Traineeships at the General Secretariat of the Council of European Union

Deadline: 16 March 2020
Open to:
young university graduates from all member countries of the European Union or candidate countries that have concluded EU accession negotiations
a canteen card, accident insurance coverage and a contribution towards the travel expenses to Brussels, only paid trainees receive a traineeship grant of EUR 1196,84 a month


The General Secretariat of the Council is a body of staff responsible for assisting the European Council and the Council of the EU. It helps organize and ensure the coherence of the Council’s work and the implementation of its 18-month programme.

The General Secretariat of the Council (GSC) offers around 100paid and around 20 unpaid traineeships per year.

As a trainee – depending on the needs of the service – your daily work would generally be equivalent to that of junior administrator officials at the beginning of their career e.g.: preparing meetings, drafting minutes, attending meetings of COREPER and Council preparatory bodies, translating documents, researching on a particular project, compiling documentation, writing reports etc. You will be placed under the responsibility of a traineeship adviser who will guide and supervise your work. You will also be invited to take part in a training programme which includes different conferences and visits to other EU institutions in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

Paid traineeships are for candidates who already have a BA degree. For a compulsory traineeship, candidates do not need a degree, but the traineeship has to be a compulsory part of their higher education studies (or required for a thesis or doctorate) as requested by the university. Compulsory traineeships are unpaid.


The traineeship is addressed mainly to young university graduates, without excluding those who – in the framework of lifelong learning – have recently obtained a diploma and/or are at the beginning of a new professional career.

The paid traineeships is for  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.

The unpaid traineeships are for third, fourth or fifth year university students who have to do a compulsory training period as part of their course.Also students who are required to do research for a thesis or a doctorate may apply.

Candidates must have very good knowledge of at least two EU official languages. Given that English and French are used extensively for internal communication within the GSC, a good knowledge of English or French is required, (*C level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

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 domains, such as: translation, human resources, communication, education studies, computer sciences (collaboration platforms), archives and document management, civil engineering, graphic design, multimedia, agriculture, biochemical engineering, health and food safety, energy management, environment, aerospace engineering.

If you have done a traineeship – paid or otherwise – at any another EU institution/body/agency/office for longer than 6 weeks, you are not eligible for a traineeship at the Council. 


Most of the traineeships offered are paid. Paid trainees receive a traineeship grant of EUR 1196,84 a month, a canteen card, accident insurance coverage and a contribution towards the travel expenses from the place of recruitment to Brussels.

Compulsory trainees and students of national schools of administration do not receive a traineeship grant. Compulsory trainees receive the travel allowance, the accident insurance coverage and a canteen card. 

How to Apply?

Applications are submitted through the following link.

For more information please check the FAQ section or the official web page.