Head of the Priority Sector Unit

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 take on the post of Head of the Priority Sector Unit in the Programmes Department of the FMO.

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 (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).

The Grants are based on a programme model where the Beneficiary States are responsible for the programmes and for projects implemented under the programmes. Some programmes and funds, notably regarding civil society, regional cooperation and decent work, are under the direct responsibility of the FMO.

The allocation for the funding period (2014-2021) totals €2.8 billion. The priority sectors in the period 2014-2021 are:
1. Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness
2. Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction
3. Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy
4. Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
5. Justice and Home Affairs

The FMO offers an international, stimulating and diverse workplace, with a current staff of over 60 employees comprising around twenty nationalities. Our values are:
· Professionalism
· Cooperation
· Trust, responsibility and respect

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


The Priority Sector Unit is responsible for the FMO’s activities related to the development and implementation of the Grants’ supported programmes in the Beneficiary States in most of the priority sectors mentioned above (1, 3 and 5, as well as part of priority sector 2 and culture from priority sector 4). Through the programmes, the unit has responsibilities related to strengthening bilateral relations between the Donor and Beneficiary States. All officers in the unit have the combined role of sector officer for their field of expertise and programme manager for the programmes within their specific priority sector.

· Coach and motivate the unit’s staff – eight sector officers and one trainee - to enhance performance and results achievement
· Define priorities and assign tasks in accordance with the FMO workplan
· Provide advice in the unit’s fields of responsibility to FMO management and donors and report on progress of development and implementation of Grants’ supported programmes
· Ensure provision of assistance and advice to Beneficiary State organisations on the development and implementation of programmes supported by the Grants
· Communicate internally and externally in the unit’s fields of responsibility

The Head of the Priority Sector Unit reports to the Head of the Programmes Department, takes part in the department’s management group, the FMO’s Heads group and in regular meetings with the FMO’s board. The position involves travel.


Relevant university degree, Master’s level.


Required experience
· At least 9 years of relevant work experience
· Experience in grant management or programme management

Desired experience
· Experience in coordinating teams
· Experience in working with one or more of the Grants’ priority sectors in Europe
· Experience from a Donor State public sector
· Experience with programme or grant management administered by the Donor States, EU, or an international organisation


· Excellent leadership and managerial skills
· Good role understanding
· Self-reliance, but also skills needed for teamwork, including cultural sensitivity
· Results-oriented
· Ability to analyse complex issues, present them clearly and provide practical solutions
· Diplomatic and negotiations skills with a sound judgement
· Resilience, ability to multitask and to work with tight deadlines
· General knowledge of Donor States, Beneficiary States and/or the EU


Excellent oral and written communication skills in English (the working language of the FMO) are required.

Employment Terms

Grade: A5
Annual starting salary: EUR 112,797

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.

FMO is an employer dedicated to the principles of diversity and equal opportunities. We select our staff without discrimination with regard to age, gender, religion, colour, culture, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy or family responsibilities. To increase the share of women in FMO’s management positions, we encourage women to apply.

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.

For further information please contact:
Ms Vera Medinskaya, Head of Administration and HR Unit, vme@efta.int, tel. +32 2 211 18 60 for questions related to recruitment process or Ms Tori Hoven, Head of the Programmes Department tori.hoven@efta.int for questions related to the position.

Please note that only applications received via our web tool will be considered.

Deadline for submission of application: 14 February 2021.

Apply here.