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Europe in my heart

3 minutes

Marianne Jasper joined the Secretariat on 1 September 2022 for a period of 12 months. She is providing much-welcomed support to our Communication team in Viborg, Denmark, where she grew up. In this story she explains how her enthusiasm for European cultural diversity has shaped her career choices.

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Europe has always meant something special to me. As a child I loved going with my family to various European destinations, seeing new places, meeting new people, trying new food and listening to other languages. This probably influenced my choice to study languages and European Studies which also brought me to live in Germany for a while. 


Having finished university, I took a job teaching Danish as a second language to adults from all over the world who had come to live in Denmark. I learned so much from this job, especially about different cultures. Among my students were people who needed to learn how to read and write for the first time in their life as well as professors working at Aarhus University. 

Promoting citizen engagement

After some years, I felt it was time to join a more Europe-focused work environment and I was lucky enough to work in two Danish organisations bridging the gap between citizens and the European Union. 


From my time at Europe Direct Odense

First, I found work at the Danish organisation DEO (Democracy in Europe Organisation). DEO informs Danish citizens about what is going on in the EU and facilitates citizens to participate in debates about the EU.

What I really liked about my job at DEO was meeting citizens and debating EU. Other highlights included the chance to meet interesting speakers and learn about topics from biodiversity to EU labour market policy. 

Next, I worked at Europe Direct Odense that forges links between the European Commission and the citizens in Odense, Denmark's third largest city. Citizens can contact Europe Direct with all sorts of questions. Among other tasks, I worked on setting up the international Baltic Sea Network where Europe Direct Centres around the Baltic Sea cooperate on EU events targeting citizens. 

EU round the corner

I am now working at the Joint Secretariat as Communications Advisor where I enjoy learning about all the projects active in the programme. I work in Viborg and live in Aarhus with my husband and two kids. In both places, I have discovered that some of our projects have activities literally just around the corner!

As part of my work at the secretariat I am assisting in a special video campaign which involves filming testimonials from colleagues representing five North Sea projects in Denmark. One of them is Biodiverse Cities which brings citizens and experts together to build climate resilience while supporting biodiversity in the city.

One of its pilots is close to where I live and I often go for a walk in the area. I look forward to following how the area will evolve to become more biodiverse.

Egaa Engsø

Egaa Lake is part of the Biodiverse Cities project.

Several other projects are also active in Aarhus, ranging from the project ACE which promotes innovative healthcare, to Active Cities and SN2 promoting active and shared mobility. 

Viborg is home to Business Viborg, the lead partner for SUSTAIN-3D supporting the transformation of SMEs through 3D-printing technology. The city also hosts the Central Denmark Region which is a partner in Blue Transition promoting integrated water and soil management in times of climate change.

I am looking forward to learning much more about all our projects and to meet more project partners!

Reggaeton class

From a reggaeton class. Marianne enjoys Latin American dances, especially Brazilian zouk. She also enjoys swimming, running or bicycling around Aarhus.