From application to selection – how does the process work?

1. Receipt of applications

Register, complete and submit your application.

For traineeships beginning in October, applications open in January.

Applications for traineeships beginning in March open in July.

2. Assessment and eligibility check

  • Once the application period has closed, candidates are evaluated on basis of academic profile, language skills and additional qualities, such as having an international profile, relevant work experience, publications and the motivation for the application.
  • If you successfully pass this assessment step, you will be requested to upload all your supporting documents in a single pdf file. The Traineeships Office will then verify them.

Applications which do not follow the formal requirements are rejected.

  • A ranking is then established and around 3,000 candidates with the highest scores are pre-selected for the Virtual Blue Book (VBB).

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

The Blue Book is available for all Commission services and agencies which can offer a trainee position to consult.

3. Selection

Directorates-General (DG) and Commission agencies consult the Blue Book to find the best candidates based on their specific needs and criteria (language skills, relevant studies and experience, etc.).

Some of them prefer to contact candidates directly, while others rely on the applications and choose not to make direct contact. All DGs select a list of preferred candidates. 

The Blue Book is then opened for all services to start reservations.

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 DGs for the selection of trainees. If two DGs, services or agencies would like to recruit the same candidate, the DG ranked highest in the candidate's preferences upon application automatically takes priority.

Recruitment procedure



Twice a year:

  • Traineeships beginning in October:
    applications open in January of the same year.

  • Traineeships beginning in March:
    applications open July-August of the previous year.



Your application is evaluated


by two independent evaluators.



Quotas by nationality are applied for EU candidates to ensure a spread of nationalities.

A weighting system is applied to determine the number of preselected applicants for a given EU nationality.

Population size and number of applications from a given country are taken into account, with safeguards to ensure that smaller countries are adequately represented. Third countries are grouped together in a single quota.

National thresholds vary for each session, based on number and quality of applications.



You have submitted

all requested documents

and received confirmation of a successful upload.

The eligibility of your file will be checked

against information provided in your application.



Around 2,000 pre-selected candidates

get into the Blue Book data base:

there are 3 times more candidates than places available

(around 650 per session).



Interviews may be conducted by phone at the initiative of the recruiting entity.

Candidates may contact DG's
using the email address(es) listed in the notification message.



If selected

you will receive an official placement offer
from the Traineeships Office,

which you can accept or refuse.

Any unofficial communication between applicants
and DGs/Agencies/Bodies does not constitute an offer.



YES = Traineeship

NO = No traineeship for this session.

Candidate can submit a new application for the next session(s).