The European Parliament, the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union each have an interpretation service, but the selection of freelance interpreters is carried out jointly.
Freelance interpreters routinely work alongside staff interpreters in the interpreting services of the European Parliament, European Commission and Court of Justice. We mainly work in the 24 official languages of the EU, but occasionally we provide interpretation in other languages as well. For freelance interpreters, there is no nationality requirement.
To become a freelance interpreter, you need to succeed an accreditation test. You will find all relevant information on the various steps of the test cycle here. The calendar will show you upcoming accreditation tests for your language.
You need one of the following:
- BA in Conference Interpretation (4 years)
- MA in Conference Interpretation
- BA in any subject and
a Post-graduate diploma in Conference Interpretation of at least one academic year of full-time study
at least one year of professional experience (documented evidence of at least 100 days worked) as a conference interpreter at the level required for international meetings (experience as a court interpreter, liaison interpreter, public service interpreter or company interpreter does not count).
- Have a language combination that is in line with the required accreditation profiles. Check the current language profiles required by the EU interpreting services. These are subject to change, to reflect prevailing recruitment needs.
- Have not failed an accreditation test three times (failure to attend without a justified reason counts as a fail). Except if the interest of the services so requires, before a fourth (and each subsequent) application can be accepted, a waiting period of five test years shall apply.
If your application is considered eligible, you will be invited to take the accreditation test.
The accreditation test involves the following for each of the tested languages:
- Consecutive interpretation of a speech (± 6 minutes)
- Simultaneous interpretation of a speech (10-12 minutes)
You will be tested from your passive languages into your active language and/or retour; the Screening Committee will choose the tested languages from your declared language combination, in compliance with the language profiles required for accreditation needs. In the 2022-2023 test year, both consecutive and simultaneous tests will take place in remote, via a remote testing platform.
You will first be invited to record the simultaneous performances for all the tested languages; only if you are successful in the simultaneous part will you then be invited to sit the consecutive test(s).
An Inter-institutional Selection Board will evaluate your performances on the basis of the marking criteria. You will be receiving the result in writing including an indication of the level of your performance on each of the marking criteria.