The European Parliament has offered some support to young people as they fight for fair access to paid, quality internships. Many individual MEPs are enthusiastic defenders of youth employment rights. But progress is slow, and MEPs will need to make the issue a real priority for the rest of their mandate. We also deplore the fact that many MEPs still take unpaid interns in their offices.

Internships across Europe – progress is slow

The current EP mandate began with hope and disappointment. The Council had recently signed a Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships, encouraging member states to improve the standard of internships.

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Internships in EU institutions – time for real change

Positive statements from the European Parliament risk looking like hypocrisy if MEPs cannot get their own house in order.A recent survey by the European Parliament Youth Intergroup revealed that 1 in 3 interns in MEP offices is paid less than €600, while 1 in 10 is not paid at all.

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Standout MEPS

Terry Reintke
Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

As one of the co-chairs of the European Parliament Youth Intergroup, Terry Reintke has been a constant supporter of the fight for fair access to paid, quality internships – both inside the Parliament and across Europe. She has regularly worked with grass-roots campaigns, sponsored Parliamentary Questions and raised the issue with fellow policymakers and in the media.