Sevim A. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Climate)
"Yes! I am an energy engineer and I work in the Department of Climate Action. The beauty of working on climate change is that it's complex, interconnected and inevitably touches every corner of our economy & society. It is very rewarding to see the relevance of my technical expertise in EU policy-making."
An J. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment)
“I joined the European Commission 8 years ago, after having passed an EPSO generalist competition. I have a scientific background with a degree in biomedical sciences and a PhD in ecotoxicology. I have been working in the field of chemicals legislation in two different directorates-general; I am currently in directorate-general Environment.
Chemicals are everywhere in our daily life and play a fundamental role in most of our activities, as they form part of virtually every device we use to ensure our well-being, protect our health and security, and meet new challenges through innovation. The field of chemicals legislation is therefore hugely interesting: it has relevance and impact, and can be politically sensitive at times. You may have heard in the news about PFAS pollution, bisphenol A in baby bottles or glyphosate. My work consists of drafting chemicals legislation, working on its implementation and setting out chemicals policy for the future. It involves many contacts with people from other directorates-general in the Commission, the European Parliament and Council, member state competent authorities, industry and non-governmental organisations.
Personally, I find working for the Commission the best job ever: you get the chance to actually make a difference; what you do is relevant and has a real impact on European citizens. There is never a dull moment, I have a lot of autonomy and I get to work in an inspiring international environment with the nicest colleagues. If ever you wanted to work on the topics of energy, climate or environment at a European level, grab your chance with this competition!”
Aléxandros K. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment)
“Hello, my name is Aléxandros, and I work as policy officer in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment. I am currently working in the unit that deals with the safe and sustainable use of chemicals. Before that I worked in policy areas such as ozone layer protection, industrial emissions or major accidents involving chemicals.
Many people do not expect that the European Commission needs staff with technical or scientific expertise but in environmental policy there are a lot of technical aspects that need to be understood and communicated. Together with lawyers and economists we are working in a multi-disciplinary team to develop solid policies and legislation.
With my background in chemistry and practical experience, I can assess technical information that we receive, provide responses to technical questions, advise on practicalities, or communicate with experts in the field.
It is a great feeling to know that my work is contributing to improving our quality of life, protecting the environment and the sustainable development of the European society, and not to forget, contribute to the possibly most important peace project ever.”
Julia W. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy)
“Right after I joined DG ENER in 2019, the European Green Deal was adopted: Europe was the first continent to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050. Three years later, energy is still at the core of EU policy. Yet, we are facing new challenges, like security of supply and energy prices. Energy is everywhere in our lives, in our economies and in geopolitics. That it was makes it fascinating.”
Rishi K. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Climate)
“Upon completing my master’s in public policy at Erasmus, I joined the European Commission as a Blue Book Trainee in March 2020. After my traineeship I enrolled in the Junior Professionals Program which gave me the chance to work across different DGs on sustainable policies, before returning as Policy Officer in DG CLIMA. As such, I experienced the multifaceted and leading work that institution engages in ranging from developing ambitious guidance for national energy and climate plans to climate diplomacy in both the bilateral and multilateral spheres.
In recent times, increasingly more emphasis is placed on the European Green Deal as the leading vision to further develop climate policies and inspire other countries. This leadership role has a direct impact on my daily work, whereby I am participating in international negotiations directly related to COP 27 outcomes in Egypt, as well as the implementation of the low carbon measures in Member States Recovery and Resilient Plans.
In my short time at the Commission, I have seen an institution that it is willing to take a leading role and address European and global challenges in an undeterred manner. This in combination with colleagues from all over EU, with their unique cultures, backgrounds, experiences, languages create an environment that I can only be proud to be part of representing.”
Diana B. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy)
“Since 2017 I have been working in DG Energy. Currently I coordinate the finance team in the Chief Economist unit. Our team is looking at financing for energy, with a focus on EU funding for energy priorities, and on developing measures that facilitate private financing for the clean energy transition and the decarbonisation of our economies.
Over the last months our work has been very much focussed on REPowerEU, exploring possible solutions and measures to mitigate the impact of the current energy crisis, and reduce our energy dependence on Russia. The work has increased in complexity, has accelerated, and it is often on the top of the political agenda.
One of the best aspects of my work is the chance to work together with amazing colleagues, people that I truly admire, for their knowledge, competence, but also for the way they are, and the way they interact with other people.”
Melvin V. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Climate)
“I’m a Policy Officer in the governance unit of the European Commission’s climate department (DG CLIMA), where I have worked with both EU Member States and international partners to accelerate the climate transition. One thing I particularly enjoy about working for the Commission is that you can get a lot of responsibility at an early stage of your career. For example, I have been directly involved in negotiating ambitious climate targets for the Energy Community Contracting Parties. I have also been working with other Commission services and EU Member States to better integrate climate action across some of the largest EU funds. The negative effects of climate change become ever more acute - think of the droughts, heatwaves and storms that have hit Europe this year. Many people are also experiencing hardships because of our dependence on fossil fuels. I therefore very much look forward to seeing the programmes and policies I have been working on being implemented on the ground. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I’m confident there will be more and more tangible results in our day to day lives.”
Ewelina H. (European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy)
“I joined the Directorate-General for Energy in 2015, after four years in the European Parliament, where I had followed a range of topics related to external relations of the EU, including the external security of energy supply. In ENER, I first worked as a liaison officer for relations with the EP, then as international relations officer in charge of Turkey and Western Balkans, and now I handle external communication of all our policy initiatives. Over these seven years, I have seen a very impressive evolution the EU's energy policy. In 2015, the word on everyone’s lips was ‘Energy Union’. Designed as a political reaction to Russia’s first invasion of Ukrainian territories in 2014, it gave important impetus to the roll-out of renewable energy sources and to greater, targeted focus on energy efficiency. An impressive body of legislation followed, translating policy priorities into concrete targets, tools and measures, and putting people at the heart of the clean energy transition. Energy is also one of key sectoral policies of the European Green Deal – it underpins many proposals that will allow us to deliver on a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. Finally, over the past year I have been able to witness how European policies bring responses to crisis situations, defying the usual perception of slow bureaucratic processes. The actions undertaken by the EU since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, such as REPowerEU phasing out our dependence on Russian fossil fuels way before 2030, are an inspiration, and contribute to a new page in the history of European energy policy.”