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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.

Based in Brussels, ESA currently employs staff members of 18 different 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.

Job Reference 08/2020

Role Description

After 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 your already strong working relationship with the media. You will identify ESA’s communication needs, opportunities and challenges, as well as providing key input on how best to meet them. The role requires good judgment and the ability to quickly develop a solid understanding of the EEA, the EFTA States and ESA’s role, with the Head of Communications frequently being asked to give fast, sound advice to ESA’s College on sensitive, highly-nuanced issues. This job requires considerable initiative and you may find yourself having to give high-speed responses.

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 within the Department of Legal and Executive Affairs (LEA), you will need to build strong working relationships across disciplines to ensure that the communication implications of ESA’s decisions are identified and coordinate and deliver our external messages across a range of media. In matters pertaining to press releases and other communications with the press, the Head of Communications reports directly to College.

A core aspect of the role resides in developing a line and drafting original content, be that for press releases, social media communcations, speeches or other publications of ESA. This requires meticulous attention to detail and an ability to grasp new and often technical subjects in little time. While being able to count on the support of subject matter experts, the Head of Communications has sole responsibility for crafting the messages to be delivered: this is a hands-on role and you will need to be able to draft quickly, accurately and imaginatively. Excellent drafting skills are required in English (ESA’s working language) and Norwegian (ESA’s largest media market). A working knowledge of Icelandic and German would also be advantageous.

You will be expected to take the lead in developing communications knowledge across ESA, and facilitating the development of communications skills for our outward-facing staff members (such as College and the Directors). You will also work with those LEA members who are responsible for monitoring horizontal developments in the EFTA States. Further, you will be responsible for guiding and developing trainees.

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;
  • Responsibility for ensuring that ESA’s external website and staff intranet are up-to-date and fit for purpose;
  • Further developing ESA’s social media presence and digital communication;
  • Giving speeches and presentations at events and organising visits of various visitor groups to ESA;
  • Drafting, editing and co-ordinating the production of ESA’s annual report and other information material.

The following are essential:

  • Relevant work experience from within the public or private sector commensurate with the seniority of the role;
  • Experience of working and developing contacts with the media, as well as familiarity with the press of at least one of the EEA EFTA States;
  • Strong oral and written presentation skills;
  • Knowledge of the functioning of the EU and the EEA Agreement and their institutions;
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English (the working language of ESA);
  • Fluent written and spoken Norwegian (the language of ESA’s largest relevant media market);
  • The ability to grasp and provide high-level advice on complex subject matter;
  • 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:

  • University degree in communications, journalism or other relevant subjects;
  • Experience in management or in project management;
  • Working knowledge of written and spoken Icelandic and/or German;
  • An affinity with information technology tools;
  • Understanding of legal issues and court procedures;
  • Experience of speech writing.


This position will be filled in accordance with ESA’s Recruitment Policy available at: 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 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 €95 000 and €105 000 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. Candidates must be nationals of the States party to the EEA Agreement (EU + EEA EFTA) at the point of application and the time of any offer being made.

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:;
  • Deadline for applications: 31 May 2020 (midnight CET);
  • Interviews: June 2020;
  • Start date: 1 September 2020 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 Carsten Zatschler, Director of Legal & Executive Affairs on +32 (0)2 286 1830/

Questions regarding the recruitment process may be addressed to Kathryn Bryan, Head of HR, on +32 (0)2 286 1832/

this job offer is not open for applications

The Company

EFTA Surveillance Authority

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International Institution


About The Job

Brussels , Belgium
Contract type:
Full Time
2-5 Years

this job offer is not open for applications