Marta Vetier '07 (Hungary)

Marta Vetier '07 (Hungary)

Since March 2008 I have been working as a junior policy advisor on genetic engineering at Greenpeace European Unit. The Unit is based in Brussels; it monitors and analyses the work of the EU institutions, exposing deficient EU policies and laws, and challenging decision-makers to implement progressive solutions. Greenpeace European Unit also plays a role in coordinating the Europe-based national and regional offices of Greenpeace. This way Greenpeace is able to influence decision-making processes at the levels where the decisions are being made: national ministries, national authorities, national parliament, European Commission, European Parliament etc.

At Greenpeace working days are never repetitive. Most of my work centers around three activities: lobbying, coordinating and monitoring decision-making processes: I write many briefings, letters and position papers, participate in various conferences, presentations and stakeholder consultations, represent the organization, develop strategies, lobby at EU institutions and follow the UN Cartagena Protocol negotiations.

 My work is all about “dancing with the systems” or if you’re more into games than it’s like a strategy game. There are independent actors in the game: industry, public interest groups, scientists, governmental institutions. Some share our vision, some have a completely different objective than ours. We all have our own strengths, weaknesses and tools. And then the dance starts. One moves, the other(s) react(s); some moves are predictable others come like surprises. Then it’s another player’s turn. Then again another and another… You have to keep your vision, listen to the beat and dance with the system; and then it slowly starts to move.

I enjoy that I have to think and solve problems all the time; that I’m part of an extremely motivated, enthusiastic and professional team; and that I can see the effect of my work. On the other hand, it’s sad to see how decisions are being made: how much more they are about private interests than wider society benefits. I feel that I am loosing confidence in decision-makers and our governing institutions – and feel that I am more and more committed to work in the non-governmental, civil society sector for the rest of my career.