In the context of the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Commission is looking for independent experts to assist in the evaluation and ethics screening of the proposals. To this end, the call for expression of interest for experts for the programming period 2021-2027 of the EDF is open.
For the EDF, annual calls for proposals are issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/697, after which Union funding is provided to selected proposals.
The Commission will appoint independent experts to assist in the evaluation, the ethics review, and the financial assessment of the proposals to the annual calls. The experts must be nationals from as broad a range of Member States of the European Union as possible and will be chosen on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge relevant to the tasks that they will be assigned. They shall also have appropriate language skills, in particular to be fluent in English, for the tasks to be carried out. Experts selected and contracted will be duly remunerated for their work performed under the EDF evaluation.
The Commission shall ensure that experts do not evaluate, advise or assist on matters with regard to which they have any conflict of interests.
The Commission is therefore establishing a list of independent experts who can be called on in connection with the European Defence Fund (EDF) for the following tasks:
- Evaluation of proposals.
- Rapporteur at consensus meetings.
- Ethics review of proposals.
- Budget estimate assessment of proposals.
Field of expertise
The Commission is looking for experts with a high level of expertise and professional experience in a military context. In particular, expertise is sought on the research and development of defence products and technologies, or the management of capability development projects in a national, European and/or NATO context in one or more of the following categories of actions:
- EDF thematic categories of actions
- Defence medical support, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear, (CBRN), biotech and human factors,
- Information superiority,
- Advanced passive and active sensors,
- Digital transformation,
- Energy resilience and environmental transition,
- Materials and components,
- Air combat,
- Air and missile defence,
- Ground combat,
- Force protection and mobility,
- Naval combat,
- Underwater warfare,
- Simulation and training,
- EDF non-thematic categories of actions
- Disruptive technologies,
- Open calls for innovative and future-oriented defence solutions (SME),
- Ethics related to defence research and development activities, and
- Financial aspects of project management.
First step - Interested experts shall apply in the “Funding & Tenders Portal" in order to be included in the Commission database of experts. Experts who are already registered in the database of independent experts for the implementation of other EU programmes and who wish to apply for the EDF, are invited to declare their interest for EDF assignments by updating their area of expertise in line with the set of EDF specialist fields and pre-defined areas.
The expert profile in the ‘My Expert Area’ on the Funding and Tender Portal must be completed and kept up-to-date for all sections. Areas of expertise and professional experience must be adequately detailed and documented, but should not include sensitive information. It is also recommended to include “open keywords” to further facilitate the Commission staff’s search in areas of expertise relevant to the EDF.
Protection of personal data: as the Commission collects and further processes personal data, it is subject to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 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, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC. Processing operations are under the responsibility of the controller.
Second step - Interested experts are invited to express their interest by sending an e-mail with their CV and their expert number (EX-number) and confirmation that you hold a valid PSC (see below for more information) to the address:
Expression of interest from experts without a valid expert number will not be processed further.As a rule, applications received after an identified application period will be considered for the next application period
Applications will be considered in the periods below:
Application period to the EDF-EXPERTS mailbox
Evaluation calls 2022
1 May 2022 – 31 October 2022
Ethics screening 2022
1 May 2022 – 1 March 2023
Evaluation calls 2023
1 May 2023 – 31 October 2023
Ethics screening 2023
1 May 2023 – 1 March 2024
Evaluation calls 2024
1 May 2024 – 31 October 2024
Ethics screening 2024
1 May 2024 – 1 March 2025
Evaluation calls 2025
1 May 2025 – 31 October 2025
Ethics screening 2025
1 May 2025 – 1 March 2026
Evaluation calls 2026
1 May 2026 – 31 October 2026
Ethics screening 2026
1 May 2026 – 1 March 2027
Evaluation calls 2027
1 May 2027 – 31 October 2027
Ethics screening 2027
1 May 2027 – 1 March 2028
The selection of experts is based on criteria such as professional expertise and experience, language skills, geographical and business-sector, gender, and the absence of conflict of interest. A regular rotation of experts will be respected.
Personal Security Clearance requirement
- In order to be selected, experts need to be in the possession of a valid personal security clearance (PSC)issued by the relevant Member State(s) authorities before the submission of the expression of interest. Note that the personal security clearance issued by the National Security Authority must not be confused with the criminal record. For more information on the PSC for managing EU classified information refer to the Council Decision 2013/488/EU and Commission Decision 2015/444.
- An expert should in the email with his/her expression of interest indicate whether he/she is possession of a valid PSC. Expressions of interest without indication of the possession of the PSC, will be rejected. The security credentials of appointed experts will be validated by the Commission with the relevant Member State through the appropriate vetting procedure.
- Experts should not send any supporting document on the status of their PSC.
- If an expert is not in the possession of a valid a PSC, the Commission will not initiate the vetting procedure for them. The Commission is not in the position to provide any further guidance and support on the process to obtain a PSC. Any questions should be directed to the National Security Authorities.
For the evaluation starting in a specific year, selected experts will be contacted no later than end of December of the same year for the evaluation, and no later than May for the ethics screening.
Prior to assigning an expert to a task, she/he will need to sign an EU expert contract. By signing the contract, she/he will need to agree to perform the assignments to the highest professional standards and in compliance with the conditions set out in the call, the Expert Terms of Reference and the Expert Code of Conduct in their version as published on the Portal at the moment of contract signature.
To ensure the independence of the work that they are called upon to perform in their capacity as 'independent experts', prior to the signature of their contract, they will be required to attest that they agree to abide by the terms of the code of conduct (including confidentiality aspects) in the electronic exchange system. In particular, they will be required to sign a declaration certifying that there is no conflict of interest at the time of contracting and that they undertake to inform the Commission or the relevant funding body if any conflict should arise in the course of their duties.
Note that work of the independent experts will be remunerated. Contracts will contain the details relating to the assignment (e.g. tasks and working arrangements, remuneration and payment arrangements). More information about the applicable ceilings and the payment of experts can be found in the Call for Expression of Interest 2021-2027.
 Registration does not automatically mean that you will be contracted for task assignments. This will depend on our business needs and fulfilment of certain formal requirements.
 The list of the National Security Authorities (including their contact details) is available in the Appendix C of the 2013/488/EU: Council Decision of 23 September 2013 on the security rules for protecting EU classified information .