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Legal Expert - Call for expression of interest OMB/5/2021 Temporary post – AD 12

General information

Title of post

Legal Expert

Function group and grade

AD 12

Legal basis

Articles 2(a) (b) and 8 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the EU (CEOS)

Duration of contract

4-year contract with possible 2-year renewal

Place of work


Deadline for application

31 March 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 Legal Expert will work in the Directorate of Inquiries and report to the Director.

The Legal Expert is expected to:

  • assist the Director in coordinating and monitoring the activities of the Directorate’s inquiries officers and in ensuring the overall quality of the Directorate’s work;
  • carry out specific tasks at the Director’s request;
  • analyse complaints submitted to the Ombudsman and be involved in all stages of inquiries conducted by the Ombudsman;
  • provide high-level legal advice on issues arising in specific cases and review cases upon request;
  • represent the Directorate in external meetings and events, upon request;
  • advise the SG and management on internal rules and procedures, including security, business continuity and documents management, and take charge of specific projects on their request;
  • support the SG and management on matters related to the Staff Regulations and the corresponding implementing rules;
  • advise on issues potentially giving rise to litigation, provide legal advice and manage litigation cases, and act as agent for the Ombudsman before the Court of Justice of the European Union;

The Legal Expert will work closely with the Head of the Case-handling Unit and other members of the management team.

What we are looking for

We are looking for a dynamic, pro-active and highly motivated individual with proven professional experience relevant to the tasks listed under “Description of the post”. Extensive experience in providing high-level legal advice on a wide range of EU matters covered in Ombudsman inquiries and acting as agent in litigation cases before the European courts is essential.

The post requires excellent understanding of the mission and work of the Ombudsman and its role within the EU institutional setting.

The potential candidates should have excellent knowledge of the EU administration and the legal principles and rules that apply to its activities, as well as of the case law of the EU courts.

Experience of working in, and ability to adapt to, an international and multi-cultural environment is of key importance.

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 also 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

  • be nationals of one of the Member States of the European Union;
  • enjoy their full rights as citizens;
  • have fulfilled any obligations imposed by the laws concerning military service.

(b) Specific conditions

Qualifications and professional experience:

  • a level of education in the legal domain which corresponds to completed university studies of at least five years attested by a diploma;
  • at least 12 years of professional experience in positions relevant to the role of a legal expert as described above, gained after obtaining the qualifications referred to above; at least five years should have involved providing legal advice to senior management in public administration or in the private sector.

Knowledge of languages:

A thorough knowledge of one of the European Union’s official languages[1] and very good knowledge of at least one other is required.

Knowledge and skills required

  • Excellent understanding of the work of the European Ombudsman;
  • Excellent knowledge of European Union law and case-law, in particular in the area of public access to documents and in other areas relevant to the activities of the Office;
  • Excellent knowledge of the European Union institutional framework;
  • Excellent knowledge of the rules and procedures of the European Courts;
  • Very good knowledge of the Staff Regulations and the relevant case law;
  • Excellent knowledge of English and very good knowledge of French are required because they are used extensively to communicate within the Office and with other institutions. Knowledge of other official languages of the European Union could be an advantage.

Furthermore, the jobholder will need to possess:

  • Critical and strategic thinking and excellent problem solving skills;
  • Very good communication skills, including inter-personal communication skills;
  • Strong commitment to maintaining a positive work environment and good working relationships within the office and with external interlocutors;
  • Commitment to a culture of service towards citizens and institutions and strong professional integrity;
  • Strong planning and organisation skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

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 invite the top ranked candidates to 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 Articles 2(a) (b) and 8 of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the EU (CEOS).

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.[2]


Candidates must submit their application through the online application system on the Ombudsman’s website ( by 31 March 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/5/2021).

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 letter in English referring to the notice of vacancy OMB/5/2021 and explaining their reasons for applying;
  • a copy of their curriculum vitae in English (preferably europass CV:;
  • copies of supporting documents relating to their studies, evidence of professional experience and current responsibilities.[3]

Inquiries about technical matters should be addressed to:

Strasbourg, 8/3/2021

Emily O’Reilly


[1] The European Union’s official languages are: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.

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

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