ADVICE for applicants

Please do not wait until the last moment to submit your application!

Technical problems cannot be forseen and could prevent your application from reaching us in time.

The application platform closes automatically at the given time and cannot be reopened.

Assessment and criteria.

Some extra information concerning assessment criteria and the procedure.

Once the application period has closed

Once the application period has closed, candidates are evaluated anonymously by two independent evaluators and get points on the basis of the following criteria, in the following order of relevance:

  • Level of education (minimum – 'bachelor' or equivalent);
  • Level of knowledge of one of the three European Commission working/procedural languages (EN, FR, DE);
  • Level of knowledge of any other of the official/working languages of the EU as well as in any other European or non-EU languages, if any;

All candidates must declare 1 mother tongue; no points are awarded for mother tongue and therefore no proof is required. You can declare up to 3 mother tongues. If you have more than 1 mother tongue and wish to receive points for them, you can declare these in "Other languages" as long as you can provide written documented proof.

  • Relevant work experience, if any;

Please note that traineeships carried out in the framework of academic studies will not be taken into account.

  • International profile (education/work/volunteering abroad, mobility, aptitude to work in an international atmosphere), if any;
  • Motivation and quality of reasoning;
  • Rare domains of studies
  • Papers and publications, if any.

If you pass the first phase successfully, you will be requested to upload all your supporting documents in a single PDF file. These supporting documents will then be verified.

The Blue Book

The Virtual Blue Book (VBB) is a database containing the CVs of all candidates who successfully pass both phases of the pre-selection: the assessment and the eligibility check.

For each session it contains about 2000 candidates of whom around 650 will become trainees.


The Blue Book becomes available for all Commission services and agencies to consult.

Directorates and Commission's Agencies consult the VBB to find the best candidates for their areas of work.

Some of them prefer to contact candidates directly, while others rely on the applications and choose not to make direct contact.

All Directorates prepare their preferences among lists of candidates.

Some days later, the VBB is opened to all services for actual reservation.

Receiving a traineeship offer in a particular DG or Service will depend on the number of positions available. There is a code of conduct among Directorates-General when it comes to selection. If 2 DGs, services or agencies were to try to recruit the same candidate, the DG ranked highest in candidate's preference, would automatically take priority.