Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Legal Assistant in the Corporate Management & Evaluation Unit

European Railway Agency

Valenciennes, France 

Deadline for applications: 01/02/2016 (23.59 CET, Valenciennes local time)
Type of contract: Contract Agent 
Function group and grade: FGIII 
Duration of contract: 4 years and may be renewed Monthly basic salary: 2.536,18 EUR at step 1 with a weighting factor of 14,6 % (from 01/07/2015) plus specific allowances where applicable 
Unit: Corporate Management and Evaluation 
Applications to be sent by email only to mailbox:
Reserve list valid until: 31/12/2016 (the validity of the reserve list may be extended)


The European Railway Agency (ERA) provides the technical and legal framework for creating a Single EU Railway Area as mandated under European Union law. Our mission is to make the railway system work better for society, and we do this by creating a harmonised Safety Framework, removing technical barriers, advancingthe single European Train Control Communication System (ERTMS), and promoting simplified access for customers for the European rail sector. ERA is based in Valenciennes (headquarters) and Lille (meeting center), France, and currently employs 160 staff.

A new founding act with increased responsibilities for the Agency is expected to be adopted in the coming months. 

For more information on the Agency, please consult our website:


The Corporate Management and Evaluation Unit (together with the Resources and Support Unit) carry out the transverse activities supporting the operations and the Executive Director.

The Unit is in particular responsible for the Agency's (multi) annual strategy and business planning, the Agency’s Integrated management system, communication, legal affairs and the Economic Evaluation of the Agency’s activities. 

Based on the regulatory framework (in particular the Founding Regulation, Staff Regulations, Financial Regulations and Integrated Management Standards), the Unit develops and provides the required projects and services.


The jobholder will work in the Legal Office which is part of the Corporate Management and Evaluation Unit, under the responsibility of the Head of Unit. 

The Legal Office provides legal advice and assistance on the tasks and functions of the Agency in the railway field as well as in the administrative issues (contracts, procurement, finance, human resources, relations with the host state etc.) with the aim to ensure the compliance of the Agency’s measures and acts with the applicable legal framework. It represents the Executive Director, in particular before the European Union’s Courts, and manages litigation. 

The Legal Office is also in charge of managing the Administrative Board secretariat and its related Committees. It also deals with Data Protection issues and one of the legal advisors acts currently as Data Protection Officer. 

Due to the sensitivity of the job, a high sense of confidentiality is required from the successful candidate.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

  • To provide administrative support and assistance in relation to the tasks of the Legal Office; 
  • To assist the Administrative Board secretariat in the management of the Board’s decisionmaking process, drafting of decisions and other legal documents as well as helping in the organisation of the Board meetings, drafting of agendas, invitations, attendance lists, minutes etc.; 
  • To assist with the implementation of the access to documents rules and regulations applicable to the Agency and where required, with the related requests for access to documents; 
  • To assist the Data Protection Officer; 
  • To assist in analysing cases, performing research activities and in drafting legal documents, working papers, etc.;
  •  To provide secretarial and administrative support to the legal team by drafting, formatting and editing correspondence/notes and other legal documents, follow-up of legal budget lines, follow-up of commitments and contracts concerning the legal activities, minutes of meetings, agendas, etc.; 
  • To manage the registers which support the work of the Legal Office (opinion and advice registers, decisions register, DPO register, legal databases, website publications etc.);
  • To assist in the contribution of the Legal office to the Integrated Management System by developing documents, templates and procedures and to the project management system of the Agency relating to the planning of the Legal Office tasks; 
  • Other on case-by-case administrative support tasks, (e. g. organisation of meetings/catering/travel arrangements etc.).


To be considered eligible, candidates must satisfy all the eligibility criteria as specified below on the closing date for the submission of applications:


  • Have a level of post-secondary education attested by a diploma1 in the field of law or in a similar discipline; 
  • Have a level of secondary education attested by a diploma giving access to post-secondary education and appropriate professional experience of at least 3 years;
  • Have where justified in the interests of the service, professional training or professional experience of an equivalent level;
  • Have a thorough knowledge2 of one of the official languages of the European Union and a satisfactory knowledge3 of another language of the European Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the duties pertaining to the post;
  • Be a national of a Member State of the European Union or the states that are parties to the EEA Agreement (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway);
  • Enjoy full rights as a citizen4;
  • Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by the applicable laws concerning military service5;
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties involved;
  • Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post6.
All eligible applications will be assessed and scored against the requirements listed below. Please note that non-compliance with at least one of the essential criteria will result in the exclusion of the candidate from the selection. Advantageous criteria constitute additional assets and will not result in exclusion, if not fulfilled.


The following criteria shall be checked against the application documents provided by the applicant:

A) Essential

  • Working experience related to the tasks of minimum 2 years;
  • Excellent research skills, notably ability to seek out the most relevant information and to present it clearly and concisely;
  • Very good drafting skills;
  • Ability to identify the critical facts in complex issues and to develop creative and practical solutions; 
  • Ability to take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering work to a high standard of quality within set procedures; 
  • Ability to prioritise the most important tasks, to work flexibly and to organise workload efficiently;
  • Ability to work co-operatively with other in teams and across organisational boundaries in a multicultural environment under pressure and with a service culture;
  • Clear and precise communication (both orally and written); 
  • Very good command of the English language (oral and written as proficient user); 
  • High sense of discretion and confidentiality;
  • Very good knowledge of MS Office applications, particularly MS Word and MS Excel.

B) Advantageous

  • Knowledge of EU law, policies and legislation;
  • Experience in working in an international environment within private or public organisations (law firms, EU or international institutions, etc.);
  • Good knowledge7 of French and/or German.
Depending on the number of applications received, the Selection Committee may apply stricter requirements within the aforementioned selection criteria.


For applications to be valid, the candidates must submit the following documents:
Failure to comply with the above instructions will result in the exclusion from the selection procedure.
The working language of the Agency being English, candidates are encouraged to apply in English to facilitate the selection process. 

Applications must be sent by email to mailbox until 01/02/2016 at 23.59 CET (Valenciennes local time) at the latest, clearly indicating the call for applicationsreference number in the subject line.
Please note that applications submitted by fax or postal mail shall not be taken into consideration. 

If at any stage in the procedure, it is established that the information provided by a candidate is incorrect, the candidate in question may be disqualified.
It is forbidden for candidates to make direct or indirect contact with the members of the Selection Committee, or for anyone to do so on their behalf. The Authority Authorised to Conclude Contracts (hereinafter AACC) reserves the right to disqualify any candidate who disregards this instruction. 

A reserve list will be established, valid until 31/12/2016. The validity of the reserve list may be extended if the AACC so decides. The reserve list may be used for the engagement for other posts carrying the same profile as the one described above.
Please note that due to the large numbers of applications we might receive by the submission deadline, the system may encounter problems processing large amounts of data. Applicants are therefore advised to send their application well ahead of the deadline.

Important: Supporting documents (e.g. certified copies of degrees/diplomas, proof of experience, etc.) should NOT be sent at this stage but may be requested at a later stage of the procedure. No documents will be sent back to candidates.


The selection will be organised as below:
  1. The Selection Committee checks the validity and eligibility criteria of all applications;
  2. The candidates satisfying the eligibility criteria shall be assessed against the selection criteria;
  3. The Selection Committee assesses the letters of motivation and the CVs of eligible applicants and establishes a shortlist of candidates best meeting the selection criteria as set out in the call for applications;
  4. The invitation shall be based on the highest scores in the pre-selection screening of the selection criteria;
  5. The Selection Committee interviews and tests the shortlisted applicants;
  6. The written test shall be done in English;
  7. The interview shall be done in English. If your mother tongue is English, the second language indicated in the CV shall be tested during the interview;
  8. Following the results of the interviews and written tests, the Selection Committee proposes a list of suitable candidates8 to the AACC. This list shall be in alphabetical order accompanied by the detailed list of scores obtained following the interview and written test (if applicable). Candidates achieving the qualifying marks in the interview and written tests (if applicable) shall be placed on the reserve list (if applicable). Candidates should note that inclusion on the reserve list does not guarantee engagement;
  9. Before engaging a contract agent, the AACC examines whether the candidate has any personal interest such as to impair his/her independence or any other conflict of interest. The candidate shall inform the AACC, using a specific form of any actual or potential conflict of interest. If necessary, the AACC shall take any appropriate measures;
  10. The reserve list shall be valid until 31/12/2016. It may be extended via an AACC decision; 
  11. Suitable candidates shall be engaged upon decision of the AACC. Prior to being offered a post, candidates on the reserve list may be required to undergo an interview with the Executive Director.


The successful candidates will be engaged in Function Group III (FGIII). The grade within Function Group III will be determined in accordance with the years of professional experience.
For more information, please refer to Chapter 4, Art. 86 (page 214) and to Chapter 7, Art. 93 (page 216) of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants: 1962R0031:20140101:EN:PDF
  • Salaries are exempted from national tax, instead a tax to the benefit of the European Union is deducted at source;
  • Annual leave entitlement of two days per calendar month plus additional days for age and grade, plus 2 ½ days for expatriate staff and in addition on average 16 ERA holidays per year; 
  • General and applicable technical training plus professional development opportunities; 
  • EU Pension Scheme (after 10 years of service); 
  • EU Joint Sickness and Insurance Scheme accident and occupational disease insurance coverage, unemployment and invalidity allowance and travel insurance.  
Depending on the individual’s personal situation and the place of origin, staff members may be in addition entitled to:
  • Expatriation or foreign residence allowance; 
  • Household allowance; 
  • Dependent child allowance; 
  • Education allowance;
  • Installation allowance and reimbursement of removal costs; 
  • Initial temporary daily subsistence allowance; 
  • Other benefits (reimbursement of travel expenses on taking up duty, etc.).
For further information on the respective conditions, please consult the Annex VII of the Staff Regulations (from page 96 to 110): 1962R0031:20140101:EN:PDF.


Commitment to promote equal opportunities:

The Agency is an equal opportunities employer and strongly encourages applications from all candidates who fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria without any distinction whatsoever on grounds of nationality, age, race, political, philosophical or religious conviction, gender or sexual orientation and regardless of disabilities, marital status or other family situation.

Appeal procedure:

A candidate who considers that a mistake has been made regarding the eligibility of his/her application may ask for a review. To this end, a request for review may be submitted, within 20 calendar days of the email informing him/her of the rejection of his/her application. The request for review should quote the reference of the selection procedure concerned and should mention clearly the eligibility criterion/a requested to be reconsidered as well as the grounds for requesting the review. This request should be addressed to the Agency’s dedicated mailbox ( 

The candidate shall be informed, within 15 calendar days following the receipt of his/her request, on the decision of the Selection Committee on the matter.


If a candidate considers that he/she has been adversely affected by a particular decision, he/she can lodge an administrative complaint under Article 90 (2) of the Staff Regulations of Officials and Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Union, at the following address:
Executive Director
European Railway Agency
120, rue Marc Lefrancq
FR - 59300 Valenciennes Cedex
The complaint must be lodged within 3 months from the time the candidate is notified of the act adversely affecting him/her. If the complaint is rejected the candidate may bring a case under Article 270 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 91 of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities and Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities before:
The European Union Civil Service
Tribunal Postal Address
Please note that the AACC does not have the power to amend the decisions of a Selection Committee. The Court has consistently held that the wide discretion enjoyed by Selection Committee is not subject to review by the Court unless rules which govern the proceedings of Selection Committees have been infringed. It is also possible to complain to the European Ombudsman pursuant to Article 228(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Decision of the European Parliament of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and the general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties, published in Official Journal of the European Union L 113 of 4 May 1994:
European Ombudsman 
1, Avenue du Président Robert Schuman – CS 30403 
FR – 67001 Strasbourg Cedex 
Please note that complaints made to the Ombudsman have no suspensive effect on the period laid down in Articles 90(2) and 91 of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union for lodging, respectively, a complaint or an appeal with the European Union Civil Service Tribunal under Article 270 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


The purpose of processing of the data you submit is to manage your application in view of a possible preselection and engagement at the Agency.

The personal information we request from you will be processed in line with Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. 

See link:
1 Only studies titles that have been awarded in the EU Member States or that are subject to the equivalence certificates issued by the authorities in the said Member States shall be taken into consideration.
2 Your main language. It can be your mother tongue or another language of which you have a least a thorough knowledge corresponding to level C1 as defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
3 Corresponding to level B2 as defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
4 Prior to engagement, the successful candidate will be asked to provide a certificate confirming the absence of any criminal record.
 If applicable.
6 Prior to engagement, the successful candidate shall be examined in a medical centre indicated by ERA in order to confirm that the requirements of Article 28 (e) of the  Staff Regulation of Officials and CEOS of EU are met.
7 Corresponding to level B2 as defined in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
8 Only those candidates considered who have obtained an overall score of at least 50%.

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