014 funding period the grants allocated €1.8 billion to 148 programmes under which approximately 7200 projects were carried out. The programmes and projects under this funding period are now drawing to a close. The allocation for the new funding period (2014-2021) totals €2.8 billion.

The priority sectors in the period 2014-2021 are:

  • Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness;
  • Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction;
  • Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy;
  • Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms;
  • Justice and Home Affairs.

The FMO offers an international, stimulating and diverse workplace, with a current staff of over 60 employees comprising 18 nationalities. Our values are: professionalism; cooperation; and trust, responsibility and respect.

The positions are open to nationals of the EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).

Division: Financial Mechanism Office
Category/Level: A4
Type/Duration of Appointment: Fixed-term three years (renewable once if in the interest of the FMO)
Start Date: As soon as possible
Job Reference: VA 11/2018

The Bilateral Officers will work closely together to achieve our bilateral goals. The EEA and Norway Grants work is of great importance to our donors, beneficiaries and partners. Our future Bilateral Officers should have experience from working in similar organisations and also from working in the area between politics and administration.

The Bilateral Officer in the Programmes Department, Funds and Horizontal Concerns Unit will ensure that programmes contribute to strengthening of bilateral relations. The Bilateral Officer in the Country and Bilateral Cooperation Department will mainly work on Beneficiary State level.

Please note that the submitted applications will be considered for both positions.


Both positions

  • Oversee implementation of the bilateral objective of the Grants;
  • Facilitate partnerships in programmes and projects, as well as other cooperation between the Donor and Beneficiary States;
  • Liaise with Donor State Embassies and Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the planning and implementation of initiatives funded by earmarked funds for bilateral relations in each Beneficiary State;
  • Report to the Donors and other stakeholders on progress and results of the bilateral cooperation;
  • Further develop reporting of bilateral results;
  • Improve and further develop the bilateral work in the EEA and Norway Grants financial mechanism 2014 - 2021;
  • Liaise with all teams within the FMO and give support on the bilateral objective and follow-up work plans, budgeting and reporting;
  • Propose mitigating actions to achieve the bilateral objectives;
  • Fulfil administrative tasks in relation to bilateral work.

Additional tasks for the Bilateral Officer in the Programmes Department

  • Coordinate administration of framework agreements with more than 20 public entities acting as Donor Programme Partners;
  • Maintain contacts with and provide guidance to relevant institutions and organisations in the Donor and Beneficiary States.


  • Relevant University degree, Master’s level.


Relevant work experience from public administration and/or international organisations. Experience in programme/project management and facilitation of partnerships. For the senior officer post extensive relevant work experience would be required.


  • Knowledge of the Donors’ policies and priorities for the Grants;
  • Knowledge of the Beneficiary States;
  • Knowledge of relevant EU/EEA legislation for the priority sectors of the Grants;
  • Ability to draft reports and analytical papers, and ability to present complex issues clearly and convincingly;
  • Result-oriented approach, and a proactive and cooperative outlook;
  • Excellent diplomatic and negotiation skills;
  • Strong interpersonal abilities, including a dynamic and flexible attitude, and cultural sensitivity;
  • Self-reliance and autonomy, but also facility for team work; and
  • Ability to multitask and work to tight deadlines.

The positions involve travel.


Excellent oral and written communication skills in English (the working language of the FMO). Knowledge of another EFTA/EU language is an asset.

Application instructions

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