Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Rules regarding MEP's trainees

So, as I have mentioned, I am now working as a trainee in the office of a Portuguese MEP. This is a different kind of traineeship from the Schuman traineeships that occur every 5 months at the European Parliament and to which I wouldn't be able to apply because I have preciously done the EC one. These are traineeships arranged by the MEPs that are interested in having them at their office and although there are some general rules that the EP imposes for them, all the rest can be done at the discretion of the said MEP (how to publish the vacancies, the selection procedure, how many trainees to have at each time, etc). As for the salary, each MEP has the liberty to determine how much they will pay to the trainees. In fact, each MEP has a monthly allowance they can use for the administration costs of their cabinets, which includes the salaries to be paid to their assistants and trainees. From that amount, they decide how much they want to pay to a trainee, although there's a maximum amount they cannot overcome. As for the general rules for this type of traineeship, here they are.

Trainees must:
  • be aged at least 18;
  • have signed a traineeship agreement with a Member;
  • not be party to an employment contract or any other contractual relationship with an institution of the European Union during their traineeships; traineeships may be undertaken during an employment contract only if they form a statutory part of a vocational education course;
  • not have previously acted as parliamentary assistants to a Member;
  • be in possession of a valid permit to stay in the European Union for the duration of the traineeship if they are not citizens of the Union.
Specifically agreed arrangements for a traineeship are set out in a written traineeship agreement, signed by the Member and the trainee.
Expenses incurred in relation to traineeships, including scholarship and any expenditure on insurance, may be reimbursed within the limits of the amount allowed for defrayal of parliamentary assistance expenses, in accordance with Article 33(4) of the Implementing Measures for the Statute for Members of the European Parliament. The net amount of the scholarship cannot exceed the basic net salary of an accredited assistant (grade 1). Compensation to cover travel and mission costs may not be reimbursed above the limits applicable to accredited assistants.

Trainees must provide proof that they hold accident and sickness insurance cover. Such proof may be provided by way of declaration. Should a trainee not be covered against these risks, the Member must have him or her insured in accordance with the relevant national law. At the Member's request, the European Parliament shall cover the costs of accident insurance, which shall then be deducted from the Member's parliamentary assistance allowance.

For traineeships undertaken on Parliament's premises in Brussels or in the Member's Member State of election, the duration of a traineeship shall be limited to six consecutive months, renewable twice. The second renewal may be granted for duly justified reasons only. For non-continuous traineeships for Strasbourg part-sessions, the duration of the traineeship shall be one year, renewable once.

A traineeship may be interrupted either at the trainee's request or by decision of the Member to whom he or she is attached.

So, this kind of traineeship can be a good sollution to extend your stay in Brussels after your EC or EP traineeship. It can also be a good bridge to become a MEP assistant afterwards. You can try to contact a MEP from your Member State (or another that works in issues related to your field of work) and see if they are hiring someone for their cabinet. Some others publish their traineeship vacancies next to the relevant organizations of their Member States (universities, for instance) and have an open competition to receive the CVs of the interested candidates and then interview the ones they like and choose them like this (that was my case). Although a temporary job, it's yet another good opportunity to know more about the Eurobubble, work in issues from a different perspective than the EC one, learn more and gain more contacts. At this time, with the European ellections approaching and new MEPs about to start their mandate, this can be an interesting thing to apply to!

1 comment:

  1. Muito interessante, é sempre um prazer acompanhar o teu blog!
    Mandei-te um mail com mais umas perguntas, quando puderes dá uma vista de olhos ;)
    Filipa Oliveira