Director of EU Relations – Belgium

04 Sep, 2023


Director of EU Relations – Belgium

Mercy Corps
Brussels, BE



Location: Brussels, Belgium

Valid unrestricted work authorization in the EU is required at the time of application for this position.

Position Status: Full-time, Permanent

Salary range min.€ 75,040 – flexible commensurate on experience.

Closing date: applications to be submitted by spetember 11th

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Mercy Corps knows our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

We are seeking a senior leader in Brussels who is well connected within the international development, humanitarian and foreign policy space, passionate about building the resilience of the poorest people in the world to climate and conflict shocks, and able to build a strong brand and leverage opportunities for Mercy Corps in Brussels.

Over the past 10 years Mercy Corps’ presence in Europe has grown rapidly in terms of volume of activity and complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London, Geneva and The Hague and a presence in other European locations we attract over €100,000 mn in income per annum and employ over 150 team members through and in our European offices.

In 2022 Mercy Corps launched a new global strategy, articulating how we will respond to communities impacted by conflict and climate change.  While we continue to respond to humanitarian crises around the world, we also work to build communities’ resilience to shocks from conflict and climate change, increasing their ability to cope, adapt and thrive.   We work in four key areas – peace and governance, food security, water security and climate resilience, and economic opportunity.  The strategy also reconfirms our commitments to localisation and to gender, diversity and inclusion.  These themes are central to all our work, including our ambitions to increase our profile, influencing and funding in Europe.

Mercy Corps has been partnering with EC donors since 1994. To strengthen our relations with the EU institutions, we have invested in dedicated staff to grow our strategic relationships and policy influence in Brussels. We are now looking to appoint our first Director of EU Relations, based in Brussels, and supported by a small but growing team.

This is an exciting time to join Mercy Corps in Europe and set the pathway to develop our presence in Belgium to increase our policy engagement as well as increase our partnerships with the various EU institutions.

The Position
Working proactively with teams and colleagues across the agency, the Director for EU Relations will serve as the focal point and coordinate the implementation of the Mercy Corps’ global strategy in Brussels, increasing our profile and success in raising funds from the EU. With extensive experience in the development sector and deep understanding of EU institutions, the position will foster and build institutional relationships, and create new opportunities for technical, financial and policy cooperation with the EU institutions and peer organisations working with the EU.

This is very much an external-facing position and Mercy Corps is looking for a candidate who they feel can confidently be the ‘face’ of the organisation in front of key partners in Brussels. The successful candidate will not only have the right experience on paper but also the right personal ‘fit’; someone who really lives and breathes the organisation’s culture and values, with a visible passion for the work they do. They will have excellent interpersonal skills, excel at networking and building long-term relationships and will be proactive and creative in their work.

They will need to understand the issues and areas on which Mercy Corps works, as well as have the ability to travel to learn more about how we work at the country and regional level, regularly connecting with our teams in country to guide and coach them to deepen relationships with EU officials in the countries and regions.

Essential Responsibilities
In alignment with the Mercy Corps global strategy and the European Strategic Plan, the position will be responsible for the following:


  • Be the Ambassador for Mercy Corps in Belgium and represent the organisation at senior levels to increase the organisation’s brand awareness and visibility of our work and offer.
  • Build Mercy Corps profile and strategic relationships in Brussels, including with senior EU representatives and decision makers in key directorates and serve as the primary donor liaison in Brussels
  • Represent Mercy Corps on panels and in meetings, and facilitate participation of other Mercy Corps team members in key EU events and meetings.
  • Regularly organise opportunities for the Executive Director and the Regional Directors to engage at senior level with EU stakeholders and bring our work to life for them.
  • Support country teams and regional teams in establishing and building relationships with the EU Delegations in our countries and regions.
  • Participate in strategic meetings and events, representing Mercy Corps in NGOs platforms, communities of practice, and other relevant fora in Brussels.
  • Engage with peer organisations and other potential partners in Brussels and identify key areas of potential cooperation, including programme funding and joint advocacy initiatives.
  • In coordination with relevant global functions, support country teams in problem solving related to the engagement with the EU both in country and in Brussels.


  • Act as Mercy Corps’ key donor liaison as needed or required to build opportunities for funding from EU institutions.
  • Establish targets for income from the EU institutions over three years and build a team to support the delivery of those targets.
  • Provide annual and quarterly pipeline reports and undertake reviews against success rate to support our regional and country teams to increase their success rate with EU-funded programmes.
  • Monitor EU funding opportunities and funding related policies and decisions and ensure Mercy Corps is responding effectively to calls for proposals and other funding opportunities that are aligned with Mercy Corps programmatic priorities.
  • Support Mercy Corps country programmes to increase their strategic engagement with and understanding of EU institutions. Develop excellent relationships internally with colleagues at HQ and in country offices to understand Mercy Corps’ key strengths and programme approaches, to enable strategic alignment of country and regional strategies with EU opportunities.
  • Support colleagues with good guidance, coaching and advice to increase the success rate of applications for funding.
  • Ensure regular communication with country and regional offices on funding related meetings and interactions with the EU and other potential partners in Brussels.


  • With the support of the Senior Director for Policy & Advocacy (Europe) and the Brussels Policy & Advocacy Advisor, identify strategic opportunities to influence policy and practice of key European policy makers and practitioners in relation to Mercy Corps global influence themes – climate resilience, peace and governance, food security and response to humanitarian crises.
  • Represent Mercy Corps policy and influence positions with senior level decision makers and at key events, in furtherance of Mercy Corps’ influence, fundraising and profile objectives in Brussels.


  • Leadership (often jointly with others) and administrative oversight over the team members based in Brussels.
  • Serve as a focal point for operational matters relating to Mercy Corps’ presence in Brussels.
  • Undertake additional work as required and respond to organisational priorities.
  • Contribute to the development of HQ, regional and country strategies.

Supervisory Responsibility

Shared management of:

  • Brussels Policy & Advocacy Advisor
  • Others, including consultants and interns, as required.


Reports Directly To:   Senior Director, Programmes, Funding and Operations, Europe

Works Directly With: 

  • Managing Director, Mercy Corps Netherlands, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy
  • Regional Directors and Country Directors
  • Regional Programme Teams
  • Policy and Advocacy Team
  • Technical Support Units (TSU)
  • Compliance Team.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our programme participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

Qualifications and Experience

  • A senior leader with a strong network of relationships and experience building partnerships in Brussels
  • At least 10 years of experience in development cooperation, humanitarian relief or related area, within programmes, policy or fundraising.
  • Experience of managing EU funded activities in programme countries and working with the EU institutions in Brussels;
  • Knowledge of European funding instruments, mechanisms and priorities of EU institutions required;
  • Experience with EU related resource mobilisation – ideally both for DG ECHO and DG INTPA (formerly DEVCO);
  • Proven experience in external representation:
  • Excellent communications skills – written and verbal;
  • Capacity for networking and advocacy activities;
  • Experience working in a matrixed organisation
  • Experience in strategy design and implementation;
  • Ability to prioritise and manage complex tasks;
  • Fluent in English and French in speaking and writing;
  • Application knowledge of the most common computer software relevant for the role (e.g. MS Teams, Excel etc.).

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Brussels.

Ongoing Learning
In support of our belief that learning organisations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organisation with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, programme participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.




Job posted: 2023-09-04