An excellent command of European languages will open many doors at the EU institutions. Depending on where your competencies lie, you can apply for a post as a translator, interpreter, proofreader, or lawyer-linguist. Although most posts are obtained through an open competition process, it is possible in some instances to apply for a fixed-term contract, a freelance post or a traineeship.
The EU institutions' interpreting service is the largest in the world – its conference interpreters ensure that the discussions held at meetings are correctly interpreted into an official language of the EU, using either simultaneous or consecutive interpreting. EU interpreters work in a stimulating, multi-cultural environment, and must be able to communicate effectively, grasp varied and often complex issues, react and adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, work under pressure, independently and as part of a team.
You must have perfect command of one EU language and a thorough command of at least 2 others and an appropriate qualification in conference interpreting or a degree plus one year's professional experience as a conference interpreter (Grade AD 5), or several years’ relevant experience, to join us at a more senior level (Grade AD 7).
The selection procedure for conference interpreters focuses on your interpreting skills, as well as the core competencies required of all EU officials. Interpreting skills are assessed on the basis of simultaneous and consecutive interpreting exercises in your chosen languages. Find out more about the selection procedure on our How to apply page. You may also find our sample tests useful.
Interpreter selections are launched each year usually in the summer (June/July). Check our job opportunities to see the which languages we are looking for this year.
Freelance interpreters may also be employed to work alongside staff interpreters in meetings served by the interpreting services of the European institutions. There is no nationality requirement for freelance interpreters and all languages may be considered.
To become a freelance interpreter accredited with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice, please see Interpreting for Europe.
You can also see our Quick Guide to EU traineeships for further information on interpreter traineeships.