Sector Officer Civil Society

European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 08

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 a highly motivated and qualified candidate to fill a vacancy for a Civil Society Officer in the FMO’s Funds and Horizontal Concerns Unit within the Programmes Department.

In the 2009-2014 funding period the grants allocated €1.8 billion to 148 programmes under which approximately 7000 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.

Support to civil society is a key priority within the EEA and Norway Grants, which are funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Support for civil society is provided through the Active Citizens Fund (ACF) in the 15 Beneficiary States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).

The ACF contributes to the overall objectives of the EEA and Norway Grants, to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the Beneficiary and Donor States. The objective of the ACF is to strengthen civil society and active citizenship, and to empower vulnerable groups. The areas of support are:

  • Democracy, active citizenship, good governance and transparency;
  • Human rights and equal treatment through combating any discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups;
  • Gender equality and gender-based violence;
  • Environment and climate change.

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. More information can be found on our website at:

The position is open to nationals of the EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and nationals of the member states of the European Union.

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 14/2018

The Sector Officer, Civil Society will be Programme Manager for several ACF programmes. S/he will oversee programme development and programme implementation and will advise FMO management and the Donors on issues related to civil society. S/he reports to the Head of Funds and Horizontal Concerns Unit. The position involves travel.


  • Contribute to improving and further developing the civil society support activities in the EEA and Norway Grants 2014 - 2021;
  • Manage several ACF programmes;
  • Work closely with Fund Operators in Beneficiary States implementing ACF on behalf of the FMO as Programme Operator;
  • Actively use the FMO’s information management system for tracking progress and reporting on the ACF;
  • Report to the Donors and stakeholders on progress and results of ACF programmes;
  • Maintain overview and assess relevant developments within the civil society sector in the Donor States, the Beneficiary States and at an EU level;
  • Provide policy advice to the Donors on the civil society sector;
  • Maintain contact with relevant institutions in the Donor States and Beneficiary States, as well as European networks and stakeholders;
  • Facilitate contacts and cooperation between the Donor and Beneficiary States;
  • Contribute to the implementation of the FMO’s risk management strategy;
  • Work with the other FMO teams on ACF programmes;
  • Fulfill administrative tasks in relation to the work.


Relevant University degree, Master’s level.


Relevant work experience in the area of civil society, as well as public administration or international organisations. Experience in programme/project management and facilitation of partnerships. Experience with policies and priorities in this area in the Donor and Beneficiary States. Experience in working with civil society in the Beneficiary States is considered an asset.


  • Ability to provide substance-related and technical input and ensure timely progress of the development and implementation of programmes;
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of the civil society sector including policies and priorities within the sector, in particular policies of the three Donor States;
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of the needs and challenges of the civil society sector in the Beneficiary States;
  • Experience with the areas of support for the ACF, as listed above;
  • Experience with capacity development aimed at strengthening the sustainability of the civil society sector;
  • Good knowledge of EU policies and programmes related to the civil society sector;
  • Excellent drafting, presentation and communication skills;
  • Result-oriented approach, and a proactive and cooperative outlook;
  • Diplomatic and negotiation skills;
  • Strong interpersonal abilities, including a dynamic and flexible attitude, and cultural sensitivity;
  • Self-reliance and autonomy, but also the skills needed for team work; and
  • Ability to multitask and work to tight deadlines.


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

Employment Terms

Grade: A4
Annual starting salary: EUR 92,050

Appointments are normally made at step 1 of the grade. The Director of the FMO reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level different from that advertised. Through its recruitment policy, the FMO wants to ensure diversity in terms of gender, age and culture.

We offer a very interesting and challenging position in a dynamic and diverse environment and the opportunity to work in a team of highly qualified people. Salaries and related payments are exempt from taxation by the EFTA Member States, and as regulated in headquarters agreements, in the EFTA host states. Depending on the candidate’s family status, benefits and allowances may apply.

Application instructions

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