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The General Secretariat offers traineeships for students, graduates and national officials

How to apply

Each type of traineeship has its own application procedure.

Apply now

Applications for 2018 paid traineeships are now closed. The next application period opens on 15 January 2018. 

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about applying for traineeships at the Council, the selection procedure and the general conditions for trainees.


For more information you can contact the traineeships office:

Different types of traineeship

Learn more about the traineeship programme at the Council of the European Union

1. Paid traineeships

The General Secretariat of the Council (GSC) offers around 100 paid traineeships a year to EU nationals who, by the deadline for submitting applications, have completed at least the first part of their university studies and have a degree certificate or equivalent.

Traineeships are split into 2 different periods, each lasting 5 months:

  • 1 February to 30 June (first period)
  • 1 September to 31 January (second period)

2. Compulsory unpaid traineeships

The GSC offers around 20 unpaid traineeships per year. These traineeships are for third, fourth or fifth year university students who have to do a compulsory training period as part of their course.

Traineeships are split into 2 different periods, each lasting from 2 to 5 months:

  • 1 February to 30 June
  • 1 September to 31 January

3. Traineeships for students of national administration schools

The candidate shall be enrolled with a national administration school of :

  • a member state
  • or a candidate country after signing of the accession treaty

Traineeships are split into 2 different periods, each lasting from 2 to 5 months:

  • 1 February to 30 June
  • 1 September to 31 January

The starting date shall be decided by mutual agreement by the GSC and the national administration school concerned.

Who can apply?


GSC traineeships are open to:

  • EU citizens
  • citizens from candidate countries that have concluded EU accession negotiations

For paid traineeships, applicants must have graduated from a university or equivalent higher-education establishment and have a degree certificate or equivalent.


Given that French and English are used extensively for internal communication within the GSC, a good knowledge of French or English and the ability to communicate in one of these languages is required.


The majority of applications currently come from candidates with qualifications in law, political science, international relations, EU studies and economics.

The GSC is also looking for trainees with qualifications in other fields, such as:

translation, human resources, communication, education studies, computer sciences, graphic design, multimedia, agricultural technology, biochemical engineering, health and food safety, energy management, environment, aerospace engineering.

Who can't apply?

Applications will not be accepted from candidates who have already benefited from any kind of training  (paid or unpaid) or employment for more than 6 weeks within an EU institution, body, agency or office.

Complaints procedure

We strive to offer the highest standards of service.

However, if you think that you have been subject to maladministration, you have the right to introduce a complaint to the European Ombudsman. Please note that before the Ombudsman can accept a complaint from you, you need to first raise your concerns with the Traineeship Office.

You can contact us by email.