International parliamentary internship – IPS (Internationales Parlaments-Stipendium)
The German Bundestag, in cooperation with the Humboldt University of Berlin, has been implementing the International Parliamentary Scholarship programme (Internationales Parlaments-Stipendium, IPS) since 1986 by annually offering internship opportunities to approximately 120 students from all around the world. Twenty-eight countries participate in the programme, including several countries that offer internship opportunities for German students in their own parliaments. Latvian students have had the opportunity to do internship at the German Parliament since 1992.
The goal of the International Parliamentary Scholarship is to strengthen partnership and cooperation between Germany and countries represented by participants of the programme. The Scholarship is aimed at highly qualified, energetic and open youths who are interested in politics and who desire actively and with a great sense of responsibility to shape the political future of their country. The German Bundestag offers a 15-week placement at an office of a member of the Bundestag and thus provides an opportunity to get acquainted with the parliamentary system and political decision making in Germany, as well as to acquire practical experience in parliamentary work. In order to apply for the Scholarship, follow the updates on the website of the Embassy of Germany in the Republic of Latvia. More information on the IPS programme is available on the website of the Bundestag.
The International Parliamentary Scholarship programme provides graduates of Latvian universities with the opportunity to learn more about the work of the German Bundestag and public life in Germany by taking part in the work of MPs’ offices. The rules of the German Parliament require Latvian applicants for the International Parliamentary Scholarship to be Latvian citizens under the age of 30, have a good command of the German language, and hold a university degree.
EU member states are interested in creating exchange programmes that enable students to learn about the political experience of other countries and expand their language skills. Since 2010, the Saeima has been offering a counterpart programme for German students who wish to gain an insight into the work of the Latvian Parliament. This programme gives an opportunity for German youths to learn about the democratic and parliamentary experience in Latvia, and it promotes the visibility of Latvia and its politics in Germany.
In 2019, the programme was implemented for the eighth time, and from 29 August to 27 September 2019, students from Germany Anna Steinmeier and Maria Beilmann completed an internship in the Saeima. The two students learned about the work of the Saeima MPs under the guidance of Marija Golubeva, Deputy Secretary of the Saeima and a member of the Group for promoting cooperation with the Parliament of Germany, and Linda Ozola, also a member of the said Group. In addition to the internship at the Saeima, the students attended lectures at the University of Latvia. To promote the German students’ engagement in committee and parliamentary group meetings, two student interns from Ventspils University of Applied Sciences, Ilze Donova and Rolands Moļņiks, provided interpreting services in Latvian and German during the meetings.
The Presidium of the Saeima supported the proposal of the Group for promoting cooperation with the Parliament of Germany to organise a similar internship in the Saeima in September 2020. Due to the spread of Covid-19, a decision was made to cancel the 2020 internship. The same decision was also made by the German Bundestag.