Apply for the European Commission Traineeships – The Blue Book Traineeship Programme 2022

DEADLINE: 31 January 2022

About the traineeship

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, translation, etc.

What does a trainee’s daily work consist of?

  • Attending and organising 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

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 programme is open to university graduates who

  1. have completed a standard 3-year higher education degree (minimum EQF 6 level), 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. You will have to provide the following documents
  2. 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)​​​​​​​
  3. 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 at C1 or C2 level.
  • 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
  • papers and publications

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 guarantee that you will make it to the final stage.

Selection Procedure

1. Receipt of applications

Register, complete and submit your application.

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 closed, candidates are evaluated on basis of academic profile, language skills and additional qualities, such as having an international profile, work experience, publications and the motivation for the application.

If you successfully pass this assessment step, you will be requested to upload all your supporting documents in a single pdf file. The Traineeships Office will then verify them.

Applications which do not follow the formal requirements are rejected.

A ranking is then established and around 3,000 candidates with the highest scores are pre-selected for the Virtual Blue Book (VBB).

The Virtual Blue Book is a database containing the CVs of all candidates who successfully pass both phases of the pre-selection: the initial assessment and eligibility check.

The Blue Book is available for all Commission services and agencies which can offer a trainee position to consult.

3. Selection

Directorates-General (DG) and Commission agencies consult the Blue Book to find the best candidates based on their specific needs and criteria (language skills, relevant studies and experience, etc.).

Some of them prefer to contact candidates directly, while others rely on the applications and choose not to make direct contact. All DGs select a list of preferred candidates. 

The Blue Book is then opened for all services to start reservations.

Receiving a traineeship offer in a particular DG or service will depend on the number of positions available.

There is a code of conduct among DGs for the selection of trainees. If two DGs, services or agencies would like to recruit the same candidate, the DG ranked highest in the candidate’s preferences upon application automatically takes priority.

Click here to apply for the Blue Book Traineeship Programme


Also check> Orange Knowledge Scholarship Programme to Study in the Netherlands



African Union Commission Scholar || Founder @ Youth Opportunities Hub || Former RBA COST/Sahel Team at UNDP || TEF Alumni ||

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