A new face at the Joint Secretariat

Meet our new colleague Tuuli Veikkanen, who has joined the secretariat to assist with communication for a period of six months.

Tuuli Veikkanen has been working with the Joint Secretariat since June 2020.  Her main task is to explore how the North Sea Region Programme can engage more with citizens. A most welcome addition to our team, Tuuli has already proven herself to be a smiling and skilful colleague with lots of positive energy and drive. 

Thanks to her work and supported by Interact, we were able to take part of joint Interreg initiatives and celebrate the European Cooperation Day in style this year, the 30th anniversary of Interreg. In addition to coordinating the production of videos and posters, she has helped organise a well-attended webinar on 25 September, “European Cooperation in a Changing World”.

The webinar featured the Danish MEP Morten Helveg Petersen and speakers from Interact (Eva Martinez Orosa), the North Sea Region Programme (Head of Secretariat Christian Byrith) and our TOPSOIL project (Rolf Johnsen). 

Meanwhile, she is working on a paper describing possible approaches to citizen engagement, based on research and semi-structured interviews. This will provide an overview of options available and feed into our future activities.

Why were you attracted to work at the Joint Secretariat?

“I’ve always been interested in international cooperation and the EU. Finding out that it happens in the part of Denmark where I live was exciting,” says Tuuli and adds: “I enjoy working with people from different backgrounds and supporting sustainability-oriented projects makes the work meaningful.”

Your work at the secretariat has been somewhat marked by the Covid-19 crisis, with virtual meetings replacing face to face contact with colleagues at times. What has been your experience so far?

“Even despite the Covid-19 restrictions, it is close to a dream job – I find working at the secretariat really interesting! For example, I get to learn a lot about Interreg, the different programmes and all the projects and topics, which is exciting. I started this job with an open mind and I’ve learned much more already than I thought I would.”

Tuuli hails from Finland, where she studied history for her bachelor’s degree.  She majored in human security at Aarhus University in Denmark, focusing on international arms trade for her master’s thesis.

“Human security is a term coined by the UN,” Tuuli explains. “It represents a new way of thinking, where issues such as food security, environmental security and armed conflicts are seen in a broader context. The different crises tend to be interlinked. For example, water scarcity can spark conflicts that lead to wars.”   

She finds that this resonates with the holistic and cross-cutting nature of many North Sea Region projects.

How are you finding life in Denmark?

“I like it here! One of my greatest passions is outdoor life, so in my spare time I enjoy running, swimming, and hiking with friends very much. I also used to rock-climb, but this is difficult in Denmark due to the general absence of rocks. I miss rock-climbing but the Danish nature offers other opportunities for action sports, such as wind-surfing, which I would really like to try!”

Tuuli in action.

Top image: Tuuli at Trolltunga, Norway’s most spectacular rock.

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