The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) monitors compliance with the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, enabling those States to participate in the Internal Market of the European Union.

ESA is an international organisation, independent of the States, which safeguards the rights of individuals and undertakings under the EEA Agreement, ensuring free movement, fair competition and control of state aid. ESA's work helps remove barriers to trade and open up new opportunities to over 500 million Europeans, creating jobs and growth and adding to the international competitiveness of the States.

ESA is based in Brussels, employing 66 established staff members representing 18 different nationalities.  ESA is led by a College consisting of three members, each appointed for a period of four years by the three participating EFTA States.

Director of Internal Market Affairs

Deadline for applications
Job Reference

Role Description

IMA is responsible for monitoring the EEA EFTA States to ensure that they comply with their obligations in the field of internal market law.  In addition to the fundamental freedoms, this includes compliance with secondary legislation in the field of food safety, transport, energy, the environment and financial services. 

We are looking for an EEA law specialist who will lead a large multi-disciplinary team of staff and provide legal and strategic advice to the College on all Internal Market law matters.   The successful candidate will manage the work of the directorate, ensure effective inter-departmental co-operation and represent ESA as required.

In accordance with ESA’s policy on recruitment, applications are particularly encouraged from qualified female candidates for this position in our Senior Management Team.

IMA consists of three units dealing with EEA law in their respective areas: Food Safety, Transport and General Internal Market.  The Director is supported by four Deputy Directors and has overall responsibility for the management and leadership of over 30 staff members.  IMA is a multi-disciplinary team, comprised of legal case handlers, veterinary and transport inspectors and administrative staff.

Essential Skills

  • Postgraduate degree in Law 
  • Minimum 10-15 years’ broad relevant experience in a position of responsibility in the public or private sector
  • Specialist knowledge of the legal framework of the European Economic Area, in particular in the field of Internal Market law
  • Good understanding and knowledge of the Icelandic legal order, including its interaction with EEA law
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to lead a large team of international staff
  • Proven capacity to drive cases forward and define clear priorities
  • Capacity and willingness to take a stand and formulate concrete recommendations on complex legal issues
  • Strong communication skills both internally within the organisation and externally with stake holders
  • Excellent oral and written command of English (the working language of ESA)

Ideal Skills

  • Good understanding and knowledge of the Norwegian and/or Liechtenstein legal order, including their interaction with EEA law.
  • Working knowledge of an EEA EFTA language (Icelandic, Norwegian or German)

Other information

This position will be filled in accordance with ESA’s policy on Recruitment Policy available at:  Former ESA staff members are eligible to apply provided the closing date is at least three years after their departure date. In exceptional circumstances, this requirement may be waived.

The position is placed at grade A6 of ESA’s salary scale, the precise step being determined depending on the relevant experience of the successful candidate, with a likely starting salary of between €128 000 and €145 000 per annum. Depending on personal situation and family status, additional allowances and benefits may apply. Tax conditions are favourable.

Type and duration of appointment: fixed-term contract of three years, renewable for a further three years if desirable and in the interest of ESA.  Candidates must be nationals of the States party to the EEA Agreement (EU + EEA EFTA) at the point of application and the time of any offer being made. 

ESA actively seeks to promote a healthy work/life balance and a working environment allowing its staff members to develop their professional skills and interests.

Application process:

-          All applications must be made online at:

-          Deadline for applications: 10 November 2019 (midnight CET)

-          Interviews: November 2019

-          Start date: April/May 2020 if possible

Applications submitted in response to this vacancy notice may also be taken into account for the purpose of filling other vacancies arising for similar positions within ESA. 

Questions regarding the post may be addressed to Högni Kristjánsson, College Member on +32 (0)2 286 1822 / or Frank Büchel, College Member on +32 (0)2 286 1824 /

Questions regarding the recruitment process may be addressed to Kathryn Bryan, Head of HR, on +32 (0)2 286 1832 /

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