Unpaid internship | What the European Parliament decided


Did you know about the new decision made by the European Parliament regarding unpaid internship?

As we know, in fact, internships are often used by companies as a tool for young people approaching the world of work for the first time.

They can be an enriching experience, both professionally and personally. Unfortunately, there are many occasions when this contract does not provide for a salary and in many cases the internship period is also 6 months.

This type of contract is not sustainable for many young people who do not have the opportunity to pay for their expenses. The European Parliament has therefore expressed its opinion on the matter, introducing some changes.

The decisions of the European Parliament

The votes in the European Parliament were preceded by a campaign to collect signatures, which received more than 8400 signatures.

On 14 June 2023 finally the European Parliament officially voted to ban unpaid internships. Members of Parliament met and expressed their views on the subject.

It emerged that a large majority of voting participants considered this type of contract unsustainable for young Europeans.

The votes ended with:

  • 404 votes in favour
  • 78 against
  • 130 abstentions

From the European Youth Forum’s study on “The Costs of Unpaid Internships” it emerged that on average young people with an unpaid internship contract spend 1000 euros per month to support themself. On average this type of work contract lasts 6 months, bringing the expenses of young trainees to 6000€. The researchers expect the figure to be even higher in 2023, due to the cost of living crisis in Europe.


It is clear from these studies that it is not possible for young people to work without a salary, especially for long periods, such as 6-month contracts.

If you want to know more about this topic, we recommend reading this article, in which you can find information and specific data and some alternatives to this type of work contract.

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