Representation braces itself for major challenge

Representation braces itself for major challenge

The Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union is bracing itself for the major challenge that next year will bring. The Representation is recruiting new staff and renting additional office space with a view to Finland’s EU presidency.

A Permanent Representation trio rarely seen together: Permanent Representative Eikka Kosonen, his Deputy Nina Vaskunlahti and COPS Ambassador Teemu Tanner.

According to the Permanent Representation’s Chief of Administration Ari Rouhe, some 50 new members of staff will join the Permanent Representation on account of the presidency.

These will include civil servants posted from Finland, locally recruited assistants and new diplomats, who will be completing a placement at the Permanent Representation. These new diplomats have undergone a preparatory course in international affairs organised by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

- Some of the new staff will start in the autumn, but the majority will come at the beginning of 2006, Rouhe explains.

Furthermore, there is always a degree of staff turnover in the summer and at the end of the year. The Permanent Representation wishes to avoid such changes in the run-up to the presidency. The new civil servants starting in the autumn will have sufficient time to get into their stride before the Presidency begins.

Additional staffing is required in all sectors. Similarly, there is a need to bolster the ranks of ancillary staff.

Chief of Administration Ari Rouhe examines plans for the new office space.

In the building opposite its current address at Rue de Trèves 100, the Permanent Representation has one floor at its disposal, and this is where civil servants dealing with such matters as agriculture and economic affairs are located.

In addition, the Permanent Representation is renting additional office space on the same street next to the Hungarian Permanent Representation.

Ari Rouhe points out that the presidency constitutes an enormous challenge for the whole of the Permanent Representation as an organisation. Making sure that the various pieces slot into place requires a great deal of effort from the management and those responsible for coordination. Yet the Chief of Administration remains confident about the near future. There were dozens of applicants for the positions for which the Permanent Representation recruited.

- This shows that the Permanent Representation is a sought after workplace, comments Rouhe with satisfaction.