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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, preceded by a table of contents, 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, together with transcripts from the relevant university (i.e. list of subjects studied each year) and proof of a minimum European Qualifications Framework (EQF) level 6.

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

3. Copy of proof of enrolment in current studies, if applicable.

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

5. 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, 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: Letters written on plain paper without a letterhead are not acceptedas evidence, nor are e-mails.

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

For work experience, this 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: Letters written on plain paper without a letterhead are not acceptedas evidence, nor are e-mails.

For experience of mobility abroad, this may include

  • copies of diplomas obtained abroad
  • Erasmus certificates
  • certificates from study exchange programmes
  • certificates of volunteer work

Note: Letters written on plain paper without a letterhead are not acceptedas evidence, nor are e-mails.

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

This may include

  • certificates of language courses clearly indicating the level of knowledge achieved issued by
    • language centres such as Instituto Cervantes, Alliance française, Goethe Institut, ...
    • state-recognised language schools issuing certified attestations
  • University course: BA or MA taught wholly or partly in the language declared, 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)
  • University transcripts showing language courses taken and passed with a clear indication of the level of knowledge achieved
  • certificates of bilingual education at secondary level issued by European Schools, international schools, ...

Note: Certificates of attendance are not sufficient.

In addition: A thorough knowledge of at least one of the Commission's working languages - English, French, German - is required. The Commission considers that level C of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages corresponds to a thorough knowledge.

8. For general skills, no certificate is required. However, you must justify them in the box provided for this purpose in the application form.

9. For numerical skills, proof is not compulsory but only recommended. However, you must provide evidence of these skills in the appropriate box on the application form.

10. For other achievements, it is not compulsory but only recommended that you provide evidence. You must nevertheless justify them in the box provided for this purpose on 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
  • university course: BA or MA taught wholly or partly in the language declared, 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)
  • university transcripts showing language courses taken and passed with a clear indication of the level of knowledge achieved
  • certificates of bilingual education at secondary level issued by European Schools, international lycées, etc.

⚠ Certificates of attendance are not sufficient.

⚠ Recommendation letters from professors/employers are not accepted as proof of the declared language knowledge.

Mother tongues are also considered a 'very good knowledge'. No points are awarded for mother tongues and therefore no points are attributed.

Please note: For the translation traineeship, please check the related FAQs.

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.