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European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)

  • NGO sector / Charity
  • Brussels (Belgium)

What We Do

The European Citizen Action Service is an international Brussels-based non-profit organization with a pan-European membership & 24 years of experience. What We Do:

  1. We give free legal advice to citizens and businesses on EU issues through Your Europe Advice.
  2. We help citizens to resolve problems with free movement in the EU through the EU Rights Clinic.
  3. We provide free assistance to European Citizen Initiative organizers via the ECI Support Center.
  4. We help EU citizens engage with EU policy-making using digital democracy tools.
  5. Our Knowledge Center helps EU citizens find relevant information about internal EU Migration and the European Citizens’ Initiative.
  6. We provide in-depth guidance to available EU funding for civil society initiatives.
  7. Our Triple A initiative informs, advises and helps citizens in South Eastern Europe to enforce their citizen rights.
  8. We support participatory democracy beyond the EU.
  9. ECAS provides on-demand tailor-made advice, training and support to civil society organizations.
  10. We cooperate with civil society organizations to increase citizens impact on EU policies.

Our Vision & Mission

Our mission is to empower citizens to exercise their rights and promote open & inclusive decision-making through high quality advice, research & advocacy, as well as capacity building to civil society organisations. We aspire to be the EU Resource Centre on citizens’ rights, campaigning for an inclusive, transparent & democratic EU, where the benefits of EU citizenship can be fully tapped.

Our Values

  • Non-partisanship: Free from affiliation with any political party.
  • Professionalism: Striving for excellence in all aspects of our work.
  • Empowerment: Enabling citizens to understand and utilize their rights.
  • Inclusiveness: Ensuring that all EU citizens can fully enjoy their rights.
  • Innovation: Applying unique and modern solutions.

Our commitments to quality internships

1. Remuneration

  • Remunerate a) graduates at least 100% of the Intern Subsistence Index; and b) students at least 60% of the Intern Subsistence Index.

2. Offer & contract

  • Offer a duly signed contract/written agreement respecting national labour legislation.
  • Write in the internship offer a clear description of tasks corresponding to what the intern will actually do (tasks can be revised in accordance with the intern).
  • Limit the normal internship duration to a maximum of 6 months, except for cases in which the university has designed a specific internship programme not exceeding a year.

3. Learning content

  • State the skills that the intern will be able to acquire before the start of the internship (in the offer, contract or job interview).
  • Limit the assignment of menial tasks to a maximum of 1/4 of working time.
  • Make sure the intern has, or is provided with (informal training), the necessary know-how to carry out his tasks.
  • Provide formal training to increase interns’ professional skills through workshops/modules (e.g. software, tools, soft skills, sector knowledge).
  • Assign challenging tasks with a high degree of responsibilty (e.g. in charge of outputs with substantial visibility or impact).

4. Supervision

  • Assign a supervisor to each intern, with a ratio not exceeding 3 interns to 1 supervisor.
  • Organise an introductory meeting with the intern to discuss mutual expectations, as well as learning and professional objectives of the internship.
  • Organise regular sessions at least once a week where the supervisor track the intern’s progression, give feedback or provide support.
  • Structure the interns’ tasks within a work plan & a timeline (which can be revised with the intern) more important actually (may be advanced or more points)?
  • Appropriately prepare the supervisor to his task as supervisor, so that his feedback and guidance can maximise the intern’s learning curve.

5. Organisational culture & Work environment

  • Give interns a proper induction to their new work place: e.g. introducing interns to their colleagues, explain the organisation’s objectives and values, a tour of the facility.
  • Acknowledge and value intern's inputs and achievements (e.g. public acknowledgement, name on publication, bonuses etc.).
  • Provide each intern with an appropriate working station (desk, computer, software, etc.).
  • Make the intern feel full part of the team (include him in team building activities and celebrations).

6. Career Development & Employment

  • Maintain a maximum intern-employee ratio of 1:1 (for companies with up to 7 employees), and a maximum intern-employee ratio of 1:3 (for companies with more than 7 employees).
  • Provide the intern with a reference letter detailing the work undertaken/completed, the skills and experience acquired.
  • Organise one or more meetings between the intern and the management of the organisation to discuss his future career prospects and potential support.
  • Develop the intern’s own network by fostering his active participation in meetings, interactions and projects with clients & partners, as well as networking events (e.g. conference and seminars).