Join us as a trainee and help defend human rights in Europe!

Twice per year we welcome young graduates into our organisation as trainees. For them it is a chance to gain valuable experience in a complex multi-cultural and stimulating work environment. As an Organisation, we benefit from the enthusiasm, motivation and skills that new graduates bring.

Our traineeships:

  • last from eight weeks to five months and
  • can be undertaken in Strasbourg or in one of our field offices.

There are two official traineeship sessions each year (beginning in March and October – see below for details).
Only candidates applying online, through the official traineeship programme, will be eligible for a monthly allowance of 600 €.

When applying, a candidate can opt for only one Department within the Organisation. Please find out more about our different Entities here.

Who can apply?

In order to be eligible for a traineeship, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have the nationality of one of the Council of Europe member states.
  • Have a bachelor's degree or equivalent (a diploma for the first cycle of higher education as defined in the Bologna Declaration). 
    • For traineeships at the European Court of Human Rights, have a Masters 1 or equivalent (a diploma for the second cycle of higher education as defined in the Bologna Declaration).
  • Have a desire to acquire practical experience and knowledge of the functioning and activities of the Council of Europe.
  • Have a very good knowledge of one of the two Council of Europe official languages (English or French) together with good drafting ability. Good knowledge of the other official language is appreciated.

 Please note that if you already were a trainee/study visitor within the Council of Europe (either in Strasbourg or in the field) you may not undertake another traineeship in the Organisation, whatever form it may take.


The typical responsibilities given to trainees include:

  •  research work;
  •  preparation of draft reports and studies for meetings of experts;
  •  drafting of meeting reports;
  •  assistance with work in hand;
  •  committee organisation;
  •  updating websites.


We provide a comprehensive induction programme for trainees which enables them to find out about the structures, the activities and the international co-operation procedures followed by the Council of Europe, including the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Trainees may attend conferences held within the Organisation, sittings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and meetings that may take place during their stay in Strasbourg or in the field.


As of September 2020, trainees within the official traineeship programme receive a monthly allowance.

Specific measures apply to candidates who provide a certificate issued by an officially recognised body or professional to confirm the type and degree of disability or disabilities.

Among different ways to self-finance the traineeship applying for a scholarship with different international funds is suggested (for ex. Erasmus+). 

Please note that prior to applying for a scholarship you should be admitted to the traineeship programme.

In order to enable the largest number of applicants to benefit from an opportunity for a traineeship at the Council of Europe, nobody may undertake more than one traineeship in the Organisation, whatever form it may take.

How to apply

  • Use the on-line application system, ensuring that you submit by the due date. No other applications can be accepted.
  • You must have an e-mail address to set up an account.
  • Application forms must be completed only in French or English. You can complete the form over several different occasions and then submit it once finalised.

Traineeship sessions 2024

Selection notification: end June 2024

 Traineeship sessions
 Period of traineeship

October 2024

from 01/10/2024* to 28/02/2025

Applications are now closed
Deadline: 26/04/2024 (midnight CET)

Notification of decision: end of June 2024

March 2025 from 01/03/2025* to 31/07/2026  

Applications will open October 2024**



* Please note that the starting date cannot be altered

** Please note that the link to the application form will be available on this page once the applications are open. 

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Equal Opportunities

The Council of Europe welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of sex, gender, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, disability, religion or belief. Specific measures may be taken to ensure equal opportunities for applicants with disabilities.

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