Senior Project Officer on Energy and Climate: the Covenant of Mayors Sub-Saharan Africa

CEMR - Council of European Municipalities and Regions

Brussels, Belgium

About the CEMR

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is the European umbrella organisation of local and regional government, representing over 50 national associations from more than 30 countries. Our EU-policy work consists in influencing the European legislative and policy-making process, to ensure that the interests of local and regional government, and of the citizens they represent, are fully taken into account. This activity is closely complemented by related project activities.

In the area of energy and climate policy, CEMR contributes to the EU policy-making through the representation of local and regional government’s views on key initiatives directly impacting local and regional policies. For 2016, the working priorities will be the following: the renewable energy package and the energy efficiency package (REFIT) and the implementation of the Paris climate agreement at the local and regional level.

About the Covenant of Mayors

To complement its policy work in these policy areas, the CEMR participates in EU-funded projects in relevant areas. One of them is the Covenant of Mayors (CoM), where CEMR is one of the organisations that form the consortium to provide the Office for the CoM (www.eumayors.eu). This European initiative, launched in 2008, gathers already over 6600 local authorities committing to take concrete and ambitious actions to reduce CO2 emissions and thus contributing to fight against the climate change.
This year, the European Commission launched the Covenant of Mayors Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SS Africa, covering 49 African countries) with the aim to increase the capacities of cities to provide access to sufficient, sustainable and safe energy related services to urban and peri-urban populations (specially the poor), with a special attention to energy efficiency and renewable energy as drivers for local low emission, climate resilient and sustainable development. Given the major challenge of urban growth in the covered countries in the coming decades, the specific objective is to increase local governments' planning capacities on urban design, mobility and energy.
In order to be able to deliver results towards the stated overall objective, the project will work along the lines set by specific objectives that are laid out as follows: 1) The capacity of Sub-Saharan cities to formulate and implement action plans and road maps for their energy, mobility and/or spatial organization is strengthened, and planning tools are made available; 2) The legal and institutional framework of local governments is improved as well as their technical and resource mobilization capacities enhanced; 3) Political ownership and best practice are adopted by Sub-Saharan Africa cities, thanks to dissemination through networks of cities under the extended and revised Covenant of Mayors initiative, and in synergy with other initiatives.

Job purpose

The senior project officer will be responsible for the overall implementation of the project, including content and budget. He/she will coordinate the work of all ten partners and liaise with the European Commission and the Advisory Board.
The post holder will report to the Executive Director European Affairs.
He/she will be assisted by a junior project officer and an administrative and finance assistant in Brussels, and has to manage a help desk officer in Africa. Further content-related input will be provided by the environment adviser and the cohesion policy officer.
CEMR’s project coordinator will give advice and support, in particular in the first months of the project and during the duration on relevant questions.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Project management: Ensuring sound delivery of the project activities and deliverables; prepare necessary documents and material; organise the appropriate steps and procedures; manage the budget, control expenses and ensure sound financial management;
  • Project coordination: coordinating the project and ensuring effective communication with and between the project partners and the European Commission;
  • Organisation of meetings: organise meetings for the different purposes, such as regular meetings with the Commission, the implementation committee (composed of the leaders and co-leaders of the work packages and the senior project officer) and the advisory board;
  • Preparation of reports: preparing and submitting the required progress reports to the European Commission within the specific deadlines; cooperate with the finance department who is leading the preparation of the financial reports;
  • Monitoring and evaluation: Monitor closely the work and the progress of the deliverables of all partners against the set requirements and prepare the final report of the project.


  • Higher education in a relevant sector or area;
  • Work experience in managing similar projects (as far as numbers of partners, role and budget responsibility is concerned) for 5-8 years;
  • Experience in or with a local/regional government, or an association of local/regional governments in Africa;
  • Experience in the energy/climate sector; knowledge of the Covenant of Mayors would be an asset;
  • Very good language skills in English and French (oral and written); any additional language (Portuguese) is a valuable asset;
  • Solid organisational skills and proven record of organising meetings and events;
  • Experience of working in an intercultural and multinational environment;
  • Strong networking and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to manage and coordinate people inside the organisation and from partners;
  • Autonomous and pro-active working style;
  • Capable to handle deadlines and stressful situations;
  • Personable and playing a positive, constructive role in the organisation and the team.

Working conditions

The context of the project is quite challenging; the post holder should have experience in facing high demands and expectations from partners. The job requires travelling in particular to Africa; furthermore, flexibility is needed to handle deadlines, which can result in additional working hours or work during the weekend.

Main terms and conditions of employment

The full terms and conditions will be set out in a contract made on the basis of Belgian law with the successful candidate. The following summarises some of the main points:

a) Location

The position is based in Square de Meeûs 1, 1000 Brussels.

b) Duration

The successful candidate will be offered a fixed-term contract until 30 November 2019.

c) Salary

The annual gross salary for the position will be according to experience and qualifications of the successful candidate.

d) Hours of work

The job is for 38 hours per week (5 days), with normal office hours being from 9:00 to 18:00 (from Mondays to Thursdays); 9:00-16:00 (on Fridays).

e) Holidays

Employees are entitled to 25 days of paid holidays per year, in addition to public holidays, as well as a week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

How to apply for this position

Please send us by 10 January 2016 (midnight) the following:
  1. cover letter of maximum two pages, explaining why you are interested in this post and why you are the ideal candidate for this position;
  2. curriculum vitae, including employment history (with salary), education, professional qualifications, language skills and contact details of two references.
Please send us your application by email to application@ccre-cemr.org with the subject “Senior Project Officer”, and writing one of the documents mentioned above in English and the other in French. 

Selected candidates will be invited to an interview, which will be held on 19 and 20 January 2016 in Brussels. The interview will be followed by a written test. 

The successful candidate should ideally be available to start working no later than Monday 22 February 2016. The candidate should participate to the kick off meeting of the project at the end of January (dates permitting).