Competition & State Aid, Internal Market & Legal Trainees 2020/21

Launch your career in the heart of Europe

For 2020/2021, six talented candidates will be invited to join the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) trainee programme for 11 months from September 2020 to July 2021. The traineeship provides young professionals and recent graduates from the EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) a unique opportunity to experience and participate in the work of the Authority and the inner workings of the EEA Agreement.

About ESA

ESA monitors compliance with the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, enabling those States to participate in the Internal Market of the European Union.

ESA is an international organisation, independent of the States, which safeguards the rights of individuals and undertakings under the EEA Agreement, ensuring free movement, fair competition and control of state aid. ESA's work helps remove barriers to trade and open up new opportunities to over 450 million Europeans, creating jobs and growth and adding to the international competitiveness of the States.

Based in Brussels, ESA currently employs 66 established staff members of 18 different nationalities.  ESA is led by a College consisting of three members, each appointed for a period of four years by the three participating EFTA States.

Deadline for applications
Job Reference

Role Description

A traineeship at ESA is a great way to kick-start your career. Whether you are pursuing a career in the public or the private sector, at home or internationally, the experience will prove beneficial. Trainees take part in the daily work of the different departments. They gain valuable work experience by assisting case handlers with the ongoing activities of ESA, get hands-on knowledge of the functioning of the EEA Agreement and have the opportunity to live and work in a thriving multicultural environment.

We are looking for engaged young professionals or recent graduates from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, who have completed or who will complete their degree in law by 1 September 2020.  Strong academic results and an interest or specialisation in EEA/EU affairs are required, as is an excellent command of English, the working language of the Authority. Extracurricular activities and community involvement are rated positively.

Five trainees are selected to work in either the Competition and State Aid (CSA), the Internal Market Affairs (IMA) or the Legal and Executive Affairs (LEA) Departments.

ESA will also be recruiting a Trainee to work in our Communications Team and that position has been advertised separately. 

Please click here for more information on the trainee programme.

Essential Skills

  • Applicants must be nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway
  • Applicants should be young professionals with a university degree in law or final year law students due to complete their degree prior to 1 September 2020
  • An interest or specialisation in EU/EEA matters
  • An excellent command of written and spoken English, the working language of ESA 
  • We are looking for people who are engaged, proactive and independent, whilst at the same time being strong team players
  • You should be accurate, well organised and proactive in your work

Other information

The traineeship at the Authority is a paid position and trainees receive: 

  • A monthly allowance of €1630
  • Free, furnished and private accommodation in Brussels
  • Utility and internet costs covered by ESA, and mobile phone provided
  • Health, life and invalidity and travel insurance cover
  • Reimbursement of travel costs upon taking up and leaving the traineeship
  • An allowance for language training costs

For more information about the Authority and the traineeship programme, visit:

In the interests of ensuring that trainee positions are open to as wide a group of individuals as possible, current and former trainees of the EFTA Secretariat will not be eligible to apply for ESA trainee positions.  Current and former trainees of the EFTA Court will, however, be eligible to apply in light of the short-term nature of traineeships in the Court as compared with those in the Secretariat. 

Application procedure:

Only nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are eligible to apply. 

Further questions regarding the traineeship programme may, in the first instance, be addressed to Kathryn Bryan, Head of HR:  or +32 (0)2 286 18 32.   

Deadline for applications: 1 March 2020 (midnight CET)            Start Date: 1 September 2020

Interviews will be held in March/April 2020 by telephone or Skype and the selection process will be finalised by the end of April 2020.

Share this:

Other EEA Institutions