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Parliamentary questions
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26 April 2018
Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-000030/2018

There are five misconceptions that need to be corrected:

The majority of atypical trainees have a different profile to that of the paid Blue Book trainees. They are mostly students undertaking a traineeship as required by their studies or persons in vocational training.
They are not recruited under the CEOS(1).
The Commission does not pay them because these traineeships are offered primarily in their interest and not in that of the departments which host them. However, some trainees receive remuneration or a grant from their home institution.
The duration of the traineeships varies: from a few weeks (sometimes even a few days) to several months.
The number of trainees changes over time, with a peak in June and a dip in January.

Attached is information from the Commission on the number of trainees present on three dates over the last five years(2). While the number varies, it is not increasing.

The number of atypical trainees at the Directorate-General for Communication only appears to be high: this figure must be divided by the number of Commission Representations that host these trainees in all EU Member States. The high number of trainees at DG Competition reflects the great interest which this DG generates among students and trainee lawyers (who are often paid by their home institution).

The Commission believes that giving young people the opportunity to undertake a traineeship is a good practice which opens up access to the world of work.

Several DGs (including DG Competition) have drawn up a framework to ensure the transparency of this process. The Commission is examining whether to draw up a single reference framework.

See annex : Annex

(1)Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union.
(2)These statistics are produced manually (and may therefore contain inaccuracies), as the Commission’s computer reporting system is not designed to monitor such a specific population.

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