Let's take a look at some practical elements of being a Blue Book trainee.
The selection is final and becomes official only when the Traineeships Office issues the Placement Offer in your Online Account. The Placement Offer may be for one of the positions you have applied for or for a completely new position. A task description will be enclosed. Read it carefully before responding.
You receive one placement offer only. You have the choice of accepting or rejecting the offer, but if you reject the offer, it will automatically exclude you from any future offers for that session – effectively ending that session for you.
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 and it is conditioned by having all your required financial documents ready on time.
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.
Trainees placed in Belgium will have to declare their grant to the Belgian fiscal authorities that will decide on the tax to be paid.
Personal health insurance coverage is compulsory for the entire duration of your traineeship.
We advise to keep your own insurance provided that you can upload a proof of it such as the European Health Insurance card (EHIC).
If you can no longer benefit from your national health insurance scheme, you can opt for the primary health insurance scheme provided by the Commission. Make sure to read the table of benefits (especially in case of hospitalization) and add a complementary insurance if necessary.
Third-party insurance is not included in the health insurance scheme.
If you choose to not to take the Commission health insurance, you should check with your local social insurance provider for information on healthcare reimbursements. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is accepted across the EU.
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.
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 with 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