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Directorate: Capability, Armament and Planning Directorate (CAP)
Contract type: Trainee
Group: N.A.
Grade: N.A.
Indicative starting date: 01/09/2020
Security Clearance: SECRET UE/EU SECRET
Management of staff: N.A.
Closing date for applications: 15/05/2020

The selection of candidates will follow the EDA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EDA website - vacancies. Please note that to make an EDA on - line application you will need to create your EDA profile using a valid e - mail address and a password.


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. The Corporate Services Directorate (CSD) and three operational directorates: Industry, Synergies and Enablers (ISE); Capability, Armament & Planning (CAP); Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI).


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 teamworking; 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.


4.1. Project description and tasks/duties

EDA space-related activities are manifold and comprise:

  • two fully-fledged Cat B SATCOM capability projects (focus on Governmental SATCOM and Commercial SATCOM) with 16 and over 30 Members respectively;
  • several activities in Space-based Earth Observation and Positioning, Navigation and Timing that are still in the incubation phase at the stage of identification of requirements for EU defence with subsequent creation of capability projects envisaged;
  • the build up of Space Situational Awareness common concepts and needs in support of EU defence.

There is an inherent dual-use dimension in space, and it is important to oversee civilian developments (including the implementation of the EU Space Programme for the next MFF and the European Defence Fund) and assess their potential for defence use.

Under the joint supervision of the Capabilities Armaments Planning (CAP) and Industry, Synergies and Enablers (ISE) Directorates, the Trainee Space will provide transversal support to the various space activities in EDA with a focus on the Space Policy perspective. Here, the aim is to obtain information on space activities/space policies from other EU stakeholders, with a focus on the activities in the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service and EU Satellite Centre as well as ESA.

The received information needs to be prepared for the Project Officers in EDA working on space projects, including the Strategy & Policy Unit (SPU) and will be assessed commonly for further action.

Tasks include studying the structure and activities within groups in the above-mentioned entities dealing with space topics, reviewing project status/issues/updates, including meeting preparation and outcomes and publications/notifications.

A typical day at work involves approaching participants of respective entities, obtaining feedback from space-related activities and meetings, relaying it to EDA’s Project Officers, assessing developments, preparing views on potential synergies and support EU defence positions.

4.2. Project outputs/Outcomes

  • Deep insight into space-related activities in and for EU defence;
  • Overview of EU space policy and implementation of the next EU Space Programme;
  • Broad knowledge of the incentives for EU defence and their relation to capability development;
  • Ability to assess the dual-use character of space;
  • Very good overview on EU defence capability development and what collaborative mechanisms exist.

4.3. Learning outcomes

  • The trainee will experience the crossroads of defence and space and learn where the synergies of both lie;
  • S/he will get an insight into the powers of the EU legislative (European Parliament) and executive (Commission) bodies and the Council;
  • S/he will be in direct contact with military, academic and civilian personnel working on defence and space topics.

4.4. Technical/soft skills to be acquired

Technical skills gained include review of user and functional requirements for space capabilities in defence, overview of several EU MSs space programmes and activities.

Soft skills include the ability:

  • to work in a team in a multicultural environment and interacting with different stakeholders, both from military and civilian domain;
  • to be responsible for drafting policy papers on an important part of the space activities in EDA;
  • to show very good organisational and communication skills, paired with very good research and analytical skills;
  • to prepare reports after multi-stakeholder relations/management.


Applicants must satisfy the following requirements by the deadline of this call for applications:

5.1. Eligibility criteria

  • be a national of a Member State participating in the Agency;
  • be entitled to his/her full rights as a citizen;
  • produce the appropriate character references as to his/her suitability for the performance of his/her duties;
  • be physically fit to perform his/her duties;
  • have a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the participating Member States and a satisfactory knowledge of another of these languages to the extent necessary to discharge his/her duties;
  • hold, or be in a position to obtain, a valid Personnel Security Clearance Certificate (national or EU PSC at SECRET UE/EU SECRET level);
  • have completed at least the first (minimum three-year) cycle of a higher education course (university education) and obtained a full degree or its equivalent by the closing date for applications.

Traineeships shall be open to applicants who have not previously undertaken a paid or unpaid traineeship or any kind of employment in another European institution or a body and which lasted for more than six weeks.

No age limit is imposed on the candidates for traineeships; however, traineeships are as a matter of priority offered to recent graduates.

Only diplomas that have been awarded in EU Member States or that are the subject of equivalence certificates issued by the authorities in the said Member States shall be taken into consideration. In the latter case, the authority authorised to conclude contracts of employment reserves the right to request proof of such equivalence.

Completion of any obligations imposed by law concerning military service is not a prerequisite to apply for a traineeship; however, these obligations may not interfere with the completion of the traineeship.

Personnel Security Clearance Certificate (PSCC) means a certificate issued by a competent authority establishing that an individual is security cleared and holds a valid national or EU PSC, and which shows the level of EUCI to which that individual may be granted access (CONFIDENTIEL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL or above), the date of validity of the relevant PSC and the date of expiry of the certificate itself. Note that the necessary procedure for obtaining a PSCC can be initiated on request of the employer only, and not by the individual candidate.

5.2. Essential criteria

(a) Academic requirements: Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in International Politics/EU Politics or similar, preferably paired with a good technical/space background and security and defence experience.

(b) Linguistic requirements: Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English (level C1/C2).

(c) Technical skills: IT literacy particularly in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).

5.3. Desirable criteria

  • Exposure to an international environment;
  • Previous experience in space topics;
  • Previous knowledge of military domain/operation (e.g. CFSP/CSDP);
  • Previous experience in the EU world;
  • Previous experience working in a team;
  • Previous experience as project assistant;
  • Knowledge of MS Office 365;
  • Knowledge of Microsoft SharePoint.


Trainees must exercise the greatest discretion regarding facts and information that come to their knowledge during the course of their training. They must not, in any manner whatsoever, disclose to any unauthorised person any document or information not already made public. They 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 their independence. They will continue to be bound by the obligation of confidentiality and professional discretion after the end of their training. EDA reserves its legal right to terminate the traineeship and to pursue any person who does not respect this obligation.


The traineeship is offered for a 1-year period. Trainees are awarded an allowance of 1.220,78€ per month. Upon presentation of the proper justification, disabled trainees may receive a supplement to their allowance equal to a maximum of 50% of the amount of the allowance. The objective of this extra payment is to help disabled trainees to cover extra expenses such as transport, the cost of special accommodation etc. which might be required due to their disability.

Health and accident insurance is mandatory. Trainees shall be responsible for organising their own insurance against accident along with health cover and any insurance required for family members for the duration of the traineeship.

Trainees whose place of origin is more than 50km from the place of employment are entitled to a reimbursement of travel expenses incurred at the beginning and end of the traineeship. Travel allowances are paid at the end of the training period, provided the trainee has completed a minimum of 6 months of the traineeship.

In exceptional cases only, trainees may be sent on a mission provided that the mission is of a technical and not of a representative character. The authorisation shall be granted by the Director of the respective Directorate. For the reimbursement of these mission expenses, the general procedure of reimbursement provided in EDA’s Staff Regulations will apply.

For further information on financial matters, read the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the EDA website:

Admission to a traineeship does not confer on trainees the status of temporary agents or other servants of the European Union nor does it entail any right or priority with regard to future engagement in the Agency. Trainees cannot benefit from any privileges and immunities granted by the host country to temporary agents or other servants of the European Defence 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.


Candidates may not apply for more than 2 trainee profiles and are requested to indicate an order of preference in their motivation letter.

Candidates must submit their application electronically solely via the EDA website. Applications by any other means (hard copy or ordinary e-mail) will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted no later than midnight on the date of the deadline. Candidates are reminded that the on-line application system will not accept applications after midnight (Brussels time, GMT+1).

The Agency defines its requirements for each call and successful candidates are selected on the basis of the educational background, qualifications, competences, and motivation. EDA’s Human Resources Unit assesses compliance of applications with the eligibility criteria. The respective Directorates/Units assess applications against the selection criteria and shortlist a number of candidates that meet the requirements. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview. Following the interviews, the Directorate/Unit will select the trainee who most closely meets the requirements of the specific profile.

If offered a traineeship, candidates will be requested to supply documentary evidence in support of the statements made in their application. Candidates are requested not to send any supporting or supplementary information until they have been asked to do so by the Agency.

Please note that once you have created your EDA profile, any correspondence regarding your application must be sent or received via your EDA profile. For any prior inquiry, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, or send an e-mail to


Please note that EDA will not return applications to candidates. The personal information EDA requests from candidates will be processed in line with Regulation (EU) N° 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) 45/2001 and Decision No. 1247/2002/EC.

The purpose of processing personal data which candidates submit is to manage applications in view of possible preselection and recruitment at EDA. More information on personal data protection in relation to selection and recruitment can be found on the EDA website:

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About The Job

Brussels , Belgium
Contract type:
No Experience Required
Project Management

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