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Notice of vacancy OMB/1/2021 - Director - Directorate for Administration in the European Ombudsman’s Office (Article 29(1) (a) and (b) of the Staff Regulations)

General information

Title of post


Function group and grade

AD 14

Legal basis

Article 29(1) (a) and (b) of the Staff Regulations[1]

Place of work


Deadline for application

25 February 2021

Preferred starting date

As soon as possible

Who we are

The European Ombudsman’s mission is to support European citizenship. We do this by dealing with complaints and by working with the institutions of the EU to help create a more accountable, transparent, ethical and effective administration. The European Ombudsman promotes good administration and strives to identify bad administrative practices with a view to redress them.

The European Ombudsman investigates citizens’ complaints that range from poor communication and service, lack of transparency in decision-making and refusal of access to documents to violations of fundamental rights and contractual matters. The Office also conducts own-initiative inquiries into systemic issues with an impact on the quality of EU administration. The Office’s guiding principles are independence, integrity, fairness, accountability, transparency, dialogue and service.

The European Ombudsman is a small, dynamic office with an establishment plan of roughly 75 posts and an annual budget of approximately EUR 12 million. Its offices are located in Brussels and Strasbourg. It offers a dynamic and respectful workplace including a good balance between private and professional life and a pleasant working atmosphere. The Office’s organisational structure enhances participation, facilitates skills’ development and our modern working tools allow for efficiency and flexibility. We attained gender balance for managers and administrators and went beyond targets.

Description of the post

The Director will oversee, manage and ensure the smooth functioning of the newly established Directorate for Administration to support the Ombudsman’s core business of inquiries. The Directorate will be responsible for process management, human resources, finance & procurement, IT, document management, security, and business continuity.

The Director will ensure the quality of the services delivered by the Directorate, as well as effective communication and coordination within the Directorate and between the Directorate and the rest of the organisation.

The Director is expected to advise the Secretary-General on matters related to the overall functioning of the office; develop effective channels of communication and cooperation with other institutions and external stakeholders; represent the Ombudsman externally and at public events; and carry out specific tasks, at the Ombudsman’s request.

The Director will report to the Secretary-General and work closely with the Director of Inquiries and the other managers.

Given that the Ombudsman intends to implement a policy for mobility for its managers, who should have a broad experience, candidates should be prepared to work in different areas of activity during their career at the Ombudsman.

This selection procedure, which is designed to give the Appointing Authority the widest possible choice, will be conducted at the same time as an external recruitment procedure in accordance with Article 29(2) of the Staff Regulations.

What we are looking for

We are looking for a highly motivated and experienced manager with a proven understanding of modern management techniques and excellent understanding of the areas and activities covered by the Directorate.

This job requires excellent sense of initiative and responsibility, strong leadership and people skills, drive for innovation, proven ability to manage change as well as the ability to ensure agility, flexibility and efficiency in the overall functioning of the office.

The Director is expected to think strategically, anticipate and identify potential problems and propose workable solutions, including to creatively adapt best practices from other EU institutions (and beyond) to the European Ombudsman’s size and work culture.

Thorough understanding of good administration and EU institutional issues, excellent communication and coordination skills as well as a very good understanding of the Ombudsman’s strategy are essential.

Strong commitment to maintaining a positive work environment and ability to resolve conflicts are also essential.

Place of employment

The place of employment will be Brussels. This post will involve missions to the Strasbourg office of the European Ombudsman and to the other working places of the EU institutions; it may involve missions to other countries in or outside the European Union.

Who can apply

Applicants must meet the following requirements at the time of applying:

(a) General conditions

Applicants must be established officials of an institution, body, office or agency of the European Union in an administrator grade.

Applications will be accepted from:

  • officials of the European Ombudsman belonging to function group AD, grade 14 or grade 13 with at least two years’ seniority in that grade, at the closing date for the submission of applications;
  • officials from other institutions of the European Union belonging to function group AD, grade 14.

(b) Specific conditions

Qualifications and professional experience:

  • hold a university degree;[2]
  • have at least fifteen years of professional experience after having obtained a university degree, of which at least ten in functions relevant to the job description above;
  • have effectively exercised management responsibilities for at least five years.

Knowledge and skills required

  • An excellent understanding of the European Ombudsman’s mission and strategy, and a very good knowledge of the functioning of the EU Institutions.
  • Experience in developing and implementing forward-looking HR policies including change management, staff development and retention, well-being and training policies.
  • In-depth knowledge of the EU Staff Regulations and an excellent understanding of the Financial Regulation, EU public procurement rules and the EU budget.
  • A very good knowledge of business continuity planning and execution, as well as of security requirements and practices.
  • Experience in process management including document management and archiving; IT governance and tools; knowledge management and EU corporate tools.
  • Thorough knowledge of English and good knowledge of French are required for practical reasons. Knowledge of other official languages of the European Union could be an advantage.

Furthermore, the jobholder will need to possess:

  • excellent leadership, management and people skills, including the ability to promote a strong team spirit and to maintain good working relationships with internal and external interlocutors;
  • strong strategic thinking and excellent problem solving skills;
  • excellent communication skills, including inter-personal communication skills and the ability to show commitment to a culture of service towards citizens and institutions;
  • the ability to manage organisational change and support staff through change.

Selection procedure

In choosing the successful candidate, the Appointing Authority shall be assisted by an Advisory Selection Committee.

The Advisory Selection Committee will initially evaluate and compare the qualifications, experience and motivation of all the applicants, on the basis of their applications. Based on this comparative assessment, the Advisory Selection Committee will shortlist the most suitable candidates to be invited to the first interview.

This first selection is based on a comparative assessment of the applications. The fulfilment of the requirements does not guarantee invitation to the first interview. Among the interviewed candidates, the Advisory Selection Committee may decide to pre-select candidates who may attend a second interview with the Committee.

Based on the overall results, the best-ranked candidates will take part in a final interview with the Ombudsman.

Should containment measures against coronavirus continue to be in place at the time of interviews, candidates could be interviewed by video-conference.

All applicants will be informed of the outcome of each step of the selection procedure.

Legal Basis

This post is published in accordance with Article 29(1) (a) and (b) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union (senior management post).

Equal Opportunities

The European Ombudsman is an equal opportunity employer who encourages applications from qualified people and seeks to actively promote diversity in the workplace.

Independence and declaration of interests

Before taking up their duties, candidates are required to declare that they will act independently in the public interest and have no interests, which might be considered prejudicial to their independence.

Data protection

Personal data which candidates provide for the purposes of this selection procedure will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EU) 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) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC.[3]


Candidates must submit their application through the online application system on the Ombudsman’s website ( by 25 February 2021 at 12.00 noon (Brussels time).

Late applications will not be considered.

Any correspondence concerning the selection procedure should be addressed to the following e-mail address: (the email must have in the subject the following title: OMB/1/2021).

Before submitting their application, candidates should carefully check whether they meet all the eligibility criteria in order to avoid automatic exclusion from the selection procedure.

In order to be valid, applications must include:

  • a motivation letter in English referring to the notice of vacancy OMB/1/2021 and explaining the candidate’s reasons for applying;
  • a copy of their curriculum vitae in English (preferably europass CV:;
  • an official document attesting their status of official, their function and grade;
  • copies of supporting documents relating to their studies,[4] evidence of professional experience and current responsibilities.[5]

Inquiries about technical matters should be addressed to:

Strasbourg, 01/02/2021

Emily O’Reilly


[1]Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 259/68 of the Council of 29 February 1968 laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities and instituting special measures temporarily applicable to officials of the Commission (OJ L 56, 4.3.1968, p. 1), last amended by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1023/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 287, 29.10.2013, p. 15).

[2] Article 5(3)(c) of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union require applicants to have at least:

(i) a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma when the normal period of university education is four years or more, or

(ii) a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least one year when the normal period of university education is at least three years.

[3] OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39.

[4] See footnote number 2.

[5] Documents attesting professional experience should clearly indicate the starting and finishing dates, the job title, and the exact nature of the duties carried out.