EC Traineeship – Selection



Selection is the final key step before the actual recruitment. It is coming up and you’re most definitely eager to get that lucky e-mail in your inbox.


But before you receive the e-mail, what exactly happens during selection?


The DGs make their final deliberations on their choices and select their future trainees.


As I already explained, during pre-selection you may be contacted by the services of Commission if your profile is interesting enough to match their needs. They can contact several candidates for the same position, but in the end, they can select only one for that position.


When selection is over, all the candidates who made to the Blue Book will receive an e-mail to let them know if they passed or not. You don’t have to react to this e-mail or start making phone calls or reply to reconfirm you availability.


The selection e-mail is just an informative e-mail and all you have to do is take note that you passed selection, then patiently wait (if you can contain your impatience) for the next e-mail with the job offer.


You can react to the e-mail if you’re not sure you’re up to the job or if you’re disappointed in being selected by a different DG than what you had expected or you received a better job offer in the meantime (yes, that can happen!). In any of these cases you can reply to the selection e-mail and decline the offer.


If you are unlucky to have received the non-selection e-mail, don’t despair. Another candidate (see above) might change his/her mind, decline the offer and then you could be offered that seat. It’s only a matter of patience and also confidence.


Here is some more useful information related to selection that I found on the Traineeship Office website (but which you may have missed).

  • The Traineeship Office decides who many trainees a DG will host (depending on the needs of that DG). This means that you’ll not be alone and that you’ll meet other fellow stagiaires in your DG. You may share the same office or not, you may work in the same field or not. (We were quite a few trainees in my DG, all scattered around, but we had great time together and still keep in touch after the stage.)
  • When the services made their final choices, they send the list of selected trainees to the Traineeship Office.
  • If you work in a field which might present a conflict of interest with that of the Commission service, there is a high chance that you will not be recruited to work in that field.

Time to get ready to receive the lucky selection e-mail and keep those fingers crossed.


6 Responses to “EC Traineeship – Selection”

  • SaritAlonso:

    Hello! Thank you for this blog, it is of great help to understand the whole and complex process!
    I have a question regarding the area of interest that we had to choose in the application form. In my case, I am specialized in human rights, and this field can be present in both internal policies (such as DG Justice) and external policies (DEVCO, ECHO, EEAS…). Therefore, I would be happy to work in any of these DGs.
    However, as the application form required to choose an area of interest, and there was none in particular for human rights, I chose “external action”, since I thought that maybe I would have more chances there…
    But now that I have been pre-identified and I’m waiting for the Blue Book email, I wonder whether it is possible to lobby in another area different from the one we chose in the application (in my case, I would like to lobby both for external and internal policy DGs).
    Thank you in advance for the feedback! :)

    • adminchiara:

      Of course you can. It doesn’t hurt to try. The main advice I would give is, make sure to customize your motivation letter depending on the DG.

      Good luck to you!

  • JL:

    Hello Chiara!

    Thank you so much for this brilliant website! It really helps!

    Regarding to the selection procedure, I’d like to ask you some questions:
    1. When I applied, I chose Administrative / Secretarial Assistance as my area of interest (though I don’t have any experience in this area). Now I’ve got the email from the trainee office saying my application has been included in the blue book and that I may contact the commission services. I am not sure which department should I contact with. Is it Secretariat-General?
    2. Considering that I’m not experienced or do my study have anything to do with Administrative / Secretarial Assistance, how do you think my possibility of being selected?
    3. Do they always interview via phone calls? Because I’m going on a trip and can’t promise my phone always in coverage. What if they call me when I’m not answering the phone?

    Thank you again for everything!! Have a nice day!

    • adminchiara:


      Congratulations on being preselected!

      I’ll try to answer your questions below in the same order.

      1. I have to say that your choice of profile is a bit surprising, but what did you study, do you have any work experience at all in any field and what type of career do you want to pursue? Usually applicants select profiles that are aligned with their educational and professional backgrounds. Either way, if you selected secretarial/administrative assistance, you can literally lobby in any DG, but you’ll have to somehow demonstrate the skills you have (either by education or work experience) to do the job. Not only that you’ll have to put that in writing, but if anybody calls you for an interview, you’ll have to speak about it too. For the record, the Secretariat-General is about internal procedures, so lawyers are usually recruited to work there, but other profiles are also needed.

      2. Like I said it many other times, it’s not all about the profile of the candidates, but also about the needs of the Commission, in other words what type of skills the departments lack that they want to fulfill. So, if your skills are particularly needed, then you may get a phone call or an e-mail or simply you may get selected.

      3. Sometimes they call, other times they send you an e-mail, other times they just go ahead and select you without even speaking to you.

  • JL:

    I don’t understand why I got my comment deleted! It would be okay if you don’t wanna answer it. But I just don’t get it. What’s the whole point of this

    • adminchiara:

      Your comment didn’t get deleted. Is just that it takes me time to check and reply to comments. I do this on my personal free time which believe me, is not so much. I just checked the blog for comments today and your first comment was written some days ago, so I need to go back and read your long comment so I can reply to it.

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