I do not really have a typical day, but my job is essentially to have a team of more than 1000 people working together for the good of Europe to improve the health conditions of our citizens and to improve the living conditions. Food Safety. On a day-to-day basis, I have to make a lot of decisions based on files that are presented to me to ensure that, in often difficult problems for which there are often several possible answers, we make the right decisions. For that I really need to be well advised. I also try to find out what the other departments of the European Commission think because Health has a direct link with, for example, employment and the environment. I also try to see what the 28 countries of the European Union think, because we can not decide alone, we must follow the preferences and also find a balance between what the different countries want and the different priorities and sensitivities that are very different, especially in a field like Health or Food Safety.
There are often very interesting ideas and I have the chance with my teams to bring them forward and make a difference for the citizens. For example, by creating a network so that experts in rare diseases can work together and can do better than if they worked for a single hospital, a single discipline or a single country. So there is a fairly idealistic element in the work that is extremely exciting.
There is an element of administrative management that is necessarily heavy in an international institution as our procedures are important, it takes time and it is something that is not always particularly motivating. But we have to do it mainly because we have to explain and demonstrate in the public service what we do and the accuracy and correctness of what we do.
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I have been working for 30 years at the European Commission so my career has almost started at the European Commission. I studied in Spain, France and Belgium in the College of Europe which is an institution that is there to prepare for the European public service and since then I have always been interested in European issues. And so I did a course starting as a very junior official until now for 30 years.
Postgraduate in European Studies
I really like reading and it is easy to reconcile because we can do it everywhere. I really like bridge but that I do not think I reconcile very well because I still spend a dozen hours a day at the office so it's not very conciliatory method of work.