About the traineeship
he European Commission proposes 2 types of traineeship: an Administrative Traineeship or a Translation Traineeship with the Directorate-General for Translation (DGT).
The traineeship programme is open to all eligible candidates whatever their citizenship, regardless of their sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, religion or belief, membership of a national minority, disability, age or sexual orientation.
Trainees work all over the European Commission, its services and agencies, mostly in Brussels, but also in Luxembourg and elsewhere across the European Union.
The nature of your work will depend on the service you are assigned to.
You may, for example, work in the field of competition law, human resources, environmental policy, etc.
What does a trainee’s daily work consist of?
- Attending and organizing meetings, working groups, and public hearings.
- Researching, drafting end editing documentation – including reports and consultations.
- Answering citizens’ inquiries.
- Supporting the management of projects.
- Translating, revising translations or researching terminology.
What do we expect from you?
- An open-minded approach to European issues
- An interest in learning about the Commission’s working methods
- Willingness to work in a multicultural environment
- To contribute to the Commission’s daily work from a fresh perspective
- A proactive attitude
How much will my living allowance be?
The living allowance for the traineeship sessions in 2022 will be €1 252,68 per month.
Will my visa costs and medical expenses associated with the traineeship be reimbursed?
Yes, visa costs and related medical fees will be reimbursed together with travel expenditures.
What are the regular working hours in the Commission?
Commission employees work 40 hours a week, 8 hours per day.
Official working hours are 8:00 – 19:00.
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 available for interaction with other colleagues are 9:30 – 12:00 and 15:00 – 16:30 (15:00 – 16:00 on Wednesday and Friday).
Leave requests should be approved.
What is the duration of the traineeship?
- March to the end of July
- October to the end of February the following year.
I have completed my studies but have not yet received a diploma. Can I apply?
Yes, but at the stage of eligibility check, you should be able to provide a formal statement from your university confirming that you have obtained your degree.
The date of the award and final mark awarded must be clearly indicated and match your declaration in the application form.
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.
The traineeship program is open to university graduates who
- have completed a standard 3-year higher education degree (180 credits), 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. We accept the following documents
- diplomas or certificates with final grades clearly indicated
- the Europass Diploma Supplement (if available)
- university transcripts
- 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).
- 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 procedural 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.
- 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
All candidates must declare one mother tongue. No points are awarded for the mother tongue and, therefore, no evidence of this is required. You can declare up to three mother tongues.
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.
Please note that traineeships carried out as credits contributing to the completion of academic studies will not be taken into account.
Additional points are given for
- international profile demonstrated through education, work or volunteering experience abroad, and aptitude to work in an international environment
- motivation for the application and quality of reasoning
- rare fields of study
- work experience
You can only apply once per session but for as many sessions as you want. If you are not selected you will have to submit your application again. The same process will apply each time but without a guarantee that you will make it to the final stage.
If You Get Selected
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.
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
If requested, what is the deduction for health insurance from my salary?
The monthly contribution for Commission medical insurance provided by Allianz Worldwide Care Company is approximately €13.
You MUST have health insurance for the whole duration of your traineeship.
What do I need to look out for when searching for accommodation?
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.
About The European Union
The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 27 EU countries that together cover much of the continent.
The predecessor of the EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict.
The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Since then, 22 other members joined and a huge single market (also known as the ‘internal’ market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.
On 31 January 2020 the United Kingdom left the European Union.
What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organization spanning policy areas, from climate, environment and health to external relations and security, justice and migration. A name change from the European Economic Community (EEC) to the European Union (EU) in 1993 reflected this.
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