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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.

Selection process

From application to selection: how does the process work?

1. Receipt of applications

You register, complete and submit your application together with all supporting documents.

For traineeships beginning in October, applications open in January.

Applications for traineeships beginning in March open in July.

2. Assessment and eligibility check

Once the application period has ended, your application is evaluated on basis of academic profile, language skills and additional competences, skills and qualities, such as having an international profile, work experience, certificates and other achievements.

Applications not meeting eligibility criteria and formal requirements or unsupported or supported only partially by justification documents are rejected.  

The highest scored candidates, around 3 000 successful candidates, are included into the Virtual Blue Book (VBB).

3. Selection

Candidates included in the Blue Book are invited to apply for up to three traineeship positions.   

You will receive instructions to connect to Virtual Blue Book portal where Commission Directorates-General (DGs), services  and agencies propose various positions for the nearest traineeship session. The number of proposed positions matches the number of trainees per session.    

Carefully read the job description and the details of the post. You may mark as many positions as you like as favourites.  You may apply for up to three posts in parallel.  

Applications for traineeship positions in VBB will be allowed for one week. Post openings will be unpublished as soon as the maximum number of applicants has been reached or after one week. During the following two weeks, Directorates-General (DGs), services and agencies will select the most suitable candidates from all candidates who applied for their posts.     

Certain Commission departments or agencies entitled to select trainees might contact their candidates directly for an informal interview, while others rely solely on the application forms.   

If none of your 3 applications in VBB is successful, you still have a chance to be selected by any Service whose opening has not yet been closed.   

After the first selection round, DGs, services and agencies will still have access to the complete list of unselected candidates. This second selection phase will continue as long as there are vacant positions or until the VBB is closed. 

Questions related to the selection process

The duration of the pre-selection procedures depends heavily on the number of applications received, but it usually spans 10-12 weeks as of the closing date of the application period. At the end of this period, you will receive a notification by email and a message will be published in your online account. We encourage you to check your account regularly to avoid missing email notifications caused by spam filters.  

Please do not contact the Traineeships Office about this. Every session, between 10,000-15,000 (or even more) applications are introduced and it takes some time to process all of them. 

You will receive instructions to connect to Virtual Blue Book portal where Commission services and agencies propose various positions for the nearest traineeship session. The number of proposed positions matches the number of trainees per session. Carefully read the job description and the details of the post. You may mark as many positions as you like as favourites.  

Candidates may apply for up to three posts. Applications for traineeship positions in VBB will be allowed for one week. Post openings will be unpublished after one week. During the following two weeks, Services will select the most suitable candidates from all candidates who applied for their posts.  

Certain Commission departments or Agencies entitled to select trainees might contact their candidates for an informal interview. 

After the first selection phase described above, Services will receive access to select candidates from the complete list of previously unselected candidates. This second selection phase will continue as long as there are vacant positions.  

The selection is final and becomes official only when the Traineeships Office issues the Placement Offer in your Online Account. 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.

No. The placement offer is the only document with legal value offering an opportunity to a given candidate for a traineeship with the Commission. Such an offer can only be sent by the Traineeships Office, which is solely responsible for the traineeship programme.

Should a DG/ Service/ Agency decide to contact preselected candidates, the Traineeships Office does not intervene.

Yes. Before you introduce a first claim, you have to register with a local "mutualité".

They will inform you on specific reimbursement conditions.