Confidentiality is a tricky business. Practically everything I see at work is restricted, limited or confidential, so I'm not entitled to say much about work. Suddenly I feel like 007... But, my duty as a friend and an entertainer on A Life Through New Eyes Online is to open the curtains a little to the magic wonderland of the European Union.
I am doing my internship at the Finnish representation to the European Union. Our job there is to protect Finland's interests and to report back about what is happening on the international scene. In practise, I am usually seen at the European Council, where all the 27 member states have national representatives. It is a massive forum where views are exchanged and a unified voice of Europe is formed. It is one of EU's three main institutions. The Commission is the executive body. It is the official representative of the EU, present at all our meetings at the Council. The Parliament is the only institution where the members are directly elected through national elections. In the parliament they don't represent the countries but rather the different political parties. The parliament is the legislative brach of the EU. Believe me, this picture has cleared up tremendously while being here.
My job in specific is to attend the meetings of the Political and Security Committee and different working groups, mainly the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management and the Political-Military Group. Security issues, that's why everything is so confidential. We discuss past, present and potential crises in basically the entire world, focusing on countries where the EU is active, like Kosovo, Georgia, Afghanistan, Sahel, Libya, the Middle-East... What you read about in the news, that will be on our agenda.
The work is very hectic and if truly engaged, the hours of a day are not enough for everything. The pace can be exhausting and the days can be long. Still, it's very thrilling. The first days I was just shining with happiness when I was sitting as the only representative in the Finnish seat (sidenote, we don't have flags to indicate nationality. We have signs, ours saying "Suomi, Finland").
This is the big scene. This is the heart of Europe. This is the place where our decisions affect the lives of thousands of people around the world. What a power rush. More than anything, this is an even more valuable experience than I could have thought. Before I had a very vague conception of what this big "machine" did. Now, besides from knowing how things are done, I also understand better why they are done the way they are. I know who people are (Catherine Ashton is a person I refer to regularly nowdays). No matter what I will work with in the future, this acquired knowledge will serve me well.
All in all, I am very happy with my job. A valuable experience combined with living in Brussels, no complaints here. This is the reason why I am here. It doesn't matter that I have graduated. I had this opportunity and I took it. I was actually following my heart instead of the loud-voiced logic. How refreshing! Might do that again!