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President Tajani, take action for fair internships now!

03. 05. 2018

On the 3rd May the European Youth Forum joined MEPs of the Youth Intergroup to raise awareness of the situation of interns in the European Parliament.

Youth forum at the European Parliament

According to a survey carried out by the Youth Intergroup, one-quarter of interns working for MEPs and political groups in the European Parliament, are paid less than €600 a month and 8% of them are unpaid. In addition, only 22% of the interns surveyed said that they had written learning objectives.

The Youth Intergroup launched their #Fairinternships campaign to bring attention to and eventually ban unpaid internships in the EU. They also published a ‘Manifesto for Fair Internships’ calling for quality internships for all young people and for the EU institutions to take action. So far, 140 MEPs have signed the Manifesto and showed their support for the campaign.

The Manifesto was sent to President Tajani in June last year and despite promising to address the issue, he has still taken no concrete measures to ensure fair internships for young people. The European Youth Forum and the Youth Intergroup call for better quality opportunities for all interns. We need to ensure that internships are truly a learning experience and that fair remuneration is provided, in line with our European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships.

The time to act is now: unpaid internships must be banned before the end of the Parliament’s mandate. the European Parliament, as all EU institutions, should lead by example and ensure young people are not taken advantage of as cheap labour. Last year, the European Ombudsman called on the European External Action Service (EEAS) to pay their interns in its delegations.The European External Action Service followed the recommendation from the European Ombudsman and the demand of interns and youth organisation and decided to start paying all their interns from 2018. We believe it is time for all institutions to ban unpaid, low quality internships once and for all.

A strong position from EU institutions would be an important step towards ensuring quality and fair opportunities for young people.