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Traineeships

Blue Book traineeship programme.

This site is available in English, French and German – the three working languages of the European Commission.

Who can apply?

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.

Eligibility

The traineeship programme is open to university graduates who:

  1. have completed a standard 3-year higher education degree (minimum EQF 6 level), corresponding to a complete Bachelor’s cycle, or equivalent. Only if you have a certificate or official confirmation from your university that you have such a degree will you be eligible to apply. You will have to provide the following documents:
  2. have no prior work experience of any kind, in excess of 6 weeks in any EU institution, body or agency, delegation, with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), or Advocates General at the Court of Justice of the European Union (EUCJ)  
  3. have a very good knowledge of languages:
  • For the administrative traineeship – you must have a very good knowledge of two EU official languages, one of which must be a working language: English, French or German at C1 or C2 level as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and a second one at B2 level at least as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For non-EU nationals, only one procedural language is required at C1 or C2 level.
  • For the translation traineeship in the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT) - you must be able to translate into your main/target language (normally your mother tongue), from two other official EU languages (‘source languages’*).:
    • your main/target language must be one of the official EU languages
    • your first source language for translation must be a working language of the EU: English, French or German
    • your second source language can be any of the official EU languages with at least B2-level proficiency

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 DGT in languages other than French, English and German come from the Member States. Some documents come from international organisations and national associations that write to the Commission in English.

No points are awarded for the mother tongue and, therefore, no evidence of this is required. 

If you have more than one mother tongue and wish to receive points for them, you can declare these in the ‘Other languages’ section of the application provided you can supply appropriate written evidence of this. 

Additional points are given for:

  • work experience
  • international profile demonstrated through education, work or volunteering experience abroad, and aptitude to work in an international environment
  • rare fields of study

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.

Questions about eligibility

No. There is no age limit for participating in the traineeships programme.

You should provide the following documents, in this order: 

0. Table of contents showing the list of documents in the PDF, point by point. 

1. Copy of a valid passport or identity card proving the nationality indicated in the application form.

2.  Copies of all university degrees indicated in the application form and/or transcripts from the relevant university (i.e. list of subjects studied each year). 

Please ensure that the date of graduation and final grades are indicated.

3. Copies of certifications/licenses obtained, as indicated in the application form, if applicable. 

4. Copies of evidence of all declared work experience in the home country, as indicated in the application form, if applicable.

This may include:

  • Letters of reference from an employer, which must be headed/duly signed and stamped, dated and clearly indicate the period of work   
  • Contracts that clearly state the period of work 
  • Pay slips which clearly state the period of work 
  • Tax declarations are accepted also for freelancers provided that they cover the period in question and the employer is clearly identified 
  • Invoices provided that they cover the period in question and the employer is clearly identified. 

5. Copies of evidence of all international experience indicated in the application form, if applicable.

Work experience may include: 

  • Letters of reference from an employer, which must be headed / duly signed, dated and clearly indicate the period of work 
  • Contracts that clearly state the period of work 
  • Pay slips which clearly state the period of work.

Note: E-mails are not accepted as evidence. 

Experience of mobility abroad may include:

  • Copies of diplomas obtained abroad 
  • Erasmus certificates 
  • Certificates from study exchange programmes 
  • Certificates of volunteer work 
  • Pay slips which clearly state the period of work

Note: E-mails are not accepted as evidence. 

The dates in the application form and the supporting documents must match. Any irregularities will lead to exclusion. You should declare international studies both in the education part and in the international experience part of the application form.  International work experience should be declared only under international experience (“non-declared work experience”) and not in work experience. 

6. Copies of evidence of language skills declared in the application form.

You can prove your proficiency in a language by one of the following means: 

  • Certificates of language courses clearly indicating the level of knowledge achieved issued by: 
    • language centres such as Instituto Cervantes, Alliance française, Goethe Institut, etc.
    • state-recognised language schools issuing certified attestations and that make a clear correspondence to CERF.
  • Certificate of attendance of a superior level can count as proof of the immediately inferior level. Example: Certificate of attendance of a C1 level can be accepted as proof of a B2 level. 
  • University course: BA or MA taught wholly or partly in the language declared:  
    • A degree wholly taught in the declared language allows a declaration of a C2 level
    • A degree partially taught in the declared language, i.e. corresponding to at least half of the credits needed to obtain the degree (this must be clear from the transcripts: the teaching must be given and the examinations taken and passed in the said language) allows a declaration of a C1 level.
  • Certificates of bilingual education at secondary level issued by European Schools, international lycées, etc. allow a declaration of a C1 level.
  • Proof of having worked in the declared language for more than a year (allows to declare a C1 level). 
  • Mother tongues are also considered a 'very good knowledge'. However, no points are awarded for mother tongues. 

You can prove your proficiency in a language by one of the following means: 

  • Certificates of language courses clearly indicating the level of knowledge achieved issued by: 
    • language centres such as Instituto Cervantes, Alliance française, Goethe Institut, etc.
    • state-recognised language schools issuing certified attestations and that make a clear correspondence to CEFR.
  • Certificate of attendance of a superior level can count as proof of the immediately inferior level. Example: Certificate of attendance of a C1 level can be accepted as proof of a B2 level. 
  • University course: BA or MA taught wholly or partly in the language declared:  
    • A degree wholly taught in the declared language allows a declaration of a C2 level
    • A degree partially taught in the declared language, i.e. corresponding to at least half of the credits needed to obtain the degree (this must be clear from the transcripts: the teaching must be given and the examinations taken and passed in the said language) allows a declaration of a C1 level.
  • Certificates of bilingual education at secondary level issued by European Schools, international lycées, etc. allow a declaration of a C1 level.
  • Proof of having worked in the declared language for more than a year (allows to declare a C1 level). 
  • Mother tongues are also considered a 'very good knowledge'. However, no points are awarded for mother tongues. 

Yes. You can apply for as many sessions as you want.

You can declare all types of work experience, also holiday or student jobs, as well as jobs carried out on a casual basis only (e.g. in the evening, over the week-end, etc.).

The system allows you to indicate up to five work experiences.

Start with the longest one and put the following ones in the descending order of their duration.

If you have more, select the most relevant ones. Full-time volunteering activities or civic service may count as work experience and shall be supported by the same kind of proof as latter.