CSA Officer (Economist)

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. It currently employs 75 staff members of 16 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. 

Competition and State Aid
Job Reference

Role Description

ESA is recruiting an Economist for its Competition and State Aid Directorate (CSA).

CSA is a multi-disciplinary team comprising both economists and lawyers and enforces the competition and state aid rules of the EEA Agreement. These rules largely mirror the competition rules in the EU, both with regard to antitrust and state aid control. In the field of competition, the bigger share of CSA’s work is focused on cases of abuse of dominance. In state aid, CSA’s portfolio is broad and diverse.

The successful candidate will work within a small team co-ordinated by the Chief Economist and will report to the Director of CSA.  They will be responsible for ensuring a high standard of economic reasoning and analysis in the state aid and competition cases dealt with by ESA. 

ESA is looking for a person with a solid academic record and practical experience in the application of financial economics and/or industrial organisation, e.g. in the fulfilment of advisory or analytical functions in state aid and/or competition cases and policy. Knowledge of the application of economics in a regulatory environment, particularly in the field of electronic communications, would also be desirable.

Tasks will include: 

  • Applying financial economics and/or industrial organisation to the Authority’s general state aid and competition casework. This will involve participating in state aid and competition case teams and performing qualitative and quantitative economic analysis on financial and competition issues.
  • Communicating technical economic concepts in a clear and accessible manner, both verbally and in writing (e.g. by drafting parts of state aid and competition decisions), including to non-economists.
  • Providing general guidance on methodological issues of economics and quantitative techniques in the application of the EEA state aid and competition rules.
  • Monitoring and participating in international working groups and other fora with other competition and regulatory authorities, including the European Commission.

Essential Skills

  • Postgraduate degree (Master’s degree or higher) in economics or financial analysis/accounting
  • Sound knowledge of the legal framework of the EEA/EU, in particular of the state aid and/or competition rules
  • Solid knowledge and competence in the analysis of the economic aspects of state aid and/or competition enforcement
  • Minimum 5 years’ relevant professional experience
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English (the working language of the Authority)
  • Excellent organisational, analytical, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Initiative and the ability to work both independently and in a team in an international environment
  • Excellent IT skills, in particular with Microsoft Excel

Ideal Skills

  • Specialisation in financial economics and/or industrial organisation and practical experience in the analysis of state aid and/or competition cases.
  • A background in the application of competition economics in a regulatory environment
  • Experience in using empirical/quantitative techniques applicable in state aid and/or competition cases
  • Knowledge of the language, legal system, economy and national administration of one of the EEA EFTA States, in particular Norway
  • Experience of using econometric software
  • Experience with ‘dawn raids’ in the field of competition
  • Experience with the EEA regulatory framework for electronic communications

Other information

The position is placed at grade A4 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 €92 000 and €99 000 per annum.  Depending on personal situation and family status, additional allowances and benefits may apply.  Tax conditions are favourable. Overview of conditions at: https://jobs.eftasurv.int

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.  This may in particular be a suitable position for national civil servants seeking to broaden their horizons in the context of a detachment or temporary leave of absence.

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

Applicants must be nationals of the States party to the EEA Agreement (EU 28 + EEA EFTA 3).   The Authority particularly encourages applications from nationals of the three EFTA States party to the EEA Agreement (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).  

Application process:

-          All applications must be made online at: https://jobs.eftasurv.int

-          Deadline for applications: 4 March 2018

-          Interviews: Planned for 20 April 2018 and following week

-          Start date: To be agreed

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

Questions regarding the post may be addressed to Fiorenzo Bovenzi, Chief Economist, Competition & State Aid Directorate, on +32 2 286 18 51 / fbo@eftasurv.int.

Questions regarding the recruitment process may be addressed to Emma Thomas, HR Officer, on +32 2 286 1832 / eth@eftasurv.int.

For information on how your personal data will be used, processed, disclosed and retained, please see the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s privacy statement on recruitment: here.


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