The implementation of the traineeship sessions is currently impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the evolution of the pandemic remains uncertain, so is our ability to ensure that traineeships are carried out as planned. The working arrangements put in place by the Commission also depend on the host Member States’ policies and the confinement measures that they may entail.
The running of the Commission’s traineeships scheme relies on its ability to offer a quality practical experience of the day-to-day work of the European Commission. To be able to experience the traineeship as meant, trainees need to be able to interact in person with colleagues and therefore presence at the office must be possible. The performance of the traineeships also depends on the Commission’s ability to guarantee safe working conditions and the possibility for prospective trainees to travel to the place of assignment and work.
As these conditions could no longer be met for the trainees who were recruited in the March 2020 session, the Commission adopted specific provisions in their regard through its Decision C(2020)2379 of 14 April 2020. Subject to certain conditions, the said decision provided the possibility for trainees enrolled in the March 2020 session to re-start their traineeship in October 2020. This and other factors can always affect the number of traineeship places that can be offered.
In accordance with the rules governing the organisation of the traineeship scheme, the number of trainee places to be attributed to DG and services is determined at the end of the application process, as part of the so-called ‘final selection procedure’, following pre-selections and including a number of candidates in the Virtual Blue Book.
From one traineeship session to another, the number of traineeship places may vary based on a variety of factors including the existing conditions (size, absorption capacity, results of evaluations, etc.) and available budget. The database contains at least three times as many pre-selected candidates as there are training places available. You can find more details in section 3 of Decision C(2005)458, which describes the application process and is the legal basis of the traineeship scheme.
Please note that the Placement Offer is the only document with legal value offering an opportunity to a given candidate for a traineeship with the Commission.