European Council Offers Paid Traineeships for Persons with Disabilities

European Council Offers Paid Traineeships for Persons with Disabilities

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About the programme

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and the European Council has announced the Positive Action Programme for trainees with a disability.

This programme offers up to six paid traineeships per year to EU nationals with a recognized disability. The initiative is the result of the Council’s committment to promoting diversity and inclusion in its workforce.

The traineeships are offered twice a year, with each traineeship lasting five months. The first period runs from 16 February to 15 July, while the second period runs from 1 September to 31 January. Candidates with a disability are welcome to apply simultaneously for other types of traineeships if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.

As soon as trainees are selected, the Council provides personalized support to ensure that they have all the necessary:

  • Software,
  • Hardware, or
  • Ergonomic equipment from the start of their traineeship.
  • Other reasonable accommodation such as accessible parking, a personal assistant to navigate the building, text-to-speech and speech-to-text software, braille display, and ergonomic support.

Between 2020 and 2022, 13 trainees with physical, mental, intellectual, and sensory impairments worked in 10 different teams at the Council. They were welcomed and supported by their colleagues and supervisors. Lisa, one of the trainees, said, “Everybody at the Council has been incredibly kind, warm and welcoming. I think as a next step it would be important to normalize people with disabilities working at the Council, both as trainees and as members of staff.”

This initiative was recently awarded the European Ombudsman Award for excellence in public administration in the category ‘Excellence in diversity and inclusion’.

How to apply

Candidates who wish to apply for the Positive Action Programme for trainees with a disability must upload a proof of their disability during registration. The proof can be an official document from a national authority or any accredited body confirming the disability, or a certificate issued by a medical doctor less than six months ago.

If you are interested in applying for the Positive Action Programme for trainees with a disability, please visit the Council of the European Union’s website for more information. You can also contact the traineeships office by telephone at +32 22813677 or by email at

Application instructions

Description of traineeship tasks

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