EC traineeship application – general facts


The EC traineeship application comes in with some basic requirements as I already explained in a previous posting. You cannot just simply start applying without checking beforehand if you meet them. It would be a big waste of time and energy to start filling in the application form and realize half way through that you cannot actually complete it because you miss some essential and mandatory information. To come to your help, I prepared a list of 4 questions. Try to answer them honestly:


1.Did you obtain at least your Bachelor’s Degree?

2. Do you speak VERY GOOD English or French or German AND another EU official language (in other words at least one working language AND another EU language)?

3. Do you have documents to prove your degree and your knowledge of those respective languages?

4. You have never completed any other traineeship of more than 6 weeks with any other EU Institution or Executive Agency of the Commission?


If you answered YES to ALL of the questions above, then you can buckle up tight and get ready to spend some good hours of your life filling in the online application.


If you answered NO to at least one of the above questions, then don’t bother to apply yet because your application will be rejected. So, in this case, if you really want to apply because for you this is a life and death matter, then my advice is: do your best to go above and beyond and turn that No answer into a Yes. For example:


» If you don’t have your Bachelor’s degree yet, don’t despair, just wait until you graduate and you can apply then. Or if you have it, but your university hasn’t delivered it yet, then pester them to give you one asap.

» If you’re not too happy with your fluency in one of the required languages, go take an intensive course and make sure you get a certificate at the end of the course.


Nevertheless, once you decide you want to go on with the application because you meet the criteria,  there is one more thing you need to take into account: the application deadlines. You cannot just apply when you feel like it. You can only apply online at specific times, usually in January (for the session starting on October 1) or July + August (for the session starting on March 1 next year). You can also take a look on the post Application process in brief. And for more accuracy, I suggest you monitor the website from the Traineeship Office every now and then.


One last and very important thing, deadlines are always set for 12:00 NOON Brussels time zone (which is a bit tricky). If you’re living in a different time zone, make sure you do your math right.


And remember: you will have to prove everything you declared in your online application!


13 Responses to “EC traineeship application – general facts”

  • Ann:

    Hi, are scanned copies of qualifications and language certificates accepted please or only photocopies? Thanks.

    • adminchiara:

      Hi Ann,

      If you’re speaking about submitting your application, only photocopies are accepted. Don’t forget to print your online application form when you’re done filling in and mail it together with photocopies of all other documents/proofs you may have.

  • Katerine:

    please do you know if I can apply only to one institution per session or to more EU institutions?(EC,EP, EESC)

    • adminchiara:

      Hello Katherine,

      You can apply to all EU Instutions at once. Your applications will not be affected because each EU Insitution is independant and each runs its own traineeship programme independantly from the others.

      What you cannot do, however, is do a traineeship at the European Parliament and then apply for another traineeship at the European Commission or the Committee of the Regions, etc.

      Hope this is clear. :-)

  • Joana:


    What level of English is required according to the European classification? C1 or B2 is considered as well?

  • Lawyer10:

    Hey! Do I have to show proof of volunteer service rendered?

  • Sharon:

    Thank you very much for the helpful blog. For the non-european person with more than 6-month work experience for non-european institutions or organizations, are they still available for the EC trainee program? Or do you have any practical suggestion for this kind of people who desire to join the fantastic group, EC?

    Many thanks.


  • Safa:

    Hello Chiara,
    I have been planning to submit my application for this year’s traineeship, but I have been having concerns regarding met background. I am an architect who has never had a politics, economics or international relations cours in my life, I’m fluent in Arabic, French and English and a B1 level in Spanish and German (self taught) with 3 years of professional experience (two of them in my own established practice). I am VERY interested in the traineeship. What do you think my chances are, realistically, of getting selected?

    • adminchiara:


      That’s bit of a difficult question and I’m afraid I can’t predict the future, but… as I wrote somewhere on the blog, at the Commission they’re looking for all kinds of profiles, depending on the specific needs. Contrary to common belief, you don’t need to be interested in politics to apply for the EC traineeship. But yes, architect is not a popular profile, but I can’t say they will not take architects either.

      I have to say that your profile is very peculiar, but if I were you I would consider DG Environment (there are a couple of units that could interesting for you dealing with Eco-innovation, Quality of life, Urban environment…), look also maybe on the organisation chart of DG GROW and DG ENER. I would suggest you look on their websites too to get a better understanding of what they are doing so you can write a nice motivation.

      If you are really keen on doing the traineeship, then simply take the chance and apply. It will only cost you some time to put into writing the motivation.

      Good luck!


  • Safa:

    Thank you for answer and for the tips.
    Have a great day!

  • Y.Y.:

    Hi Chiara! Thanks so much for such an informative site! I am longing for answers and your site has been very helpful.

    I am wondering what my chances are in applying the traineeship. I am native in Chinese and I am fluent in English (studied my BSc in English with a letter of proof from the university, got good results in IELTS and TOEFL although the tests were not taken in recent two years). I’m currently studying Japanese, achieved a certificate on N4 level. Am I eligible to apply the traineeship?

    Being a qualified surveyor and chartered by the Institution of my profession in UK (the RICS), will I stand any chances in this application?

    Thanks a lot!!

    • adminchiara:

      If you have your Bachelor’s and you speak one of the EU languages, that should make you eligible to apply, but you didn’t tell me what you wish to apply for. Anyway, I couldn’t tell what your chances of success are because there’s quite a few factors to consider in the equation: number of applicants, your background, your choice of profile, the needs of EC, etc.

      I wish you good luck!

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