Head of Communications – Job Reference 13/2018

Deadline for applications: 20 May 2018

Role Description

After some 25 years of existence, both ESA and the EEA Agreement have become a fact of life for the citizens of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. But this has not changed the need to explain our activities and advocate the many tangible benefits of the internal market. We are looking for a seasoned communications expert to lead the development of our outreach profile. If you are hard-working, motivated and passionate about European cooperation and willing to go the extra mile, we will provide a unique opportunity to work in an inspiring international environment in Brussels.

As the Head of Communications you will keep the public informed of ESA’s activities and take the lead in spreading knowledge about the EEA Agreement. In this key role, you will develop a strong working relationship with the media. You will identify ESA’s communication needs, opportunities and challenges, as well as how to meet them.

Working together with officials and experts at all levels of the organisation, you will be expected to develop a thorough understanding of ESA’s responsibilities and get on top of individual cases and decisions. As a communications specialist embedded in a team of mainly legal experts, you will need to use your creativity and take the lead in identifying the communication implications of ESA’s decisions and coordinating and delivering our external messages.

A core aspect of the role resides in drafting content for press releases, social media communcations, speeches and other publications of ESA. This requires meticulous attention to detail and an ability to grasp new and often technical subjects in little time. Importantly, you will oversee the development of a new external website and look for new communications channels for ESA to convey the importance of the EEA Agreement.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Managing and coordinating communications and outreach efforts in ESA
  • Handling media enquiries and developing and maintaining strong working relationships with the press in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein
  • Providing press and communications advice to ESA staff and management
  • Drafting, editing and distributing press releases
  • Overseeing the development of a new external website
  • Further developing ESA’s social media presence and digital communication
  • Giving speeches and presentations at events and to visitor groups
  • Drafting, editing and co-ordinating the production of ESA’s annual report and other information material

The following are essential:

  • University degree in communications, journalism or other relevant subjects
  • Relevant work experience from within the public or private sector commensurate with the seniority of the role
  • Experience of working with the media and familiarity with the press of at least one of the EEA EFTA States
  • Strong oral and written presentation skills
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English (the working language of ESA)
  • Native-level knowledge of Norwegian (the language of ESA’s largest relevant media market)
  • Excellent organisational, analytical and interpersonal skills
  • Initiative and the ability to work both independently and in a team in an international environment

The following are desirable:

  • Knowledge of the functioning of the EU and the EEA Agreement and their institutions
  • Experience with project management
  • Working knowledge of Icelandic and/or German
  • An affinity for information technology tools
  • Understanding of legal issues and court procedures
  • Experience of speech writing


This position will be filled in accordance with ESA’s policy on Recruitment Policy available at: https://jobs.eftasurv.int. Former ESA staff members are eligible to apply provided the closing date is at least three years after their departure date. In exceptional circumstances, this requirement may be waived. The three-year requirement does not apply in the case of applications from current or former ESA temporary staff, trainees and seconded national experts. Current and former EFTA Secretariat and EFTA Court staff may apply for positions in ESA at any time.

The position is placed at grade A4 of ESA’s salary scale, the precise step being determined depending on the relevant experience of the successful candidate, with a likely starting salary of between €92 000 and €96 800 per annum. Depending on personal situation and family status, additional allowances and benefits may apply. Tax conditions are favourable.

Type and duration of appointment: fixed-term contract of three years, renewable for a further three years if desirable and in the interest of ESA. Applicants must be nationals of the States party to the EEA Agreement (EU 28 + EEA EFTA 3) and have, or be eligible to obtain security clearance to “Secret” level.

ESA actively seeks to promote a healthy work/life balance and a working environment allowing its staff members to develop their professional skills and interests.

Application process:

- All applications must be made online at: https://jobs.eftasurv.int

- Deadline for applications: 20 May 2018

- Interviews: mid-June 2018

- Start date: September 2018 or earlier if possible

Applications submitted in response to this vacancy notice may also be taken into account for the purpose of filling other vacancies arising for similar positions within ESA.

Questions regarding the post may be addressed to Anne Vestbakke, Head of Communications, on +32 (0)2 286 1866 / [email protected].

Questions regarding the recruitment process may be addressed to Emma Thomas, HR Officer on +32 (0)2 286 1832 / [email protected].

Firm: The EFTA Surveillance Authority

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) monitors compliance with the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, enabling those States to participate in the Internal Market of the European Union. ESA is an international organisation, independent of the States, which safeguards the rights of individuals and undertakings under the EEA Agreement, ensuring free movement, fair competition and control of state aid. ESA's work helps remove barriers to trade and open up new opportunities to over 500 million Europeans, creating jobs and growth and adding to the international competitiveness of the States. ESA is based in Brussels. It currently employs 79 staff members of 17 nationalities. ESA is led by a College consisting of three members, each appointed for a period of four years by the three participating EFTA States.