Skip to main content
Traineeships home page Traineeships home page

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.
Cartoon of four trainees

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

  • language certificates clearly indicating the level issued by
    • language centres such as the Instituto Cervantes, Alliance française, Goethe Institut, etc.
    • language schools recognised by the State issuing certified certificates
  • language courses at university clearly indicating the level
  • university courses: BA or MA taught entirely in the declared language (this must be clear from the transcripts: the language of instruction must be given and the examination must be taken in said language)
  • proof of bilingual education at secondary school level such as European schools, International schools, etc.

A certificate of attendance at the course is not sufficient. 

Recommendation letters from professors/employers are not accepted as proof of the declared language knowledge. Mother tongue is also considered a 'very good knowledge', and no proof is required (nor points attributed, though).       

No points are awarded for mother tongue and therefore no proof is required. If you have more than 1 mother tongue and wish to receive points for them, you can declare these under "Other languages" as long as you can provide written documented proof.

  • Copy of a valid passport or identity card proving the declared nationality on your application form.
  • Copies of all university diplomas you have declared to hold on your application, together with the corresponding university transcripts (i.e. the list of subjects that you have studied each year) and a proof of minimum EQF 6 level. For more info on EQF levels, please consult https://europa.eu/europass/en/european-qualifications-framework-eq. Please ensure that the date of the awarded degree and the final mark are specified.
  • Copies of proof of enrolment in ongoing studies, if applicable.
  • Documented written proof of certificates (or equivalent), as indicated on your application form, for short-term studies and/or seminars attended, as well as certificates for university exchange programmes abroad, if applicable.
  • Documented written proof of declared language skills, indicating the level obtained. Accepted written proof includes:
    • language certificates clearly indicating the level issued by:
      • language centres such as the Instituto Cervantes, Alliance Française, Goethe Institute, etc.
      • language schools recognised by the state issuing certified certificates
    • university language courses clearly indicating the level
    • university courses: BA or MA taught entirely in the declared language (this must be clear from the transcripts: the language of instruction must be given and the examination must be taken in said language)
    • proof of bilingual education at secondary school level such as European schools, International schools, etc.

A certificate of attendance on the course is not sufficient. 

Please note that a very good knowledge of at least one working language of the Commission – English, French, German – is required. The Commission considers that a C level corresponds to very good knowledge.

  • Copies of proof of all declared working experience. This can be provided by means of the following:
    • a letter of reference from your employer with heading, duly signed, dated and clearly mentioning the work period (letters on plain paper are not accepted as proof)
    • copies of contracts clearly mentioning the work period
    • pay slips clearly mentioning the work period

E-mails are not accepted as proof.

Grouping education or training with work experience is not accepted.

For digital skills and organisational skills, no proof is required.

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.

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