EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans

Deadline: 13 September 2018
Open to: civil servants with between 2 and 5 years of working experience in Public Administration in one of the six countries of the Western Balkans
Benefits: successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to attend two intensive trainings


The European Commission and the British Council, announce the opening of the call for applications to the “EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans – Round III” (YPS 2018). The Action is implementing two training programmes in EU academic institutions and a regional exchange component for early career civil servants (2 to 5 years of working experience in Public Administration) from the six countries of the Western Balkans – WB6 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia and Albania). The Action is managed by the European Commission and implemented by the British Council. Applications will be open from 30th August 2018 and until 13th September 2018. Successful applicants will be offered the opportunity to attend two intensive trainings (2 weeks each). The first training, named “Executive Certificate in Management and Public Policy”, will be at Science Po in Paris (France) during December 2018.The second training, named “Public Administration Reform in the Context of EU Integration Process”, will be at College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium) during February 2019. YPS 2018, the third round of this scheme and foreseen as a follow up to a similar Pilot Action launched in 2016 (YPS 2016), is aiming at contributing to progress in the accession process and to deepen regional cooperation among countries in WB6 countries. First, it focuses on building professional capacity and preparing the next generation of public administrators and policy makers in the six Western Balkan countries who will be in charge of the accession process, and drive and lead future change in their societies, particularly those required under the SAA implementation and accession negotiation process. In addition, the proposed Action aims at promoting the regional cooperation element of the EU integration process at the level of civil service by making cross-border connections between these leaders and agents of change and facilitating peer learning and the sharing of best practices. This Programme, whose working language is only English, will select up to 30 participants (the actual number of grants awarded may also be less depending on suitability of candidates) both in the trainings and the exchange part (up to 5 places are available for each country of the region). This call is open to mid-level civil servants (as specified in the Rules of Procedures published on 30th August 2018,


Eligible applicants are:

– Civil servants with between 2 and 5 years of working experience in Public Administration in one of the six countries of the Western Balkans. This means that
candidates that have been part of the Civil Service no earlier than 1st August 2013 and no later than 1st August 2016 are eligible to apply.
– Civil servants who have been recruited in PA through a public competition (political appointees are excluded from this selection process as they cannot be considered as civil servants).
– Civil servants involved in policy formulation and strategic planning within the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, strategic units of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of European Integration/Governmental Directorates/Bodies of European Integration, Institutions responsible for coordination of EU affairs.
– Citizens with a valid passport issued by the National Authority in one of the 6 Western Balkan countries. Passports of another country than the one where the applicant works as a civil servant are not acceptable.
– University graduates holding a valid BA and/or MA/MSc degree.
– Fluent in English with at least an upper-intermediate level (B2). Those candidates who already have a valid TOEFL/IELTS language certification will not be asked to  participate to the second stage of selection (i.e. English language test) if they provide a valid proof of this certification with at least the same level of knowledge as above (B2 or equivalent).
– Available to travel and to move abroad from November 2018 to May 2019.


The programme will cover the following costs for up to 30 participants:

  • tuition fees at Science Po and at College of Europe;
  • accommodation and living allowances in France and Belgium;
  • visa costs (if Visa is needed);
  • health insurance and flight tickets;
  • English language test costs;
  • Exchange programme costs (travel, food and lodging).

Selected participants will commit to:
– Attend in full the 4 weeks trainings at Science Po and at College of Europe, divided in two modules planned in December 2018 and February 2019;
– Attend the two weeks exchange programme in the Public Administrations of one of the six countries involved in the programme (March/April 2019);
– Attend the Regional Alumni Conference and Lessons Learnt event (May 2019).

According to the Rules of Procedure selections will be carried out in 3 stages and include the following steps:

-Pre-Selection of eligible candidates based on formal and administrative criteria.

– Aptis English language test. Online tests are not possible, applicants invited to sit the Aptis English Test must be present in person at the British Council office in their country on the set date (only if a candidate pass B2 level threshold he/she will be invited to sit the interview).

-Interviews by a 3 members’ panel composed of 2 permanent members: 1 British Council working group representative and 1 EU action senior expert with academic and appropriate professional background; and 1 rotating member from EUDs in each of the six countries. In addition, 1 NIPAC representative in each country will attend all interviews as observer (no Skype or online interviews are possible, interviews will be held in each WB6 British Council office).

Additional information on the EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans – Round III rules and selections criteria and procedures are available online on the project’s website (Rules of Procedure) and must be read and understood in full before submitting the application.

How to apply?

After registering to the project’s website (, applicants will receive a full application package by email including the following documents: Round III Rules of Procedure (to be read and understood in full), Europass CV template and related instructions, the YPS 2018 Application form.

Each applicant must complete in English the YPS 2017 Application Form, the Europass CV format and they must accompany the application with:
a) a copy of their working contract as civil servants clearly indicating the starting date of their duty;
b) a signed letter issued by their institutions clearly stating applicant’s current position and performed duties in civil service;
c) a signed and dated Letter of Motivation explaining why they wish to take part in the scheme and what could be their contribution to the programme. This letter must include as well a draft proposal for the common assignment topic to be implemented during the exchange component.

Women and representatives of minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Application forms and the full set of accompanying documents will be delivered by email to interested applicants after registering at the following website: starting from Thursday, 30th August 2018. Additional information on the Scheme’s Rules, Procedures and Selections Criteria are available online from the same date to all applicants.

For more information please visit the official website  and read the call for application.