Undertaking the EU career can lead to many different professional figures. Traditional jobs include working as officers for the EU institutions (the Commission, the Parliament, the Council of the European Union, etc.), but many other opportunities can be found in enterprises and organizations working directly and indirectly with the European Union. In this article three professional figures connected to the EU Bubble will be present: the proposal writer, the project manager, and the EU policy advisor.
A proposal writer for EU Projects is responsible to create a proposal aiming for EU funding. The subject of the proposal could vary according to the European call (for programmers such as Erasmus+, LIFE, Creative Europe, etc.). Consequently, a proposal writer has the opportunity to explore many different topics (environment, culture, social, etc.) or focus on only one. They have the chance to do research and expand their knowledge.
The EU proposal writer has to write clear, concise, accurate, and compliant responses to Calls for Proposals regarding EU programs. Moreover, they have to be able to look for sources of information linked to and supporting the EU project they are writing. In fact, this professional figure has to work across all levels of a proposal (proposal writing, consortium building, methodology, project organisation, etc) producing critical content.
Fort this reason, excellent communication and organizational skills are required. Thus, an EU proposal writer must possess the ability to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines. Finally, an excellent command of the English language – both written and verbal – is essential.
The Project Manager is the point person in charge of a specific project or projects within an organization. When these professionals are dealing with funding coming from the EU, we speak about EU project managers. They plan, budget, monitor and report using project management tools on projects financed with European funds. The EU project manager is the bridge between upper management and the teams tasked with the actual execution of the project. He makes sure the scope of the project is sound, reporting regularly on the progress of the project and that it is staying on the approved schedule.
The figure of the EU project manager requires good knowledge of project management standards and methodologies (programming, implementing, and evaluating a project). Considering the fact that EU projects have to be submitted and implemented by an international consortium and the relations with the EU Commission will happen frequently, he/she should have good communication and presentation skills, as well as a very good English knowledge. Finally, the EU project manager has to possess the ability to work in an international/multi-cultural environment and in a team.
EU POLICY ADVISOR
The main purpose of the job of EU Policy Advisor is to take the lead in developing and advising on the European dimension of a wide and varied range of subjects within his/her field. This is a challenging role because the EU Policy Advisor has to take responsibility for giving expert analysis and strategic policy advice. It also includes designing and implementing an effective public policy advocacy strategy to influence key policymakers at EU level.
A high degree of initiative is required to proactively identifying issues in the advisor’s area of responsibility and offering advice on how to ensure the interests of the organization he/she is working with.
The work of an EU Policy Advisor involves considerable external liaison at a senior level and participation in negotiations with key stakeholders. The EU Policy Advisor maintains and develops contacts with strategic partners, whether internal (such as policy advisors or specialist committees) or external contacts such as MEPs and Commission officials. The EU Policy Advisor’s role also involves frequent external public representation on behalf of his/her organization.