UKRep Development Attaché (BEL047)

FCO - Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Brussels, Belgium

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer. We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.

Job Category: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Policy & Political roles)
Job Subcategory: UKREP (UK Representation to the EU)

Job Description (Roles and Responsibilities)

The UK Permanent Representation to the EU (UKREP) works with the EU and its member states to maximize British influence on issues such as trade, development and foreign policy and is now looking for a Development Attaché, working as part of the development team within the Foreign Policy section.

This is be a particularly exciting time to join UKRep, as the UK prepares to leave the EU. The UK is the biggest bilateral development donor in the EU, and the EU’s institutions and other Member States are among our most important partners. The successful applicant will have to operate sensitively within the context of this environment and really appreciate the bigger picture during negotiations. UKRep will need to credibly and tactfully manage a diverse range of demands while driving progress in areas of international development policy.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Supporting the UK representative to the Development and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) working groups, and leading on certain issues within those working groups;
  • Strengthening links between the ACP working group with the Africa working group (COAFR);
  • Influencing UK policy (including in relation to the UK’s exit from the EU) by working closely with DFID in London, providing analysis and input on key policy files;
  • Providing succinct, targeted advice and briefing to senior officials, including the UK Ambassador to the EU;
  • Supporting high level meetings such as Foreign Affairs (Development) Councils, including briefings and logistics;
  • Supporting engagement between London colleagues and EU institutions through facilitating building relationships, and arranging programmes for visitors;
  • There are several major strands of work in the development area which you will be involved in, including discussions on the new European Consensus for Development as well as the successor to the current Cotonou Agreement, which is the EU’s most significant development partnership. This agreement covers trade, development and political engagement with 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. On both these issues you will be supporting the First Secretary (Development) and working closely with teams in the UK. Other key work strands include the development contribution to the current migration crisis; the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; and the mid-term review of the EU’s external financing instruments;
  • The post will bring regular interaction with Ministers, senior UK colleagues in the FCO and DFID, as well as development staff in the European Commission, and building strong external working relationships will be essential. At the same time like all other colleagues in the team you must also be ready to turn your hand regularly to tasks such as visit logistics, preparing briefings and helping UK colleagues navigate the Brussels institutions. Work in UKREP can be challenging, and this role would suit someone who can assess and prioritize new tasks quickly, and keep on top of an ever-changing and occasionally very heavy workload. In a small team, adaptability, flexibility and resilience will all be key attributes needed, but above all else is the need to be a team player and work positively with others to ensure the best outcome;
  • You will be required to attend technical meetings alongside, and sometimes in place of, Whitehall policy leads, help prepare the UK position beforehand, and follow up on issues in between meetings. At times the post holder will directly represent and speak for the UK, including at some Council Working Groups;
  • You will need to develop strong working relations with officials from the EU institutions, Members of the European Parliament and other Member States to gather information, influence others’ positions and negotiate successful outcomes for the UK. You will also need to work closely with policy leads from a range of Whitehall departments to provide handling and policy advice, as well as with colleagues in the wider External Relations section and other sections within UKRep;
  • There is a steady stream of high-level, sometimes Ministerial, visits to Brussels on development and humanitarian issues throughout the year. You will be required to assist with these, arranging programmes and meetings, and accompanying visitors to these where necessary;
  • You may be required to advise the UK Permanent Representative and the Political and Security Committee Ambassador in advance of and during negotiations, as well as orally brief Development Ministers for Development Councils and Ministerial visits. The ability to prioritize, master complex policy and legal issues quickly, switch between subjects at short notice and work effectively under pressure will be particularly important.

Essential qualifications and experience

  • Fluency in English (both oral and written);
  • Experience of delivering successful negotiating outcomes in a legal and politically-sensitive environment;
  • Knowledge and experience of working with European Union processes and institutions;
  • Strong problem solving, prioritisation and organisational skills;
  • Clear demonstration of interpersonal and team working skills.

Desirable qualifications and experience

  • Knowledge of international development issues and the current key global challenges;
  • Knowledge of French (fluent spoken and excellent written comprehension).

Required competencies

Seeing the Big Picture, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace, Engaging Internationally.

Application deadline: 28 February 2017
Grade: B3 (L)
Type of Position: Full-time, Permanent
Working hours per week: 36.25
Region: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Type of Post: Political Office
Number of vacancies: 1
Starting monthly salary (EUR): 3,681.33 gross
Start Date: 10 April 2017

Other benefits and conditions of employment

This is a full-time, permanent contract, for 5 working days (36.25 hours net) per week.

The monthly salary for this position is €3,681.33 B3 (L) level (The British Diplomatic Missions in Belgium salaries are not subject to annual indexation).

Please note that Belgian nationals will be paid their salary gross and are expected to comply with their tax obligations through completion of a tax return to the Belgian authorities. Non-Belgian nationals will receive their salary net, minus the deduction of an equivalent level of Belgian tax retained at source. Further information on this will be given to candidates during the recruitment process.

The successful candidates will be subject to professional background checks and security clearance.

Staff recruited locally by the British Diplomatic Missions in Belgium are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local Belgian employment law.

Additional information

Please note that the deadline for applications is 23:55 on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”. We advise you to allow enough time to complete and submit your full application, since only applications completed and submitted before the deadline will be considered. Please be aware that the deadline for submitting applications is considered to be the time zone for the country where the vacancy has arisen.

Please be advised that the British Diplomatic Missions will not be able to meet the travel costs incurred when travelling to the interview, nor the costs connected with relocation if offered a job.

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