EC Traineeship – Pre-selection & Eligibility – NEWS!

Pre-sel news


Time to be active and feed more info about the latest changes related to your applications: the pre-selection and eligibility. The Traineeship Office has been full of surprises this year.


A few days ago, those of you who applied for the March 2014 session received an automatic e-mail containing some instructions. It asked you to prepare for the upcoming end of the pre-selection.



There will be a follow-up e-mail to inform you if you passed or not, but in anticipation of this follow-up e-mail,


“Should you consider that your application is solid enough to be pre-selected for the Virtual Blue Book, I would strongly advise you to start preparing copies.”


A bit too subjective… Regardless, you have to be prepared and you have to start collecting all the documents you declared in your application because you’ll have only a week or so to mail them to the Traineeship Office. The deadline is very tight, so start collecting the facts and put them in a nice A4 envelope (just as before).


As you may have noticed, the process is now reversed. In the past, you used to send a paper file, which would be checked if eligible and only then would go through the pre-selection phase. Now, you go first through pre-selection and only if you pass it, you’ll have to send your paper file. So, the eligibility is done after the pre-selection. It’s a bit tricky, because this means that there is still a chance for you to fail if you don’t send the right documents. So be extra careful!


I’ll recap below the docs you need to mail as recommended by the TO:


  • Printed copy of the application form, dated and signed (hope you saved a copy in your computer when you applied);
  • Copy of passport or identity card (NO copies of driver’s licence accepted!);
  • Copies of all university diplomas you have declared to hold in your application, together with the corresponding university transcripts  or Europass Diploma Supplement;
  • Proof of registration to ongoing studies, if applicable;
  • Official proof for each short-length study period and seminar, university exchange programme abroad, if applicable (i.e.: attendance certificates);
  • Proof of declared language/s knowledge, which could be presented in the form of language certificates or diplomas obtained in the referred language or official courses followed in that/those language/s;
  • Proof of all declared working experience.


It goes without saying that I’m rooting for all of you. 😉


81 Responses to “EC Traineeship – Pre-selection & Eligibility – NEWS!”

  • Lucia:

    Hello, Chiara,

    Thumbs up for your updates!

    I had a question – considering the fact that we will first need to send in the eligibility documents, how do you feel about starting lobbying from the 18th of November ?

    • adminchiara:

      Hi Lucia,

      That’s a very good question. Considering that the structure of the process is a bit twisted compared with what it used to be, I would first wait to receive the follow-up e-mail and then I would take action depending on what the instructions are. In the meantime, I would prepare a smashing motivation letter (and CV).

      I would actually appreciate it if anyone could post in a comment the content of the follow-up e-mail (whenever you get it).

  • Lucia:

    Speaking of that, would you mind having a look over my lobby email, if I sent it to you by email?

  • Mihaela:

    Did someone receive the pre-selection e-mail which was supposed to be sent today?

    • adminchiara:


      It seems the only e-mails that left out today were the ones to the pre-selected candidates.

      I’m guessing the non-pre-selection e-mails will follow too.

  • Georgia:

    This is the email that I received today. Hope you’ll find it useful

    Dear candidate,

    I have the pleasure to inform you that your application has been pre-identified to be included in the Blue Book for the March 2014 session.

    As stated in my previous e-mail of November the 6th, in order to be formally included in the Blue Book, you are kindly requested to provide all supporting documents, without delay, as part of the eligibility check which aims at verifying that what you have declared in your CV on-line corresponds to the proofs that you provide.

    It is compulsory to send the documents listed below between November the 18th and November the 26th in hard copies via registered mail (post office or other express mail delivery services).

    These documents are:

    1. Printed copy of the application form, dated and signed

    To login to your account you need to do the following:
    • Access the link:
    • In the ECAS login page, make sure that the selected domain is “External”.
    • Use as a username: your e-mail address
    • If you forgot your password, you may reset it by clicking on the link “Lost your password?” (next to the login button), and following the on-screen instructions.

    2. Photocopy of passport or identity card proving the declared nationality in your application form;

    3. Photocopies of all university diplomas you have declared to hold in your application, together with the corresponding university transcripts (i.e. the list of subjects that you have studied each year with the respective marks/grades per subject) or the Europass Diploma Supplement

    4. Photocopy of proof of registration to ongoing studies, if applicable;

    5. Photocopy of official proof for each short-length study period and seminar, university exchange programme abroad, if applicable (i.e. attendance certificates);

    6. Photocopies of proof of declared language(s) knowledge, which could be presented in the form of language certificates or photocopies of degrees/diplomas/university transcripts/ school transcripts obtained in the referred language or official courses followed in those languages at any level of education;

    7. Photocopy of proof of all declared working experience. That can be provided through a letter of your employer, copies of contracts or any other means providing evidence of your employment history.

    All of the above mentioned documents can be provided in one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Should you have them in other languages, you have to provide a simple translation of every photocopy.

    In order to make sure that your documents reach us, please send a scanned copy in PDF of (1) the receipt from the post office – or other express mail services you might use – proving the sending of the hard copies of the supporting documents within the deadline indicated above and (2) all photocopies of the supporting documents contained within in the envelope to the functional mail box in copy of this message and to me (email address indicated in the signature below).

    The address for sending the hard copies of the documents is the following:

    European Commission
    Directorate General for Education and Culture
    Rue Joseph II, N° 70
    Floor 2, Office 181
    Brussels 1049
    To the attention of Mrs Belén BERNALDO DE QUIRÓS

    At the beginning of December you will receive the official confirmation of whether or not you have successfully passed the eligibility check and, therefore, been preselected for the Blue Book.

    • adminchiara:

      Dear Georgia,

      Thanks so much for posting this. I’m sure a lot of candidates will appreciate it (as I do too).

      For the time being, I’ll leave the text entirely as it is and later on will edit it, to make it shorter and with the essential only.

      I see that the TO moved their offices from Madou.

      Good luck!!!!

  • Ilaria:

    Hi Chiara,

    for luck I’ve found your blog about EC traineeship, it’s very exhaustive.
    I read all but I have still a doubt. Have I to wait the confirmation about the pre-selection (positive or negative) and only after it, start to send by registered mail the documents?

    Thanks a lot.

    • adminchiara:

      Dear Ilaria,

      You can send the documents only if you receive the positive e-mail.

      If there’s a negative e-mail, then there’s no need to send them.

  • Joana:

    Dear Chiara!
    When it goes about the language proof, I have some doubts. In my application form I have B2 level of English (the level I obtained in University), still I have put in the observation that I had an intention to take IELTS in October, but I did not take it because of some financial problems (it costs like 200 euros). Also in my application form I have put B1 level of German ( I have done intensive German course during my Erasmus stay in Berlin )and have written it in the observation to the language level, though I cannot find the certificate at home(((Still there is level B1 of German in my University diploma as a subject I´ve done. Do they require only the language proofs we have appointed in our applications or we can send them University Certificate where those languages are appointed as passed subjects? And is a proof of C1 level of English a must-have to be one of the selected?
    I´ve recived today a pre-selection confirmation so now just need to know what to send them…



    • Fiona:

      Dear Joana,
      I reckon it’s ok for the IELTS since you stated you intended to take it – not that you had done it already.
      For your German certificate, having it as a subject on your university diploma, and a mention that you passed that subject is good so don’t worry too much about the certificate if you really can’t find it.
      As for your level of English – you need a “very good level of English or French or German”. That’s all they say. No mention of what that level actually is. If you have proof of B2 level in English but are actually a C1, it doesn’t matter that you don’t have proof of this if you can explain why your real level is better than the one on your latest certificate. For example, if you just spent some time working in English, living in the UK or whatever, just mention that and provide proof of it.

    • adminchiara:

      Hi Joana,

      Fiona’s answer is accurate. I don’t have anything to add. (Thank you, Fiona!)

  • Fiona:

    Dear Chiara,
    Am I right in assuming we should wait to have the official confirmation we passed the eligibility check before lobbying? Or should we start now? It’s a bit of an odd situation, knowing that we are in, but only if they get our documents…

    • adminchiara:

      Yes, Fiona, you will have to wait for the official confirmation (beginning of December) before starting to lobby. Same goes for everyone else.

  • Olisa:

    Dear Chiara,
    I wanted to ask if we can send additional certificates for professional titles we have obtained after we submitted the application (certificates not mentioned in the application form). Can we include it in a new CV and send it together with all documents?
    Thank you!

    • adminchiara:

      Hi Olisa,

      No, you cannot send anything additional from what you declared in the online form because it will not be taken into account.

      You may, however, enclose an updated CV.

  • POLIA:

    This is the email that I received
    Dear candidate,

    On behalf of the Traineeships Office Unit of the European Commission, I would like to inform you that the pre-selection phase of the session March 2014 is currently being conducted and it will soon be completed. Immediately after, the eligibility check of the applications pre-identified to be included in the Blue Book will start. If you have been pre-identified to be included in the Virtual Blue Book you will be requested on November the 18th to provide all supporting documents. These documents are:

    Printed copy of the application form, dated and signed;
    Copy of passport or identity card;
    Copies of all university diplomas you have declared to hold in your application, together with the corresponding university transcripts or Europass Diploma Supplement ;

    Proof of registration to ongoing studies, if applicable;

    Official proof for each short-length study period and seminar, university exchange programme abroad, if applicable (i.e.: attendance certificates);

    Proof of declared language/s knowledge, which could be presented in the form of language certificates or diplomas obtained in the referred language or official courses followed in that language/s;

    Proof of all declared working experience.

    Should you consider that your application is solid enough to be pre-selected for the Virtual Blue Book, I would strongly advise you to start preparing copies of the above mentioned documents, taking into account that you will only be given 7 working days to send them to us by registered mail: from November the 18th until November the 26th.

    I wish you all good luck.

    Kindest regards,

    Head of Unit

    European Commission
    Unit D.4 – Traineeships Office
    J-70 02/180
    B-1049 Bruxelles/Belgique
    +32 2 296 03 12

    Can I send the dicuments or not?

    • adminchiara:


      Question is, did you receive any e-mail on 18 November or not? See Georgia’s comment from yesterday 18 November.

  • Georgia:

    Happy I could help. I am trying to gather all my documents and I have some questions
    – do you think there will be a problem if I have them in both English and French, if they stated to be sent in ONE of the 24 official languages.. ? not enough time to translate them all again.
    – i have declared my professional experiences – and i intend to send letter of recommendations to prove the exact period – but in my letter of motivation I have mentioned working in the Parliament of my home country , but not declared it as a professional experience as I worked there only for 3 months – do you think I should send something to state that as well ? maybe my access card that explains exactly the period and the function ?
    I would really apreciate your opinion. Thank you !

    • adminchiara:


      1. You can send your documents in any of the 24 languages (no restrictions! English and French are counted among the 24). Just don’t send the same document is 3 different languages, it’ll be confusing.
      2. That’s a bit tricky. Having declared the Parliament work experience in the online application, even though in a different section than the work experience section, better play it safe and send a copy of your badge with the dates when you worked there.

  • Joana:

    Dear Chiara!
    One more question I´ve got here:
    In order to make sure that your documents reach us, please send a scanned copy in PDF of (1) the receipt from the post office – or other express mail services you might use – proving the sending of the hard copies of the supporting documents within the deadline indicated above and (2) all photocopies of the supporting documents contained within in the envelope to the functional mail box in copy of this message and to me (email address indicated in the signature below).
    Could you please explain it better? We have to send them documents by post, than receipt from post office in pdf via e-mail and than same scanned documents also via e-mail??? Just can´t get it.

    thanks a lot for your help



    • adminchiara:

      Yes, Joana, you got it right. :-)

      Sounds a bit weird, but yeah, you have to e-mail the TO both the pdf copy of the receipt from the post office and the copies of all the documents you enclosed in the envelope.

      • Sun:

        Ok, but does that mean that a copy of the signed application form must be sent by email aswell?

        • adminchiara:

          I would say so. You print it from your computer, you sign it, then you scan it and e-mail it with the rest.

          Again, it might seem absurd to you, and perhaps it is (in a way), but think of it as a personal declaration of facts (that’s why you need to sign it).

  • Lea:

    Dear Chiara
    I hope that you can help me. I already sent the documents from the post office two days ago, but I cannot send them to the emails listed in the mail from November the 18th. I keep getting a “postmaster delivery failure” message back. Can this be due to the receiving inboxes being full? Or is there another reason? I don’t know what to do, I have tried yesterday and today with no luck.
    Best regards, Lea

    • adminchiara:

      Yes Lea, that could be the case. I would contact the TO through their contact form to explain the situation and ask them to offer you solutions on how you could send. I would also copy/paste the body of the error message.

      Try to call them too. It’s faster. (If unreachable by phone, send the e-mail immediately, don’t wait!)

  • Lucia:

    I had the same problem. But this happens when you do not read properly the emails people send you (dumb me). When they said scanns of the copies, the guys there knew what they were talking about. Scanns of originals are most of the time in colours, which takes up more inbox space. That leads to failed delivery (error message = Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size). So I converted my coloured PDF into a greyscale one using this:

    I was not in the mood to scan my files all over again… So I used the following tools: – i used it to split in two my coloured PDF, as it was too big for the greyscalepdf to de-colour :p. – after I got two “skinny pale” documents, i merged them back into one (make sure you dont mess the order or the pages).
    So far, so good. No failed delivery message (till now, that is)

  • Alina:

    Thanks Lucia! I had the same problem, and fixed it by grey scaling my pdf files.

  • Lina:

    Dear Chiara,

    I was notified, on Nov 18, that I’ve been pre-identified to be included in the Blue Book for the March’14 traineeship and I sent the required documents on time… However, I did not enclose any documents accounting for the Voluntary Work I’ve done, simply because I did not have any. I provided proof only of the paid internships I’ve completed. Do you think that failing to account for the voluntary work experience, stated in the application, will result in failing the eligibility phase of the selection process?

    Thanks in advance for the heads up!

    • adminchiara:

      Hi Lina,

      I think, in principle, this “unproven” voluntary work should not pose you a problem as long as you have proof to support your other work experience. Yet, with all the changes that have been going on this year at the TO, I couldn’t give you a definite answer.

      It would be definitely interesting to know what the verdict is. If you could let us know, I’m sure lots of other applicants would be grateful.

      • Lina:

        Hey Chiara,

        Thank you for your prompt response! I’m feeling relieved to hear that my case may not be a “lost cause” after all. As for the actual result of the selection, I will let you know as soon as I receive information by the trainesheep office!


      • Lina:

        Aloha Chiara,

        I’m happy to let you and the future EC traineeship candidates know that unproved voluntary work does not have a negative impact on the eligibility check and pre-selection. 😉

        Best wishes!

        • Lawyer10:

          Hey Lina! I have a same problem this time i.e. I don’t have proof of unpaid voluntary work. I really want to know what impact did it have in your case. Eagerly waiting for your reply!

  • Kemi:

    I’m pretty confused now. I applied for a Translation Traineeship and I haven’t got ANY email since I sent my application, but my status says that “the eligibility check of your application is ongoing”. Does it mean that I have been pre-selected and they are waiting for my documents?
    Thank you!

  • Joana:

    Here is what I have just seen in my e-mail:
    Dear Sir or Madam,

    This is to inform you that a new message has been published in your personal account regarding your application for a traineeship at the European Commission.

    Please access your personal account to read this message, and to follow any instructions contained within it.

    To access your personal account, you need to do the following:
    1) Access the link:
    2) In the ECAS login page, make sure that the selected domain is “External”.
    3) Enter as username the same e-mail address you used for creating your application (
    We remind you to access your personal account at least once a week, to ensure you are always informed on any updates regarding your application.

    Kind regards,


    Belén Bernaldo de Quirós
    Head of the Traineeships Office Unit

    Though, when I try to enter the portal I see the message:

    “The Europa server is temporarily unavailable” so how can I see the announcement message????



    • adminchiara:

      Hi Joana,

      Thanks for posting this. I think the server may be unavailable because too many people try to log on at the same time.

      Did you try to open it in a different browser?

  • Joana:

    Dear, Chiara!
    I have logged in and it says that my group membership is AIDA_SELFRG. Emmm what does it mean?



  • Joana:

    What a confusion! I just do not understand anything from what is in my user´s account information. I just post here some info that appears in my account, so maybe you could explain me what it is:

    Group Membership(s) AIDA_SELFRG

    • adminchiara:

      Joana, I’m sorry but at this moment in time I have no idea what this means. I’ll have to try to get some more info tomorrow.

      I deleted some of the ECAS details in your comment because that is private data and it should stay private.

      I hope to be able to get back to you tomorrow with more info (unless someone else does it before me).

    • adminchiara:


      The website of the TO was temporarily unavailable last night due to overload. AIDA_SELFRG must be a data base string, which has nothing to do with your application status.

      Have you tried to log on today again? Did you manage to get through?

      • Joana:

        Dear, Chiara!

        Yes, I tried and I did not pass=( It says because of some language proofs from my application form were missed… Well I have already sent them an e-mail asking for more information about what exactly language proofs were lacked.

        a bit disappointed, but there´s nothing to do…



        • adminchiara:

          Sorry to read that, Joana. I find it a bit surprising that the TO hasn’t replied to you, but perhaps they will. Are you sure to have enclosed in the envelope all the language proofs needed to support the language skills you declared in the online application?

  • Joana:

    Ohh, thank you Chiara! What would we do without your blog=)

  • Georgia:

    Decided to share more news with you. Hope this will be helpful :) Thank you Chiara !

    Your application has successfully passed the first stage of the selection procedure (Pre-selection).
    Soon the Commission departments entitled to recruit trainees will search the database containing all preselected applications for suitable candidates. They may contact you for an informal interview. Please bear in mind that these contacts are not binding and that only a written placement offer from the Traineeship Office will confirm that you have been selected as a trainee. Placement offers will be sent out from mid-January.
    Please note furthermore that the number of pre-selected candidates is four times higher than the number of available trainee positions. Therefore, being preselected is no guarantee that you will be offered a trainee placement.
    There is no need to contact the Commission services at this stage. However, if you wish to do so, you may use the e-mail addresses indicated below. Those services that are not listed have no specific contact address for trainees.

    Yours faithfully,

    • adminchiara:

      With some delay, thanks so much for sharing, Georgia.

      In between the comments I received, I think I accidentally skipped this one. Apologies. :-)

  • Melania:

    Dear Chiara,
    I received the message officially saying that I successfully passed the pre-selection. Also, the message contains the email addresses to contact in every DG in case of need.
    I thought that I had to lobby with the single Units instead of with the general DGs so now I’m a bit confused. Should I send an email with my CV and motivation only to the DGs’ addresses provided by the Traineeship Office or should I also contact directly the Heads of the Units that interest me the most?
    Also, is the Blue Book Accessible only to the Commission Officers or also by us? I haven’t got any hint about it in the message I received.
    And finally, is the Candidate Number the same number of identification in the Blue Book? (so I can specify that one in my email)

    • adminchiara:

      Dear Melania,

      It is recommended to use the e-mails provided by the TO, but if you are targeting specific units in specific DGs, you may send the same e-mail to the HoUs.

      The Blue Book data base is only accessible to the Commission only.

      Yes, your candidate number is Blue book identification number. It should start with M14/XXXXXX (6 digits).

  • Ilaria:

    Dear Chiara,
    thanks for your website!!!
    I received the same mail as Georgia did. Now I don’t understand if it is better to lobby or not… Some people say that lobbying is annoying for the DGs and they already have all the data they need, so no reason to lobby… what do you think?
    Moreover, I don’t understand: if the placement offers will be sent out from mid-January, does it mean that we could know whether they chose us only at that point, or after that?

    • adminchiara:

      Congratulations to you and to Melania and to Georgia and everyone else who’s following my blog and has passed the pre-selection. :-)

      I didn’t mean to be inconsiderate by not congratulating Melania and Georgia or others, but when I receive comments with questions, I have the tendency to go straight to the point and answer them.

      Anyway, I think I have already answered this lobby question, but I’ll say it again. If you feel like you want to lobby because you think it will increase your chances to be considered as a potential trainee, then do it and don’t listen to what others have to say. Yes, there are DGs who like it and yes there are DGs who don’t like it, but if you think and feel it’s the right thing to do, then just do it without questioning anything.

      The placement offers are usually sent in mid-January, but before that, you should receive an e-mail telling you that you were selected. When/If you receive such an e-mail, then you will know for sure you will be recruited. In other words, you’ll still have to wait till about mid-January to know for sure. That if the TO doesn’t decide to change any other rules.

    • adminchiara:

      Small addition to my previous comment: there is NO golden rule for lobbying. One does what one believes is in one’s best interest.

  • Janez:


    Above all, thanks much for these valuable insights!

    I have a question regarding applicants from non-member states. According to the traineeship rules, “Certain Directorates General or Services may not recruit nationals from non-Member States. Relevant information, as provided by the Services, is published on the Website” (Commission Decision of 2.03.2005 – C(2005)458).

    First, I could not find such information. Second, is this rule still applicable?
    Could you help me answer these questions and find the list of DGs which do not accept non-member nationals?

    I would be really indebted.

    • adminchiara:

      Hi Janez,

      I think ever since the TO decided to upgrade their Europa page much of the information was removed.

      In my opinion (and I’m pretty sure I’m right), this rule is still applicable because the Commission decision C(2005)458 hasn’t been amended at all since adoption. I wouldn’t be able to say, though, which are the DGs that don’t recruit non-EU trainees, but I’m guessing it should be the ones dealing with very sensitive information. Still, there should be only few.

      If you’re not too happy with my answer, you could send an e-mail to the TO and ask them about it.

  • Eva:

    Hello Chiara,
    I just discovered your webside and find it very helpful, thank you for all your work on it. Last week I received notification that I have been pre-selected and now I need to supply all the required certificates and proofs. I have one question concerning proving my language knowledge: I don´t have any official language certificate, however I underwent language lessons and passed language exams (at B1, B2, C1 level) at my University. Does that count too? From the information they provide, it seems like it is not sufficient, since they require a certificate or diplomas/university transcripts etc. OBTAINED IN the reffered language, or courses followed in those languages. They do not mention university exams as a valid proof of the language knowledge. Should I send them my transcript of successfull language exams anyways?

    Thank you very much for your help!


    • adminchiara:

      Yes, Eva, of course they do. You should be on the safe side with those language transcripts as long as they have the logo of the university on them, a signature and a stamp. :-)

      • Eva:

        Dear Chiara, thank you very much for clarifying and reassuring me.:) Now, I am a bit confused about the timetable of the selection procedure. Is it that after we send all the required documents, it takes them about one month in which they are choosing and contacting people and after that they make the final decision to whom to offer the possitions? Does that last about four to six weeks? Or more? Just to know when we can expect the final decisions :) in the middle of May?
        Thank you one more time for your extremely helpful information, and all your time you are investing into this:)

        • adminchiara:

          Eva, the process changed as of last session and from what I can see other changes occurred this session, which indeed impact all of you because explanations are unclear or are missing.
          What happens is that once the deadline for sending the justifications is closed, they start checking if it matches what you declared in your online applications. This can take a few weeks, so you should expect to be confirmed if you passed the pre-selection some time between mid-May and end of May.
          When you receive the pre-selection confirmation e-mail, from that moment on you can start lobbying (if you want) and have your phone ready in case you are called. So expect that to happen towards end of May/beginning of June.
          That if the TO doesn’t come up with other bright ideas to change things… Keep alert!

  • Janca:

    Hello Chiara,
    I also got an email about the pre-selection and I was wondering whether a letter from a language school can serve as a proof? They dont issue any specific certificates, but my teacher wrote me a letter confirming the level I reached. Do you think that would be enough?

    Thank you so much! You have created a great and helpful page here :)

    • adminchiara:

      Janca, in the past, such letters used to be accepted. Now, with all the changes… you could simply send that letter and see if they accept it.

      Another option would be that you write to the TO to confirm with them first if they accept or not.

  • Lawyer10:

    Hey! I want to ask whether we are supposed to send documentation for a volunteer service rendered if we have mentioned it in our application?

    • adminchiara:

      Sorry for the very late reply. If you mentioned volunteer service on your online application, you should show some proof, under the form of letter of recommendation or anything of the sort. This used to be only in the case when this type of work experience was 6 weeks or longer.

      If, however, you declared other different types of work experience and you have proof for that experience, then don’t worry about the volunteering.

      Unfortunately, rules have kind of changed now and the Traineeship Office is a bit non-transparent with what they want.

  • Lucky:

    Hi you all,

    Thanks for such a detailed info. I applied for traineeship for Oct 2015 in the area Scientific Research and can’t wait for the preliminary outcome. I wonder if I can ask three questions ..

    1. Is there an eligibility over-qualification? I have a PhD and about 2 years of Post-doctoral experience.
    2. Is traineeship exclusively located in Brussels? Are other locations , e.g, Strassbourg for Scientific Research area are also feasible?
    2. What is time line generally that one can expect to hear from HR regarding preliminary selection?

    Many thanks in advance.

  • Karolina:

    Hello, nice forum here. I have question about language proof. I have a problem with an “official proof’ of my German. I mean, I studied German 2,5 year in a high-school (A1-A2) – I have this on my high-school diploma. But problem starts here – later I learned on my own… from two german books B1/B2 level – how I can document it? I spoke with few languages schools and they reject to give me a kind of “official letter” that I achieved this level, due to not taking courses with them (but independently)

    Any ideas how to solve this stuff and document it clearly?
    Anyone has similar problems?

    Is it OK if I will state to EC that I will gain the B2 level course confirmation from language school, before October 2015 (for ex. August). Or I’m lost?


    • adminchiara:

      Hi Karolina,

      Good question. You should be able to sit an exam at the nearest Goethe Institut (depending on where you live) without following any classes. For example, you can do this for English at the British Council (Cambridge proficiency tests, IELTS, etc.), for French at the French Cultural Centre (DELF, DALF) and so on. Goethe Institut should be able to provide the same type of examination and certification.

      Make sure you check their website and inquire about the exam (what type of questions there will be, if you can practice prior to the exam, if they recommend any books, when the exams are scheduled and how much they cost). The exam should be both written and oral, so make sure you prepare for both.

      I’m assuming you want to prove your German skills as your 2nd language.

      Good luck,


  • chloe:

    I’ve read your blog and its very useful for people who dont really know about the process of recruitment on ec traineeship. you said actually every staff is responsible for a specific nationality. is that true they only hire EU memebers? I’ve got pre-selection email weeks ago. Im chinese, so quite worried they would refuse me or wouldnt contact me because of my natioanlity. Since you were a trainee, can i ask if you have ever seen asia or chinese trainee in EC? Thank you.

    • adminchiara:

      The traineeship programme is open for applicants from all over the world. Although it is true that the greatest number of traineeships is allocated to applicants from EU Member States, there is also a number of traineeships allocated to applicants from countries outside the EU. I did meet trainees from Asia and many other countries outside the EU.

      If you have been preselected, don’t forget you are competing against some other 2,500 preselected candidates. Also, don’t forget that your CV must fit the needs of the units which are recruiting trainees (it has nothing to do with the nationality). Many preselected candidates usually lobby by their preferred DGs and you may consider this option as well.

  • Marjan:

    i need advice what to do after i received this email:
    We regret to inform you that your application has not been accepted for the reason(s) displayed below:

    “you do not possess the required language knowledge for an administrative traineeship (see point 2.2.2. of the Rules governing the official traineeships scheme of the European Commission (Commission Decision of 2.03.2005 – C(2005)458))”

    Is it possible to change it? Because i wrote in my CV that i have English B2 and German A2. Problem is that i dont any diploma for English but for German i have. Beside that I was at Erasmus exchange for 5month in Germany and passed several subject there on English language and German language (have also diploma for it). Shall i sent them all files because i everything wrote in CV but i did not add files when i was applying for traineeship.(btw I am from Croatia)

    Thank you in advance

    Kind regards,

    • adminchiara:

      Hi Marjan,

      Sorry to hear about the rejection e-mail and I’m afraid there is nothing you can do about it right now.

      However, if you still want to try to apply again in the future, you should consider improving your language skills because B1 level is below what most applicants have. You should aim for at least C2 and you should be able to prove that language level (either with a language certificate or a diploma or transcripts, etc.). A1 or A2 language levels are usually not given weight, or in simple words, they don’t count!

      Also, be aware that Traineeship Office doesn’t care about what you wrote in your CV, the Traineeship Office only cares about what you wrote in your online application. On top of it, they want you to prove what you wrote in your online application.

      So, good luck to you!


  • Wander:

    Hi Chiara

    I applied this summer for the upcoming spring traineeship. When I was rereading the application for another EPSO application I saw I made an error in my application on the length of one employment. I worked somewhere until July 2014 but by accident, it enlisted July 2015! The rest of the dates (day/month) are correct, only the year isn’t. Are there any means to contact the selection office or do you think this won’t be a a problem? Apart from this mistake the application is perfect and I think I’m eligible concerning background and experience. What would you advice me to do?

    Many thanks in advance!



    • adminchiara:

      Hi Wander,

      So sorry to reply so late to your comment. I follow the blog sporadically lately due to lack of time. It’s best to contact me by e-mail.

      Once you submit the application, you can’t change it anymore and even the TO can’t change it.

      However, it’s best that you inform the TO of this error, so that they are aware at the moment where you will be asked to send proofs of your education and work experience (that will be if you pass pre-selection).

      Good luck,


  • Tereza:

    Hi Chiara,

    I was wondering if you have advice – I put a language as advanced because part of my family is of that nationality, but I don’t feel like it is my ‘native’ language if that makes sense. I have stated on my form that I know this language because of family. How should I prove this more? Any ideas?

    • adminchiara:

      Your question is a bit twisted, so I’m trying to understand: on the form, you have to state your mother tongue and other (EU) languages you may speak (at an advanced level). 1. In the mother tongue section, did you put your real mother tongue? 2. In the other (EU) languages section did you put a “secondary mother tongue” that you can’t really prove?

      Thanks for clarifying this so I can understand the situation and answer you.

      • Tereza:

        Exactly. It’s neither English, French or German though, cause I do have proof of advanced English and proof of some French as well.

  • Apolo:


    Am Apolo , am a no european citizen and i have been preselected but i am very worry about my english level wich is a B1( i have a certificate from International House). Portuguse is my mother tongue and i have a C2 in french. Is That enough or my english will really be a barrier ?

    I thak you for all the information in this site.

    • adminchiara:

      Your English skills shouldn’t be a barrier. At the Commission and in the agencies of the Commission, English, French and to a lesser extent German are the working languages. As long as you speak one of the 3 at an advanced level, you’ll do just fine. In some DGs French is preferred to English, while in others English is preferred to French, while German maybe mainly in some Cabinets. But if your CV is fit for any unit and they recruit you, then you’ll get to speak both French and… improve your English. :-)

      Bonne chance pour la suite!

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