Apply for a Traineeship in the European Commission


Trainees work all over the European Commission/Services/Agencies mostly in Brussels, but also in Luxembourg and across the European Union.

The content of the job depends on the service you are assigned to.

You may, for example, work in the field of competition law, human resources, environmental policy etc.

Subject to eligibility criteria, the traineeship is open to all EU citizens regardless of age.

A limited number of places are also allocated to non EU nationals.

The traineeship programme is open to university graduates who:

  1. Have a university degree or equivalent, of at least 3 years of study, corresponding to a complete cycle (Bachelor's);
  2. Have a very good knowledge (C level as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) of two EU official languagues, one of which must be a procedural language: English or French or German. For non EU nationals only one procedural language is required.
  3. Have no prior work experience of any kind, in excess of 6 weeks in any EU institution, body or agency, EU delegations, with Members of Parliament (MEPs) or Advocates General at the EUCJ.

You must have completed at least 3-years of study with a university degree or equivalent to apply for a Commission traineeship (Blue Book). Only if you have a certificate or official confirmation from your university that you have at least a 3-year degree, corresponding to a complete cycle, will you be eligible to apply.

You can only apply once per session but for as many sessions as you want. If you are not selected you will have to submit your application again. The same process will apply each time but without guarantee that you will make it to the final stage.

What counts as proof of the level of education?

We accept the following documents:

  • diplomas or certificate/s with final grade/s clearly mentioned;
  • the Europass Diploma Supplement, if available;
  • university transcripts.

What counts as an "appropriate justification" for my languages for the administrative traineeship?

We accept the following documents as proof of your skills in your declared language(s):

• language certificates with levels of attainment;
• university diplomas/transcripts obtained in the languages in question;
• proof of bilingual education at secondary school level.

Due to popular demand and feedback received from former candidates, the interpretation of Article 2.2.2 of the rules governing the official traineeships scheme of the European Commission has been modified: mother tongue/s, although not assessed through points in the pre-selection exercise, are considered as proof of "very good knowledge" of a language. No proof is required for the mother tongue itself.

The level of linguistic knowledge other than mother tongues must be "very good" and be accompanied by duly certified proof, corresponding to a C level, in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

If you apply for a translation traineeship (in the Directorate-General for Translation) you must be able to translate into your main (target) language (normally your native language) from 2 other official EU languages (source languages):

  • Your main (target) language must be one of the official EU languages;
  • Your 1st source language must be a working language: English, French or German;
  • Your 2nd source language can be any of the official EU languages (B2 at least but level C1/C2 best suits the needs of translation)

What counts as an "appropriate justification" for my languages for Translation traineeships?

We accept the following documents as proof of your skills in your declared language(s):

  • language certificates that show your listening, speaking, writing and reading levels in the reference language and that are recognized in your country of origin. Attendance certificates for language courses do not count;
  • university diplomas/transcripts obtained in the declared language;
  • official courses at any level of education followed in your declared languages;
  • proof of work experience in a job in a particular country that proves that you made active and intensive use of the declared language.

Which languages would I need to have to qualify for a translation traineeship?

During the traineeship, you will translate into your target language from at least two other official EU languages.

At least one of the source languages you offer must be French, English or German. This is because:

  • the EU receives a large volume of translations and documents in French, English or German;
  • French, English and German are the languages that EU staff members most frequently use in their work.

Most documents sent to DG Translation in languages other than French, English and German come from the Member States.

Some documents come from international organizations and national associations that write to the Commission in English.

In 2015 some 81% of the total translation volume was translated from English, with French accounting for 3.7% of all translations, German for 2.8% and all the other languages together accounting for 12.5%. The predominant position of the English is explained by the fact that it is the principal drafting language at the Commission.

What level do I need to have in the source languages I translate from?

  • First source language chosen among English, French or German: C1/C2
  • Second source language: B2 at least but, depending on the specific needs of the language department in question, a higher level may be required.

Read more: www.ec.europa.eu