Istituzioni europee, ONG e fondazioni, Camere di Commercio e associazioni di categoria, regioni e città, università e centri di ricerca … stanno cercando Policy Advisor e Project Manager!
Bruxelles: capitale d’Europa. Le principali Istituzioni dell’Unione europea hanno la loro sede qui, come pure migliaia di uffici di rappresentanza di enti privati e pubblici, provenienti dall’Ue e da Paesi terzi, con l’obiettivo di lavorare con le Istituzioni Ue per sviluppare nuove politiche e gestire i numerosi fondi europei.
L’Unione europea è infatti attiva su diversi settori: agricoltura, ambiente, sviluppo sostenibile, energia, cultura, formazione e istruzione, gioventù, sport, imprenditoria e PMI, occupazione e diritti sociali, protezione dei consumatori e sanità, cooperazione allo sviluppo, sicurezza e giustizia, sviluppo locale e regionale, scienza e tecnologia, trasporti, turismo. Per molte di queste politiche la Commissione europea gestisce un portfolio di fondi utilizzati per implementare azioni che sono in linea con gli obiettivi dell’Unione europea e sono gestiti dalle rappresentanze della società civile.
Vediamo in dettaglio le figure professionali richieste dal mercato del lavoro di Bruxelles e le competenze richieste per intraprendere una carriera professionale negli European Affairs.
So what are the key professional figures linked to this world?
The EU Project Manager and Project Consultant
Such job position is found within any public or private organisation that receives support from the EU for the implementation of its initiatives or that intends to set up a Grant Department for benefitting from EU funds (i.e. Chambers of Commerce, NGOs, SMEs, Universities and schools, Municipalities, Associations, …).
The position foresees typically tasks such as monitoring of EU policies and funding programmes, identification of calls for proposals, international networking and definition of consortia, research and analysis, structuring of project ideas and drafting of EU projects, financial management, quality assessment and management, reporting, communication campaigns and organisation of events.
Procurement Officer, Business Developer
Such job position is found within private companies and consultancies offering their services to EU Institutions, as well as within other private or public organisations that use EU tenders as an alternative way of funding (i.e. Universities, NGOs).
The position includes typically tasks such as monitoring the EU official journal, identification of calls for tenders, international networking and definition of consortia, research and analysis, drafting of tender offers, financial management, quality assessment and management, reporting, technical consultancy, human resource management.
Programme, Project and Financial Officer for EU Institutions
Programme Officer, Project Manager, Financial Officer, Procurement or Contract Officer are job profiles that can be found within the EU Institutions, European Agencies, Delegations of the European Commissions in developing countries, or Sector European Joint-Undertakings. The access to these opportunities is possible through EU public competitions.
According to the specific position, duties may include: drafting of calls for proposals and calls for tenders, drafting of annual work plans, follow-up activities with project beneficiaries, communications duties, financial control of project expenditures, relations with stakeholders, inter-institutional relations, research and analysis on programme results.
EU Liaison Officer – Policy Advisor
Such job positions are found within national and regional public administrations, in representations of interest groups (such as federations of producers, associations of professionals, …), in international NGOs, in networks and European platforms, in think-tanks.
The position foresees typically tasks such as monitoring of EU policies and funding programmes, attending EU events and drafting briefing notes, raising awareness of policy makers, creation of alliances and networking with potential project partners, organisation of communication campaigns and awareness raising events, project and tender drafting.
What kind of specialised know-how and key competences are crucial for this EU job market?
EU Institutions’ structure and functioning
To be aware of the functioning and key roles of each EU Institution, of the European policy-making process and legislative procedures, as well as the different powers and dynamics between key players. It is crucial to be aware of the role of external stakeholders and the lobbying and networking activity at EU level. Moreover, you shall have a clear understanding of the EU policies linked to specific funding programmes and the key institutional actors involved.
EU financial framework and funding mechanisms
To know the structure and funding amounts of the EU Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, as well as the EU funding programmes deriving from it. To have a clear understanding of how EU funds are allocated by the EU to the Civil Society and which ideas and activities can be supported. You shall be prepared to consult and give advice on the feasibility of a project idea and on under which programmes the idea can find financial support. To be able to analyse the political context, the eligibility rules, the priorities, the key stakeholders, and the application rules of EU funding programmes in specific fields (such as research and innovation, SMEs competitiveness, media and culture, education training and youth, sport, tourism, cooperation and development, cooperation with neighbourhood and pre-accession countries, energy and environment, employment and social affairs, health and consumer protection, regional cooperation).
Project Cycle Management
You shall be able to analyse and structure an idea, in order to draft an EU project, and shall be familiar with the six phases of the Project Cycle Management techniques: Programming, Identification, Formulation, Funding, Implementation, and Evaluation.
To be able to: conduct a problem and objective analysis and define the Problem tree and Objective tree; to select the Action strategy and carry out the Stakeholders analysis, to build the Logical Framework, defining Logic of intervention, SMART Performance indicators, Sources of verifications, and Assumptions and Risks.
EU Project Drafting
To be familiar with key call documents (Call for proposal, Guide for applicants, Application form, annexes), to be able to define a quality project idea, complying with crucial requirements such as Relevance, Innovative character, European added value, Sustainability, and to be capable to define the qualities and characteristics of the correct implementing partnership. To be able to correctly transfer the researches and analysis done into a structured Work Plan detailing Work Packages and Deliverables, GANTT Calendar, Project Budget and specific sections of the EU Project Application Form. You shall be able to define good Project Communication plans, including Dissemination and Exploitation activities; good Project Quality plans, including definition of Performance Indicators and Milestones, and Monitoring of quality; good Project Sustainability plans, including exploitation actions and Business plans for valorisation of project results.
EU Procurement Procedures
To be familiar with the Official Journal of the European Union and able to identify EU procurements for services, works, and supplies. To be able to analyse Calls for tenders for Restricted and Open tender procedures and able to define the requirements to succeed as well as the most suitable partnership. Key abilities are: knowledge of the TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) and EuropeAid databases, clear understanding of evaluation criteria (Exclusion criteria, Selection criteria, Award criteria), understanding of the Call for tenders and the set of documents required for answering, familiarity with EuropeAid Standard application form and References system, ability to successfully prove Professional and Technical capacity of the consortium, understanding on how to prove Economic and Financial capacity of the consortium, knowledge on how to structure a Technical offer and a Financial offer.
EU Project Implementation and Reporting
To be familiar with the tools and techniques used to efficiently manage an approved EU project, with an understanding of all the steps that follow the financing of a project from the European Commission. Namely, to be aware of the dynamics of the Negotiation phase, the Initiation phase, the Planning phase, the Implementation phase, the Monitoring and reporting phase, and the Conclusion phase. Also to count on techniques of good Consortium management and the best practices to keep the partnership actively and efficiently involved in the project implementation.
Soft skills for a EU Project Manager
To count on excellent negotiation skills, ability to work under stressful situations and with tight deadlines, communication skills, team work abilities, analytical and research skills, organisation and prioritisation skills, problem-solving and proactive attitude. To be used to work in an international environment, with English as working language.
European desk, Master and Training
Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce