Head of unit - IRU - EU Internet Referral Unit (AD9)



This selection procedure is intended to establish a reserve list of successful candidates (indicative number is 3).  Europol may retain the right to make use of the reserve list to select candidates for similar posts, should business needs require so.

There is currently 1 (one) post available.

Europol is a well-established and recognized organisation that became an EU agency in 2010. It is constantly looking for creative, self-reliant and energetic employees, who are up to the challenges involved in international crime-fighting, to work in its state-of-the-art headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Europol employs more than 1,000 personnel, including around 160 analysts, to identify and track the most dangerous criminal and terrorist networks in Europe.  Our people come from a variety of professional backgrounds such as law enforcement, finance, legal, information technologies, human resources, communication, etc.

Working in close-knit teams, our specialists use their expertise and our cutting-edge technology to support investigations into serious organised crime and terrorism within and outside the EU.

A solid track record
Europol has:
• disrupted many criminal and terrorist networks
• contributed to the arrest of thousands of dangerous criminals
• helped recover millions of euros of crime proceeds
• helped hundreds of victims of trafficking and abuse, including children

The working environment at Europol has a lot to offer. It is:
• highly collaborative
• intellectually stimulating
• multilingual
• multidisciplinary
• international

Prospective candidates should be prepared to work in a dynamic and fast-moving environment that requires a high level of flexibility, and should have the ability to perform well within a team.

The Operations Directorate deals with the core business of Europol, improving the effectiveness and cooperation of the competent authorities in the Member States  in preventing and combating serious and organised crime, as well as terrorism affecting the Member States. This requires close cooperation with the Liaison Bureaux at Europol and via them with the Operational Teams in the Member States.

Europol delivers a number of products and services to national law enforcement agencies to support them in their fight against international serious and organised crime, as well as terrorism.


In relation to this post, the currently relevant area of counter terrorism and financial intelligence is responsible for providing operational support functions and services to the competent authorities of Member States in the fields of counter terrorism and financial intelligence. The establishment of the ECTC in 2016 followed a decision from the EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers from last November. Europol is tasked to set up within the current organisational structure and mandate the ECTC aiming to raise trust and awareness among the different counter terrorism authorities in the EU and maximise existing capabilities. By serving as a centre of expertise, ECTC will focus on tackling terrorism, especially on foreign terrorist fighters posing a threat, share intelligence and expertise on terrorism financing, online terrorist propaganda and extremism and identify connections to organized crime, such as illegal arms trafficking,  aiming to reinforce international cooperation and to increase effectiveness and prevention.

These responsibilities are exercised primarily through the:
• Provision of analytical and other forms of operational support to investigations of terrorism and organised crime specially linked to the use of Internet and Social Media by terrorist;
• Development of knowledge and specialist capability in European centres of expertise targeting terrorism on line;
• Production of strategic assessments concerning these areas, such as  the EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report and similar strategic products;
• Establishment and maintenance of specialist databases;
• Coordination and sharing the identification tasks (flagging) of terrorist and violent extremist online content with relevant partners;
• Carrying out and Supporting referrals quickly, efficiently and effectively, in close cooperation with the industry;
• Supporting competent authorities, by providing strategic analysis and operational analysis;
• Acting as a European Centre for Excellence the for above tasks.

The Head of Unit (IRU) will be responsible for the handling of the day to day business and activities related to the work of the IRU within ECTC.

The responsibilities will be carried out under the supervision of the Head of Department ECTC.

The successful applicant will have to carry out the following main duties:
• Lead, plan and control the work of the Unit, ensuring the effective management and efficient use of all financial, human and other resources, in support of program delivery;
• Develop program proposals and activities in conformity with defined outcomes and objectives; identify key risks to program delivery and resource management and ensure appropriate mitigation;
• Manage staff and evaluate and monitor individual and team operational performance levels and address potential shortcomings; cultivate a culture of teamwork and cooperation;
• Lead the delivery of the Unit’s products and services, as agreed with the Head of the Department - ECTC;
• Represent the Unit/Organization at internal and external meetings and provide advice on matters relating to the area of expertise;
• Deliver presentations and prepare reports;
• Perform any other duties in the area of competence as assigned by line management.


a. Candidates must
• Be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union and enjoy full rights as a citizen;

• Be a member of a competent authority in the meaning of the Article 2a) of the Europol Regulation;

• Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by the applicable laws on military service;

• Produce appropriate character references as to his or her suitability for the performance of the duties;

• Be physically fit to perform the duties pertaining to the position (prior to appointment the successful candidate will be medically examined by one of the institution’s medical officers in order that the institution may be satisfied that the candidate fulfils the requirements of Article 12(2)(d) CEOS)

• Produce evidence of a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the Union and a satisfactory knowledge of another language of the Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the duties.

b. Candidates must have
• A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma when the normal period of university education is four years or more;
• A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies attested by a diploma and appropriate professional experience of at least one year when the normal period of university education is three years;
• Professional training of an equivalent level in a relevant area (e.g. Police Officer’s School) and after having completed the training, at least the number of years of relevant professional experience as indicated below:

Duration of professional training         Additional professional experience required for equivalency

More than 6 months and up to 1 year 4 years

More than 1 year and up to 2 years     3 years

More than 2 years and up to 3 years   2 years

More than 3 years                                   1 year

• In addition to the above at least 12 years of professional work experience gained after the award of the diploma.


a. Professional experience (assessed mainly during the Shortlisting phase):
• Experience in criminal investigation preferably in the area of counter  terrorism, especially in the development and delivery of operational products and services referred to in section 2 “Background, Main purpose and Tasks of the post” above;
• Experience in managing staff of at least 2 years;
• Extensive operational experience in international investigations;
• Experience of liaison and cooperation on operational, strategic and policy matters;
• Experience of working in a multicultural environment.

b. Professional knowledge (assessed during the Selection procedure - Written/Practical test and/or Interview)
• Good knowledge related to countering online violent content in social media, to supporting online investigations and of the possibilities of open source monitoring;
• Good knowledge of the global Counter Terrorism investigation methods and techniques;
• Sound knowledge of international law enforcement cooperation;
• Knowledge of Europol’s legal framework and of the EU internal security architecture;

c. General management skills, including (assessed during the Pre-selection, Assessment Centre and / or Interview phases):  
• The ability to set and revise objectives for the unit within the overall strategic        framework and priorities of the Agency;
• The ability to determine and focus on priorities and to monitor and evaluate the progress made towards achieving the unit’s and team members’ objectives set, in cooperation with the members of the team;
• The ability to organise, assign and manage the unit’s work among the members of the team and to set them challenging but realistic objectives;
• The ability to empower members of the team while ensuring that they understand what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the unit’s objectives;
• The ability to choose co-workers and to build strong teams with complementary strengths suited to the efficient pursuit of the unit’s objectives;
• The ability to motivate members of the team to achieve the desired results and also to provide regular feedback, acknowledge success and the need for improvement in order to enable them to achieve their objectives and greatest potential;
• The ability to develop and support career development and learning opportunities for the members of the team.

Communication skills
• The ability to communicate clearly and present complex subjects simply, both orally and in writing, including to the members of the team;
• The ability to solicit inputs from and listen to staff, partners, and stakeholders.

Interpersonal skills
• The ability to deal with people effectively, respectfully and courteously;
• The ability to build productive and cooperative working relationships with hierarchy and other units and colleagues.

Negotiation skills
• The ability to steer discussions and generate the best possible results without compromising productive working relationships with the other parties involved.

d. Fulfil the condition stipulated in Article 5 of the Decision of the Executive Director on the Duration of contracts of employment for Temporary Agents, on the start date of the possible contract of employment, which may be offered.


This selection procedure is governed by the Decision of the Management Board of Europol of 28 February 2019 laying down general implementing provisions on the procedure governing the engagement and use of temporary staff under Art. 2(f) of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the EU and the Decision of the Management Board of Europol of 4 October 2019 on middle management staff.

Selection procedure for Head of Unit posts:
1) Pre-selection Panel
The Executive Director sets up a pre-selection Panel composed of at least three members, of a grade and management function equal or superior to that of the function to be filled, consisting of one chair and at least one member from the administration of Europol and one member designated by the Staff Committee. Where there are no TAs within Europol fulfilling the requirement of management function and grade, the AACC may decide to designate officials or TAs from another agency or institution who fulfil that condition.
For restricted posts, the Executive Director shall designate up to two additional members of the pre-selection Panel if so requested by the Chairperson of the Management Board. The additional members shall consist of a representative of the Presidency or one representative of the Presidency and one representative of another Member State. The Executive Director may invite other persons to the pre-selection panel as observers.
The panel draws up a shortlist of 5 candidates who most correspond to the profile sought. All candidates having a score equal to the 5th highest scoring candidate will be included in the list of shortlisted candidates invited to participate in the pre-selection, which shall rely on one or more written and oral test(s).
Only candidates scoring above the pass-mark for the pre-selection will be invited to take part in an Assessment Centre and interview with an Interview Panel.
2) Assessment Centre
All candidates scoring above the pass mark in the pre-selection shall take part in an Assessment Centre, unless they have already taken part in such an Assessment Centre in the course of the two years preceding the closing date for the receipt of applications. If a candidate has taken part in an Assessment Centre within this two-year period, but not within the 18 months preceding the closing date for the receipt of applications, s/he may at her/his request be admitted to the Assessment Centre.
The Assessment Centre evaluates, through a series of group and individual exercises and activities and in-depth interviews focused on management skills, whether the candidates possess the competencies required. Assessment Centres are conducted by an external provider. The result of the Assessment Centre shall be taken into consideration by the Executive Director.
3) Interview Panel
The candidates scoring above the pass mark in the pre-selection shall be invited to an interview with the Executive Director and two members of a grade and management function equal or superior to that of the function to be filled. For restricted posts, the Interview Panel shall consist of up to two additional members if so requested by the Chairperson of the Management Board. The additional members shall consist of a representative of the Presidency or one representative of the Presidency and one representative of another Member State.


Scale: AD9
The basic monthly salary is EUR 7.845,39 (step 1) or EUR 8.175,07 (step 2).
The step in grade is determined on the basis of professional experience gained after the education required for the position and in line with applicable implementing rules.

Staff pay EU tax at source but salaries are exempt from national taxes. Compulsory deductions are made for medical insurance, pension and unemployment insurance.

Subject to the applicable conditions being met, as defined in the EU Staff Regulations (EUSR)/CEOS and further specified in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, allowances such as expatriation allowance (16% of basic gross salary) or foreign residence allowance (4% of basic gross salary), household allowance, dependent child and/or education allowance may be granted.

Staff enjoy worldwide insurance coverage by the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) and are insured against sickness, the risk of occupational disease and accident.

Europol offers flexible working arrangements, a comprehensive provision for annual leave as well as parental leave supporting a healthy work-life balance.

Indicative net salary sample calculation AD9/1:
a)  Staff member (single) in receipt of expatriation allowance (16%): EUR 7.755,11
b) Staff member with two dependent children in their custody in receipt of expatriation allowance (16%): EUR 9.685,72

The above information is indicative and for information purposes only. It is merely meant to give an indication of the possible net salary in light of the currently applicable amounts of the related allowances and the level of taxation. It has no legal value and no rights can be derived from it.

The information is based on figures applicable as of July 2018.

Probation period
Engagement for this position is subject to the successful completion of a probationary period of 9 months. Within this period the successful candidate will have to undergo a post-related security screening.

Europol reserves the right to terminate the contract of employment during or at the end of the probation period in accordance with Article 14 of CEOS.

Contract of employment
The successful candidate will be recruited in the type of post of Head of Unit or equivalent and function group AD grade 9, pursuant to Article 2(f) CEOS and Annex I EUSR.

The initial contract will be concluded for a period of 5 years (full-time – 40 hours a week). The contract may be renewed only once, in principle, for a period of 4 years.

The overall duration of the contracts on restricted posts of Europol staff members will be taken into account if they are successful in the selection procedure.  

The place of employment will be The Hague, The Netherlands.

For further information on terms and conditions please consult the EU Staff Regulations which are available on Europol’s website.


General provisions
The pre-selection Panel establishes the pass-mark for the pre-selection, typically determined as 60% of the total score. Only candidates scoring above the pass-mark for the pre-selection may be invited to pursue the selection procedure.
The Interview Panel establishes the pass-mark for the interview, typically defined as 70% of the total score.
The successful candidates are those scoring above the pre-defined pass-mark for the Interview.

Candidates invited to participate in a selection procedure are informed about the names and functions of members of the pre-selection and Interview Panels on the day the relevant part of the selection procedure takes place. Non-shortlisted candidates have the right to request feedback on the assessment of their application within three months from the date they were informed about the outcome of the pre-selection. The names and functions of Panel members are made available to non-shortlisted candidates upon request and following a decision by Europol on a case-by-case basis.

In case of candidates shortlisted for restricted posts (including Annex II/III posts) indicating membership of a competent authority in one of the Member States, Europol will seek confirmation from the relevant Europol National Unit to ensure that those candidates indeed belong to a competent authority and hence meet the eligibility requirements in this regard. To this end, Europol may need to provide personal data of those candidates (name, citizenship, date/ place of birth, address, e-mail, telephone number, current employment) to the relevant Europol National Unit.

The successful candidate(s) selected following the interview will be appointed by the Executive Director or placed on a reserve list if established.

The Executive Director may establish a reserve list of successful candidates, who were not appointed, valid for up to 12 months. The validity of the reserve list may be extended once for up to 12 months. The list of selection procedures for which reserve lists have been established or extended is accessible on Europol's website.

Candidates who attend the selection procedure will be informed of the outcome and whether they have been placed on the reserve list. Candidates have the right to request feedback on the assessment of their performance within three months from the date they were informed about the outcome of their participation in the selection procedure. Europol will not be in a position to respond to feedback inquiries received outside this time frame.

Europol retains the right to make use of the reserve list to select candidates for similar posts within the organisation, should business needs require so.
The work and deliberations of the pre-selection and Interview Panels is confidential. It is forbidden for candidates to make direct or indirect contact with the members of the Panels or for anyone to do so on their behalf. All enquiries or requests for information or documentation in relation to the competition should be addressed to the Europol Recruitment Team.

Detailed information on the selection procedure, including the appeal procedure is available in the Europol Recruitment Guidelines, which can be found on Europol’s website.


Equal opportunity
Europol is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications without distinction on the basis of gender, colour, racial, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, nationality, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

We aim to create and maintain a healthy and attractive work environment that supports our colleagues in their career planning and in achieving a healthy work-life balance.

Employment at Europol is open to nationals of EU Member States. There is no nationality quota system in operation, but Europol is striving for a broad range of nationalities in order to keep a well-balanced geographical distribution among its staff members.

Security screening and certificate of good conduct
All candidates who have successfully passed a selection procedure are required to apply for a national “certificate of good conduct” at the time an offer of employment is made. The “certificate of good conduct” must be provided to Europol prior the signature of the employment contract. In case of unfavourable entries in the “Certificate of good conduct” Europol reserves the right not to award an employment contract.

However, the national certificate of good conduct does not substitute a valid full Personal Security Clearance Certificate (PSCC) that must be obtained for all Europol staff at the level indicated in this Vacancy Notice. A PSCC is a certificate issued by a competent authority establishing that an individual is security cleared. It contains: the level of clearance; the date of issuance and the date of expiry. Failure to obtain the requisite security clearance before the expiration of the probationary period may be cause for termination of employment contract.

The requested level of Security Clearance for this post is: SECRET UE/EU SECRET.

Privacy Statement
Europol respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. Your data will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data applicable to Europol under Article 46 of the Europol Regulation.

For additional information, please consult the applicable privacy statement available on our website.

Deadline for application: 08 January 2020, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone

Recruitment procedure:  January/February 2020

Please refer to the EUROPOL RECRUITMENT GUIDELINES available on Europol’s website for further details on the application process and the selection procedure.

For further details on the application process please call +31 (0) 70 302 5235 or +31 (0) 70 353 1146.



08 January 2020, 23:59:59 CET

Contract type

Restricted Temporary Agent


Operations Directorate

Reports to

Head of Department - European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC); Deputy Executive Director - Operations Directorate