Deputy Director, Internal Market Affairs (General Unit) – Ref. 10/2021


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.

Deputy Director, Internal Market Affairs (General Unit) – Ref. 10/2021

EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA)

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 450 million Europeans, creating jobs and growth and adding to the international competitiveness of the States. 

ESA is based in Brussels. It currently employs staff members of 19 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.

Role Description

ESA is recruiting a Deputy Director to join its Internal Market Affairs Directorate (IMA). IMA is responsible for monitoring the EEA EFTA States to ensure that they comply with their obligations in the field of internal market law.

The successful candidate will assist the Director in managing the work of the General Unit, dealing with the four freedoms of the internal market (free movement of goods, people, services and capital) and other related areas, and will be assigned responsibility for the coordination of ESA’s work in the fields falling within the Unit.  The Deputy Director leads a team of around ten case handlers handling a broad variety and a large volume of cases related to the four freedoms.

The tasks of the Deputy Director will, broadly speaking, include:  

  • Managing the Unit in co-operation with the IMA Director, including setting objectives, monitoring progress and promoting a good atmosphere within the Unit and IMA.
  • Supporting case handlers in reaching their goals. Monitoring progress, quality and timely completion of case-handling and other objectives of IMA, as well as approving documents related to case-handling.
  • Managing the recruitment process for new staff in the General Unit and conducting performance evaluations.
  • Co-operation with other units and departments within ESA.

The successful candidate will also perform some regular case handling and administrative management tasks.

We are looking for a well-qualified candidate with relevant experience from the public and/or private sector, with thorough knowledge of the EEA Agreement and in particular knowledge of the legal framework of the internal market. The successful candidate must demonstrate leadership qualities and should possess the aptitude for assisting and guiding members of the team with all aspects of case handling, as well as supporting their growth and development. Knowledge of the legal system, economy and national administration of Norway is desirable, given the high number of Norwegian cases handled by the Unit.

The following are essential:

  • University degree in law, or recognised equivalent qualification in law 
  • Minimum 5 years’ relevant professional experience in the private or the public sector 
  • Thorough knowledge of EEA law, in particular very good knowledge of the legal framework of the internal market
  • Leadership potential and an enthusiasm for continuously developing in this area 
  • Aptitude for coaching and guiding team members
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English (ESA’s working language) as well as proven legal drafting ability
  • Excellent organisational, analytical, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Initiative and proactivity to drive projects and cases forward
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team in an international environment

The following are desirable:

  • Postgraduate degree in law
  • Good knowledge of the legal system, economy and national administration of Norway
  • Familiarity with the legal orders of Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • Relevant professional experience involving the EU institutions, relevant national authorities or administrations 
  • Previous management experience
  • Good understanding of German, Icelandic or Norwegian (the EEA EFTA languages)


This position will be filled in accordance with ESA’s policy on recruitment 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 three-year requirement does not apply in the case of applications from current or former ESA temporary staff, trainees and seconded national experts. 

The position is placed at grade A5 of ESA’s salary scale, with a likely starting salary of around €120 000 gross 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, offering opportunities for regular teleworking, 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: 6 June 2021 (midnight CET)

Interviews: June 2021

Start date: summer/autumn 2021

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 Jónína S. Lárusdóttir, Director on +32 2 286 1873 /

Questions regarding the recruitment process may be addressed to Emma Thomas, HR Officer on +32 2 286 1870 /


Rådmannens stab
Kirkens Bymisjon
Juridiske tjenester, Helse Sør-Øst RHF
Oslo kommune, Kommunerevisjonen
The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA)