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Top Tips for Junior Professional in an EU delegation

by Minoas Vitalis
Reading Time: 6 minutes

The European Union offers many opportunities for young professionals looking to get their start in diplomacy and international relations. One way to do this is by becoming a Junior Professional in an EU Delegation. You can do that by applying for the Junior Professionals in Delegation Programme (JPD), a programme envisioned by the European External Action Service and the European Commission. The programme can last for up to 2 years. Initially, you will be offered, if you are successful, a traineeship agreement of a fixed term of twelve months, which can be renewed for another twelve months.

The Junior Professionals in Delegation Programme is a highly competitive entry program that provides young professionals with an opportunity to work in EU Delegations around the world. If you are selected for the program, you will be placed in a position that is suited to your qualifications and skills. In the 2021-2023 selection round, more than 80 young professionals were recruited. Usually, 2 candidates from each member state are recruited but more positions can be financed by voluntary member state contributions.

As a Junior Professional, you will play a vital role in the work of the Delegation, assisting with the day-to-day running of the office and supporting the work of the Ambassador and other members of staff. You will also have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in diplomatic work and international relations.

If you are interested in becoming a Junior Professional in an EU Delegation, here are some top tips to help you get started:

  1. Get a degree in political science, international relations or a related field. Your field of studies should be as related as possible to the tasks you want to do in your career.
  2. Learn as much as you can about the European Union and its institutions. The more you know about the EU, the better your chances of impressing potential employers during the recruitment process.
  3. Learn one or more of the EU’s official languages. You should at least know English or/and French to start with, as it is one of the eligibility requirements for the JPP. If you can demonstrate that you have strong language skills, you’ll be ahead of the competition.
  4. Gain some work experience, preferably in an international or governmental organisation. It is also advantageous if you have participated in volunteering activities in the past or University societies or have published articles or papers related to the work you want to do in one of the Delegations.
  5. Consider doing an internship in an EU institution. An internship is a great way to gain first-hand experience of working in an EU organisation and can also help you make valuable professional connections.
  6. You need to meet the eligibility criteria. You must be a citizen of an EU Member State, and you must have a Master’s degree.
  7. You also in general need to be at the start of your career. The Junior Professionals in Delegation programme is a highly competitive career opportunity that allows young professionals to work in EU Delegations across the world. If you are chosen for the programme, you will be assigned to an assignment that is appropriate for your education and expertise.

How can you apply?

Member states are responsible for the pre-selection process. It is important to check with the relevant authorities in your home country for more information as to what documents are needed to apply. The European External Action Service and the European Commission are responsible for the final selection. Do not forget to check their website for the most accurate information at any given time.

To begin the process, you will need to submit an online application form addressed to the competent authorities in your EU member state. In the application, you will have to describe your academic achievements, language knowledge, motivation, and professional experience. You will be asked to provide 3 preferences as to where in the world you would like to be assigned in. Lastly, you will be asked in which function of an EU delegation you would like to work at. There are two functions. The first one is the political, press, and information function and the second one is the aid management, trade, and economic issues function. Do not forget to submit your application directly to the authorities of your country as spontaneous applications to the Commission or the European External Action Service are disregarded.

Once you have submitted your application, the relevant authorities in your member state will assess your eligibility and suitability for the programme. They will then put forward a list of shortlisted candidates to the European External Action Service and the European Commission. If you’re through to the next stage, congratulations.

After the initial phase, the Commission and the European External Action Service will carry out selection panels and a matching process to ascertain who goes where. They will first create a list of preferred EU Delegations around the world in which they are going to allocate the Junior Professionals. After that, the matching process begins which is based on 3 criteria. The first and most important criterion is the priorities of the European Commission and the External Action Service. The second one are the experiences and preferences the candidates describe in their application form. Last but not least, the ability of EU Delegations to provide training are ascertained.

Where does the traineeship take place?

During the traineeship, successful candidates will be placed in one of the EU’s 143 Delegations around the world.  The list of Delegations can be found on the European External Action Service website. What is almost certain is that you will end up working in a country you have not been to before.

The specific location, though, of the traineeship will be confirmed upon successful completion of the selection process. Please note that it may not be possible to accommodate requests for a specific location.

What are the working conditions like?

Working conditions in the Delegations vary depending on the country in which they are located. However, all Delegations offer a creative and challenging work environment, with good prospects for career development.

Junior Professionals are typically exposed to a variety of tasks, including report writing, research, analysis, and project management. They also have the opportunity to attend high-level meetings and conferences, as well as to interact with a range of international organisations.

The work can be challenging and demanding, but it is also stimulating and offers good opportunities for professional development. Junior Professionals are expected to work independently and to take initiative in their work.

In general, Junior Professionals can expect to work a 38-hour week, although this may vary depending on the specific needs of the Delegation.  Your tasks will depend  on the position you are assigned to, but may include:

  • Providing administrative support to the Delegation
  • Preparing reports and correspondence
  • Organising events and meetings
  • Carrying out research on issues of interest to the Delegation
  • Liaising with local contacts etc.

What are the benefits?

As a Junior Professional, you will receive a monthly salary and allowances which are determined by the country in which you will be working. In addition, you will be provided with accommodation contributions and contributions to cover your insurance. You will also be reimbursed for your travel expenses to and from your place of residence up to a certain amount.

According to the information available at this time, you will get a grant of 1.458 euros each month. You will also receive an accommodation contribution set at 1.112 euros. Lastly, you will also receive a hardship contribution, the amount of which depends on where you are deployed in the world.

In addition to the financial benefits, you will also have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in an international environment. You will also have the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge, and to network with other young professionals from around the world. You will, in addition, deepen your understanding of the work of the European Union, gain valuable work experience, and will learn about other cultures.


So, you want to become a Junior Professional in an EU delegation? Great choice! Working in an EU delegation can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience. With that said, it’s not always easy to land a job in an EU delegation. In this article, we’ve compiled some top tips to help you increase your chances of becoming a Junior Professional in an EU delegation. By following these tips, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success and are well on your way to becoming a Junior Professional in an EU delegation. Just remember to stay positive, work hard ,and be prepared for anything! Good luck!

Minoas graduated with a Merit upon studying the full-time MPA Public Administration – International Development degree (MPA-ID) at the University of York. He is currently working as a freelance EU affairs consultant in Belgium.
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