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Vijftigste verjaardag van het traineeprogramma van de Europese Commissie (en)

Met dank overgenomen van Directoraat-generaal Onderwijs, jeugd, sport en cultuur (EAC), gepubliceerd op woensdag 20 oktober 2010.

What do King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Mario Monti, Silvana Koch-Mehrin and Barack Obama's economics advisor Michael Froman all have in common? They were all once trainees at the European Commission. More than 40 000 young university graduates have participated in the Commission's traineeship programme since its launch in 1960. It is the longest running traineeship programme of its kind and the biggest in the world in terms of the numbers annually recruited.

The trainees, or "stagiaires" as they are more commonly known, work with the Commission's full-time officials on a wide range of tasks for a five-month period. Some have gone on to become European Commissioners and MEPs, while others became kings and even journalists. The Commission is hosting a conference in Brussels today to mark the 50th anniversary of the traineeship programme, also known as "Le Stage".

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: ''Over the years, the trainees have contributed enormously to the Commission with their dynamism and knowledge. For many, this experience has been an pivotal step in their future careers and in a lifelong commitment to the European Union.''

In 1960, the first year of the programme, there were three trainees. By 1983 this figure had risen to 500 and it has now reached around 1200. In the 50 years of the programme's existence, Italy has provided the highest number of trainees (almost 4500) and Malta the least (around 50). Almost 3500 trainees came from non-EU countries. During the past ten years female trainees have outnumbered their male counterparts by 70% to 30%. In 2009, the average age of a trainee was 26, the average number of languages they could speak was more than four and the average number of diplomas was almost two per trainee.

Ten former Commission trainees

  • Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Prince Felipe of Spain, heir to the Spanish throne
  • Michael Froman, Deputy Assistant to US President Barack Obama and Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs
  • Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Vice-President of the European Parliament and chair of the German Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) in the European Parliament
  • Manuel Marin, former Vice President of the Commission and now Vice President at the European Parliament
  • King Mohammed VI of Morocco
  • Mario Monti, former European Commissioner responsible for the Internal Market and for Competition
  • Christine Ockrent, Belgian journalist, former chief of the l'Express editorial office, TV presenter for France 2 and France 3
  • Odile Quintin, former Director General for Education and Culture at the European Commission
  • Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

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