18:00 . To be honest I accidentally ended up here – I did not want to change the world or something. I had no intention of even going abroad since I thought life in Finland was kind of okay. But then I got an offer I became an economist at the Commission. You are right, technically I am like a messenger, since what I am doing is representing my country that is true – I get the political line from Helsinki and I interpret this to my colleagues in the EU sphere. My job entails a lot of communication : explaining to people what we want and trying to understand what they want, and communication is super difficult, especially that I need to communicate something not so easy to sell. (economics). It is also super difficult for the commission to communicate what’s going on to the outside world, or to other member states.
So far I have always refused to prepare notes before a meeting, but at the same time I find speaking in meetings quite scary. I always felt, if I’m an expert in my field then I would be able to talk about the issue that has been on my table 24/7. But what if I’m out of the situation for a minute and then I say something off topic ? It is scary to say something ‘on behalf of my country’, especially if it is the wrong thing ! I get stressed that if I raise my eyes from the paper I will basically see the other 27 member states looking at me and writing down what I say. That is scary !
So, I started preparing notes, like everyone else. I hate it but I feel I have to. I simply wish there were less interventions and more dialogues in meetings. Sometimes I attend meetings where I feel people don’t understand each other at all. I don’t know if it is a language issue , it may be an issue of people reciting words they have prepared but that no one else understands. The conversation is missing, there is no dialogue as I’d like it to be. How can we properly work together if there is no dialogue ?
Hey – maybe I simply haven’t seen where the dialogue takes place ! Or maybe my dialogue skills are so lousy that I don’t recognise when it happens. (He laughs)
I wish it was more like: there is no agenda, we just talk to each other and not just talk. I say something you say something, we move from one topic to another exactly like it is right now : you and me.