The day-to-day running of the Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, based in Geneva, who is assisted by two Deputy Secretaries-General, one based in Geneva and the other in Brussels, and by one Assistant Secretary-General, based in Brussels. The four posts are appointed by the EFTA Council and shared between the Member States.
The division of the Secretariat reflects the division of EFTA’s activities. The Secretariat employs approximately 90 staff members, of whom a third are based in Geneva and two thirds in Brussels and Luxembourg.
All staff members of the Secretariat are employed on three-year contracts, renewable once. While working at the Secretariat, staff members are servants of the Association and therefore not responsible to their national governments.
The Headquarters in Geneva deals with the management and negotiation of free trade agreements with non-EU countries, and provide support to the EFTA Council.
In Brussels, the Secretariat provides support for the management of the EEA Agreement and assists the Member States in the preparation of new legislation for integration into the EEA Agreement. The Secretariat also assists the Member States in the elaboration of input to EU decision making.
The two duty stations work together closely to implement the EFTA Convention’s stipulations on the intra-EFTA Free Trade Area.
The EFTA Statistical Office in Luxembourg contributes to the development of a broad and integrated European Statistical System.
The EFTA Secretariat is a place of equality and mutual respect among employees, who shall be treated fairly and enjoy equal opportunities. The EFTA Secretariat has a Gender Equality Policy, which aims to ensure equal conditions and opportunities for employees at the Secretariat, free from gender bias, and to raise awareness of gender equality in all the work of the Secretariat.