Is your dream to work in one of the EU Institutions? We know that the competition to get a job in an EU Institution is very high, but it is not impossible even if you are still a student! You need to try starting with an internship first!
Each year, around 1,900 young people are offered the chance to increase their professional skills, develop their personal qualities, and enhance their EU knowledge through the EU trainee programmes. And you can be one of them!
Most of the EU institutions organise traineeships and offers available in different fields of law for young university graduates, each lasting usually between 3 and 5 months. The majority of those traineeships are paid!
Who can apply?
These internships are open to all EU citizens and sometimes even non-EU citizens, but as long as they meet some specific criteria.
You need to have a high education degree, but you can apply even if you are in the last year in some positions.
You must have an excellent knowledge of two EU official languages, and you should have no prior work experience 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).
Most posts at the EU require that you speak at least two EU languages. Being a law graduate or a final year student is also essential.
Occasionally, they require some previous experience, depending on the complexity of the tasks to be carried out and the conditions offered.
However, you should remember that you can only benefit from an internship in an EU Institution once because applicants who have already benefited or benefited from any traineeship within a European Union institution or body or have had or had any kind of employment within a European Union institution or body are not allowed to apply.
Which are the European institutions that offer internships?
Most of the opportunities are located in Brussels and Luxembourg, being the engines to start towards the world of the EU, that world that you always wanted so much.
The European Commission and the European Parliament are the two institutions that offer more internships.
The Court of Justice of the European Union also presents numerous paid internships in the cabinets of the Members of the Court of Justice and the General Court of the European Union and the services of the Court of Justice.
Essential opportunities are also offered in the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors and the European Central Bank.
In addition to these institutions, there is an extensive list and variety of EU agencies and bodies, such as the European Committee of the Regions, European Data Protection Board (EDPB), European Economic and Social Committee, European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), where you can also start your career.
Primary internships programmes in the EU
The principal internship programme is the Blue Book of the European Commission, where they offer five-month paid internships, convened twice a year, in January and August. Each call provides approximately 800 places.
If your dream is to do an internship at European Parliament, the Shuman programme also offers five-month paid internships, and they are convened in June and November each year. They tend to provide slightly fewer places than the Blue Book programme, about 400 per call.
There are several additional possibilities to apply for one of the internships in the different EU institutions, bodies and agencies. In EPSO, an interinstitutional office, which mission is to meet the EU institutions’ recruitment needs by selecting talented candidates, you will be able to consult an essential list of internships offered.
Take the first steps
First of all, you need to choose which EU Institution you are more interested in since the application process. The location for a position varies from one EU institution to another. Most of them are in Brussels; Frankfurt is Main, Luxembourg City and Strasbourg. You can also extend to the EU agencies, and in consequence, the opportunities will increase.
Once you have been clear about where you want to start your professional development, you should review the practices that are still in the open selection process and from there, choose the one that most catches your attention and where your profile fits the most, but always making sure to check on the deadlines given for each opportunity and if you meet all the essential qualifications for that position.
How to apply
The selection procedures for traineeships are run individually by the EU institutions and agencies themselves.
You should register on EU Login, complete the application form and submit it. The applications process are usually straightforward. Almost all of them are online. On some occasions, you need to file an online form and upload your resume and cover letter.
You do not need to submit any additional documents with your application; only if you have been lucky enough to pass the first stage of the application, you must prove your skills and experience declared by providing your ID card or passport, university qualifications, ongoing studies, a claimed languages skills and knowledge, among others.
We will be supporting you!
Complicated doesn’t mean impossible, and you, as a law graduate or a law student you have the added advantage of being able to work in a wide range of sectors and contexts for the EU Institutions. We are also offering you a scholarship for a six-month complimentary subscription to High-Browse, an all-in-one legal platform to research EU law, to enhance your practical research knowledge to prepare yourself for the real world, so don’t overthink and take the first step toward your dream today without fear!
Claim your scholarship today and get closer to your dream legal profession.
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