Frequently asked questions

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A. General questions:

1. What kind of traineeships does the EESC offer?

Twice a year the European Economic and Social Committee offers traineeships for a period of five months to university graduates.

These periods of in-service training provide an opportunity to acquire professional experience in one of the EESC's units. Traineeships take place in Brussels and begin on 16 February and 16 September of each year.

In addition, the EESC can offer short, unpaid training periods (from one to three months) to university graduates or university students who are required to complete a short-term traineeship as part of their degree. In all cases, priority shall be given to applicants for whom such a traineeship is compulsory for completion of their studies. These short-term traineeships may take place at any time of the year.

2. When is the deadline for applying?

For long-term traineeships:

  • Apply between 3 January and 31 March for the autumn session.
  • Apply between 1 July and 30 September for the spring session (starting the following year).

For short-term traineeships:

  • There is no deadline for applying to short-term traineeships.

3. How do I contact the EESC Traineeships Office?

Please send an email via this this mail form.

4. Is the EESC traineeship paid?

Only trainees who have been offered a long-term in-service training period are entitled to a maintenance grant.

5. Is it possible to apply for a traineeship in different EU institutions at the same time?

Yes, it is. Each institution has its own selection procedure so you can apply to as many institutions as you like, but you are only allowed to do one traineeship in the European institutions.

6. I have served as an assistant to a member of the European Parliament – can I apply for a traineeship?

Applications shall not be accepted from people who have already completed a period of paid traineeship of six weeks or longer with an EU institution, agency or representation office. The same applies to applications from people who a) are serving or have served as an assistant to a member of the European Parliament or b) are working or have worked as a consultant on a research assignment, or as a temporary, contract or agency staff member at an EU institution, agency or representation office.

7. Are trainees entitled to holidays?

Trainees are allowed to take 2 days of leave per month of traineeship.

8. Can I choose in what directorate or unit I will be placed during my traineeship?

No, but you may indicate your preferences in the application form.

9. Does the EESC pay for my travel expenses?

Long-term trainees are entitled to a flat-rate travel allowance under certain conditions; e.g. the trainee has completed at least half of the traineeship and the distance between the place of residence and Brussels (one way) is greater than 50 km.

10. What about health insurance?

Health insurance is compulsory for all trainees. Long-term trainees who are not covered by any other insurance scheme shall be covered by sickness insurance under the conditions set out in the EESC'S insurance contract. Trainees who do not take out the sickness insurance offered by the EESC will be asked to prove that they are covered by another equivalent insurance for the full duration of the traineeship.

11. What about accident insurance?

Every trainee, regardless of the type of insurance, must take out the accident insurance proposed by the EESC.

12. Can I do a traineeship outside of the normal traineeship periods?

The dates for long-term traineeships are fixed and cannot be changed. Short-term traineeships are flexible and may take place at any moment of the year.

13. What is the difference between long and short traineeships?

  • Long-term traineeships take place twice a year starting 16 September and 16 February, last 5 months and the trainees are provided with a maintenance grant. 
  • Short-term traineeships last for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months are unpaid and can take place at any time of the year.

B. Eligibility:

1. I haven't got my final diploma yet – can I apply?

To apply for a long-term traineeship you must hold a recognised university-level degree of at least three years of studies attested by a diploma by the closing date for applications.

2. I am 33 years old – can I apply?

Yes, there is no age limit.

C. Application process for long-term traineeships:

1. When do you open the application process for the next traineeship period?

Spring traineeship (February-July)

  • Opening date for online applications: 1 July
  • Closing date for online applications: 30 September

Autumn traineeship (September-February)

  • Opening date for online applications:3 January
  • Closing date for online applications: 31 March

To apply for a long-term traineeship, please go to

2. In my online application profile it says my application is valid – does this mean I have been selected as a trainee?

No, it means that your application is being processed. It does not, however, mean that you have been selected for the traineeship. The next phase is the pre-selection phase, followed by the selection phase. Should you pass the final selection phase, you will receive a traineeships offer.

3. Have I been pre-selected?

If you are pre-selected, you will receive an e-mail informing you of this. Please follow instructions received by email regarding the next steps. You can also check the status of your application online by logging into the website:

4. I want to add/change information in my application – is this possible?

You can modify your application until your status changes to "Application form valid". From that moment on, you will not be allowed to change anything.

5. I did not print my application – could I have it sent to me?

You have access to your application even after the closing date, so you will still be able to print it.

D. Short-term traineeships:

1. What documents do I need?

You apply for a short-term traineeship on-line. If you are pre-selected, you will be asked to provide a copy of your university degree(s) at a later stage (if you have not yet graduated, you must send a document certifying that you are currently enrolled at university), proof of valid health insurance, a police certificate and a medical certificate.

2. When does the traineeship take place?

The period (lasting a maximum of three months) is agreed with the trainee depending on what opportunities are available at the EESC. This period may take place at any time during the year.

3. When is the deadline for applying?

There is no deadline for short-term traineeships.

4. What is the application process for short-term traineeships?

Once you have submitted your application, it will remain valid for six months. If, during this period, a unit would like to offer you a traineeship, we will contact you. At the end of this period, your application will be deleted.