European Officer

European officers have a co-ordinating role, linking local government departments, local businesses, government departments and the European Union.  A main task is to secure EU funding for their authorities and other organisations in the area.  They are employed in most of the councils.

Work Environment
The majority of the work takes place in an office environment within the local authority's offices.  However, travel is a vital part of the work, throughout the UK and Europe.

Daily Activities
An important part of the work is to prepare proposals to attract EU grants (economic development, tourism, unemployment training etc). European officers often link with a wide range of stakeholders including representatives from across local and national government departments, professional bodies, private and voluntary sectors.  Often working with representatives from other European countries on projects.  EU funding application remains an important part of the work. Responding effectively to application forms sent out by the European Union and specialist government departments; working to deadlines and writing guidelines are important.  European officers develop systems to monitor successful projects. They also keep track of other funds available. Often representatives have contact with Members of the European Parliament to brief them on issues in the local authority. Networking between different European areas with similar agricultural or industrial backgrounds can also lead to the sharing of experiences and mutual solutions.  European officers have contact with members of the public who ring with enquiries on new European legislation, for example, or who need information on funding available.

Skills & Interests
European officers must be able to communicate well in writing and verbally in order to pass on and obtain information (often complex) to people from all walks of life. Good organising skills are also required, as are research and finance skills.

Entry Requirements
Most European officers hold degree/HND or equivalent qualifications which are desirable. Relevant degrees include either economic or public policy with languages. Universities offer a range of modular European studies courses.  Generally, European officers will have had previous experience in planning or finance departments or economic developments.  Computer literacy is important and fluency in a European language other than English will be an advantage. Further training is often provided on the job.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
There are opportunities to develop in the job and learn transferable skills such as project management skills.  Posts are often grant-funded from European funds and many posts offer fixed term contracts.

Further Information & Services
European Union
Institute of Economic Development
European Social Fund
European Regional Development Fund
Welsh European Funding Office

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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