Traineeships beginning in October: applications open in January.
Traineeships beginning in March: applications open July–August.
Every single application is assessed on the basis of academic profile, language skills and additional qualities, such as international profile, work experience, IT skills, publications and motivation. A ranking is then established and around 2,000 candidates with the highest scores are pre-identified for the Virtual Blue Book.
The applications which do not comply with the formal requirements are rejected.
European Commission units select candidates according to their internal specific needs and criteria (languages, studies, experience, etc.). Some 650 trainees are recruited for each session.