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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.

If selected

Cartoon of a selected trainee shaking the hand of her mentor.

Congratulations!

Let's take a look at some practical elements of being a Blue Book trainee.

Upon selection

You will receive a job description that sets out your tasks as a trainee. Please carefully read this job description before you accept the traineeship offer.

As a trainee, you will receive a grant each month to cover your living expenses.  The grant/living allowance is paid at the end of each month. However the first one will be paid only after 4 effective weeks of traineeship.

The grant does not fall under the special tax regulations that apply to EU civil servants. At the end of the traineeship, the Traineeships Office will provide a declaration of the total grant received. Consult the tax authorities in your country of residence regarding how and if your allowances will be taxed.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is accepted across the EU.

If you choose to not to take the Commission health insurance, you should register with your local social insurance provider for information on healthcare reimbursements

The Commission may reimburse visa costs and related medical fees together with travel expenditures to and from the country of your traineeship.

Although you are not required to open a bank account in the country of your traineeship, we recommend you to do so. It may prove to be cheaper and more convenient.

Practical advice

The Commission does not organise your accommodation. In Brussels, most trainees typically pay between €350 and €550 per month for accommodation. The Trainees Committee website and the 'BXL A LOUER - Bouche à Oreille' Facebook page - are good places to start searching for accommodation.

You should plan for some expenses when you first move over, such as a deposit (one to two months) for your accommodation. The cost of living might be higher than in your home country.

Working at the Commission

Commission employees work five 8-hour days – 40 hours per week in total. The ‘core’ hours, when staff are required to be in their place of work, are 9.30 - 12 .00 and 15.00 – 16.30 every day. Trainees are entitled to 2 days’ paid leave per month.

The Commission is closed on public holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, which are not deducted from your paid leave. Leave needs to be agreed in advance by your advisor and possibly your head of unit.

There is no official dress code at the Commission. However, you are expected to dress professionally.

To find out where you will be working, a list of all buildings with maps and other information is available on the following websites

Questions related to being selected

The living allowance for the traineeship sessions in 2021 will be €1,229.32 per month.

Yes, visa costs and related medical fees will be reimbursed together with travel expenditures.

Commission employees work 40 hours a week, 8 hours per day.

Official working hours are 8:30-12:30 and 13:30-17:30.

The minimum lunch break is 20 minutes.

Your actual working hours will depend on your unit and your workload – please check with your adviser when you arrive.

The core hours when all staff is required to be present are 9:30 - 12:00 and 15:00 - 16:30.

Leave requests should be approved.

The monthly contribution for Commission medical insurance provide by Allianz Worldwide Care Company is approximately €13.

You MUST have health insurance for the whole duration of your traineeship.

Your rental contract should be made in writing. Read it carefully before signing. Do not accept a rental contract for longer than the period of your traineeship and check if charges (electricity, gas, heating, internet, etc.) are included or not.

The deposit should normally be 1 to 2 months' rent. The deposit is placed on a joint blocked bank account, or ‘compte bancaire bloqué’, in your and your landlord's names. It will be refunded at the end of the contract, after the condition of the apartment, or ‘état des lieux’, has been checked.

The "état des lieux" includes an inventory check of everything in the property and its condition at the time you move in. It should be signed by both parties immediately. The ‘état des lieux’ forms part of the rental agreement. At the end of your stay, the condition of the property will be checked again. Your landlord may request to deduct money from your deposit if any damage has been made to the property.

It is illegal to pay the deposit in cash. You have no way to request the deposit back at the end of your stay if you do so. The joint blocked bank account can be opened under your name at any bank in person upon presentation of a rental contract and your identity card.

You and your landlord will need to complete and sign three forms to open the account. Once opened, transfer the deposit to this account.