By Ana Oliveira
Ana, you are a trainee at EuroHealthNet, what motivated you to come and work in our organisation?
After having finished a traineeship in one of the European institutions, I felt that a complementary experience from a non-profit perspective would be the logical next step. It is one thing to tackle an issue from an institutional point of view and a completely different one to do so from the perspective of a non-governmental body. If one has the opportunity to experience both, it makes you more aware of the challenges and opportunities for each type of organisation, and in the end it can only strengthen your work process and final results. While studying offers, I was attracted to the cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approach taken by EuroHealthNet and the way it combines and coordinates its three pillars in the pursuit of health promotion. Furthermore, I was really interested in their efforts to tackle social and health inequities and use the research done to contribute to better policies in this field, as well as to keep both EU institutions and civil society informed about what has and still can be done.
What is your greatest interest in EuroHealthNet’s work?
I very much look forward to learn more about and have practical experience of advocacy side of policy-making and the way NGO’s contribute to EU, transnational and national policy-making. I am learning a lot about EU social policy and its mechanisms, and the various steps taken to fully and successfully implement strategies and generate political and public support. On the other hand, I am also greatly improving my knowledge of the health sector and its related policies, which is something on which I had not focused that much despite having some basic knowledge of it.
At the same time, being part of EuroHealthNet’s PHASE team is granting me the opportunity to focus on some very relevant and exciting topics, such as poverty eradication, unemployment and gender equality. As a recent female graduate who originally comes from one of the countries most affected by the Eurozone crisis, these three issues are particularly dear to me and I am delighted to have an opportunity to work on them.
Do you intend to continue working in the health sector / EU world?
I absolutely intend to continue working within the EU-sphere, and hopefully have the chance to keep on working with issues related to civil society, social policies and empowerment.
Ana holds a Master Degree in European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) and a Bachelor Degree in Communication Sciences (University of Porto, Portugal). Before joining EuroHealthNet as an intern, she completed a traineeship in the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels and an internship in the Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias. Her interests include civil society, globalizing Europe, transnational cooperation, sustainable development, youth rights and empowerment, media and public perceptions of the EU, social policy and eradication of inequalities.