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European Parliament Youth Intergroup launches a Manifesto for Fair Internships

07. 03. 2017

On March 1, the Youth Intergroup revealed the results of a survey on the European Parliament (EP) interns. While too many EP interns are still unpaid, eight MEPs signed the Fair Internships Manifesto. The European Youth Forum strongly supports this Manifesto that serves as a pledge to improve the situation of European Parliament interns.

MEPs Terry Reintke and Eva Paunova welcomed the crowd with opening statements, and Youth Forum board member Zuzana Vaneckova shared her own experience of having a low- quality, unpaid internship. Wout Van Caimere, Coordinator of the Youth Intergroup, then revealed the results of EP Interns that was conducted by the Youth Intergroup. One in ten internships within the parliament are still unpaid, and one in four interns are paid under €600. Wout Van Caimere also noted that in reality these numbers are probably higher, because interns with precarious working conditions and shorter contracts are more difficult to reach.

The Youth Intergroup launched the #Fairinternships campaign to bring attention to and eventually ban unpaid internships in the EU. This event came after the Global Intern Strike, that brought together hundreds of young people calling for fair working conditions. The EEAS recommendation announced last month, currently calls on Member States to ensure quality traineeships for young people to help ease their transition into the labour market.

The Youth Forum is pleased to note that MEPs Terry Reintke, Brando Benifei, Tomáš Zdechovský, Ulrike Lunacek, Evelyn Regner, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Josef Weidenholzer and Karoline Graswander-Hainz already signed the Manifesto, and will work together with the Youth Intergroup to call on more MEPs to sign it as well.

The manifesto calls for internships to be paid, last 6-12 months, have a contract, a learning agreement, and a new category of visiting trainee for a maximum of one month.

For more information on European Youth Forum’s work for quality internships, check out the European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships.

For tools on how to create quality internships within your business or organisation, refer to The Employers Guide to Quality Internships and the Self Assessment Tool for Quality Internships and Apprenticeships.