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Traineeships 2023 - Case-handling - Help build a more effective, accountable, transparent and ethical administration in the EU - OMB/T/2023/3

The European Ombudsman is an independent and impartial body that works to promote good administration at EU level. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration by EU institutions and bodies, and also proactively looks into broader systemic issues.

Our guiding principles are accountability, transparency, and trust.

Equal opportunities

The European Ombudsman is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from anybody who meets the eligibility criteria and required qualifications. We will try to accommodate the needs of applicants with disabilities.

1. 2023 traineeships

We invite you to apply for a traineeship starting on 1 September 2023. We offer paid traineeships of one year, subject to a positive assessment of the trainee’s performance.

For the case-handling profile, the Ombudsman is offering up to five traineeships.

2. Eligibility criteria and required qualifications

Candidates should be nationals of a Member State of the European Union or of an accession/candidate country.

Candidates should not have benefitted, for more than eight consecutive weeks or two full months, from a previous paid traineeship or work contract in a European institution, body, agency, office, service, delegation, representation, including the office of a Member of the European Parliament or of a European political group.

They should have a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the EU and a very good knowledge of another. The main working language of the Ombudsman’s Office is English and therefore a very good knowledge of English is required.

Candidates applying for traineeships in our inquiries and case handling directorate should have a degree or diploma of at least 3 years in either law, political science, European studies, or European public administration.

3. Selection criteria

Candidates applying should have:

  • very good understanding of the role of the European Ombudsman;
  • very good understanding of the EU institutions and policies, as well as of EU administrative law;
  • very good drafting skills in English;
  • knowledge of other official languages of the European Union (besides L1 and EN);
  • analytical and research skills.

Additionally, being familiar with any of the following areas would be an advantage:

  • transparency and public access to documents;
  • ethical principles, conflicts of interests and regulatory issues;
  • human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • contracts and public tenders;
  • recruitment and staff issues, including whistleblowing.

4. Responsibilities and tasks

As a trainee in case handling, you will:

  • Provide support in the investigation of complaints against EU institutions and bodies concerning issues relevant to EU administration, including research and drafting of decisions and preparatory notes;
  • Monitor EU policy developments and carry out research relevant to the Ombudsman’s activities;
  • Replying to  information requests from members of the public;
  • Participate in meetings with EU institutions and bodies and draft minutes of meetings;
  • Handling of “out-of-mandate” complaints;
  • Provide practical support in meetings and other events organised by the Office.

5. Selection procedure

Applicants must submit their application in the online application system of the website of the European Ombudsman.

Applications should include the following documents:

  • a completed online application form;
  • an English language version of the applicant's curriculum vitae;
  • a one-page cover letter in English explaining the reasons and the motivation for applying for the traineeship; and
  • copies of the applicant’s diplomas, degrees, or certificates (copies do not need to be certified or translated).

The provision of information requested when applying online, and of the supporting documents, is obligatory. Incomplete applications will automatically be excluded from the registration system.

!!!Your application does not have to include a reference letter.

Please be aware that there is no requirement for a reference letter despite the online application tool showing a field for a reference letter.

Following the assessment of the applications and their supporting documents, longlisted applicants will be invited to take a written test.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview on the phone or through a video-calling tool.

In case an applicant with a disability is selected, they will be provided, if needed, with reasonable accommodation at work to enable them to carry out their tasks.

The Ombudsman’s Office will inform applicants of their results at each step of the selection procedure. The final results will be communicated to the selected candidates on 30 June 2023, at the latest.

6. Place of work

Brussels or Strasbourg

7. Deadline for applications

You must submit your application through the online application system on the Ombudsman’s website by 24 March 2023 (13:00 Brussels time) at the very latest.

Please, avoid waiting until the last minute to send your application. Carefully read the rules and prepare the required scanned documents in advance, before starting the registration process.

For general information on traineeships, their aim, duration and monthly grants see the Decision of the European Ombudsman concerning traineeships.

For general information on the processing of your personal data see the Privacy Statement relating to the selection of trainees within the European Ombudsman’s Office .