Cecila Jorgensen – organizer of Baltic Leadership Programme
First in our members interview series, we have talked a little bit to Cecilia Jörgensen who was one of the organisers of the Baltic Leadership Programme that developed the Baltic Sea PFAS network. She did so in her capacity as Policy coordinator of PA Hazard (Policy Area Hazards) managed by the Swedish Environment Protection Agencyunder the Baltic Sea Strategy.
Cecilia has since then started a new job at the Ministry of Environment, but we will keep in touch with Cecilia and wish her all the best at her new position!
What do you work with, how can we find you?
– I have just left my position at the Swedish Environment Protection Agency where I among other things worked as a Policy Coordinator for Policy Area Hazards of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy. My new job is at the Ministry of Environment where I work as a EU policy coordinator preparing Sweden´s positions in the field of Environment in EU Council negotiations. I will also work with preparing the Swedish Presidency in the EU Council during the spring of 2023.
What field in PFAS have you worked with?
– PFAS was a relatively unknown topic to me when I started the work with the BLP (Baltic Sea Leadership Programme) for PFAS. My expertise lies in EU policy and EU funding. The Baltic Sea Strategy is a way to make efficient use of EU funding in relevant areas, by creating expert networks, that can apply for EU funding for joint projects. One of the main challenges in applying for funding in EU projects is to find good project partners. We are facilitating this process by creating expert networks for cooperation.
How did the PFAS network start for you?
– The Baltic Sea Leadership Programme was my first task at the Environment Protection Agency. The topic of PFAS was an area of priority for us as we felt that research project could be useful in gaining more knowledge of the full circle of problems surrounding PFAS, from production, use to remediation and in general more data on the occurrence of PFAS. The countries around the Baltic Sea have different experiences of working with PFAS and have different level of problems. We felt that it was important to create a network for knowledge and best practice experiences, so that we could learn from one another and exchange our experiences.
What is important for you to work in this field?
– PFAS is a relatively newly defined problem, we do not know how widespread the problems are, the full effects it has on the human body and nature nor which methods are best for remediation. We know that it is a problem and that we need to find out more about its effects. It therefore seemed like an important area to support further funding.
What is your expectation from the Baltic Sea PFAS Network?
– I hope that the expert network will continue to grow and continue to be beneficial for its members in the future. It is up to the network if the focus will lie in the exchange of knowledge and best practices. Eventually I hope that the network also in the future will be a place to look for project partners for EU funding. In the long run I also hope that it will make an impact and contribute to solving some of the problems we have with PFAS today.
What is your favourite place or season in Sweden?
– I recently moved back to Sweden after living 16 years abroad, so I have a lot to discover. I like being out in nature and on my allotment, and I look forward to discovering more of Sweden after Covid. I like summer even though the winter in Sweden certainly has its charms.
The BLP concept , was built by Swedish Institute (SI) to facilitate network building under the Baltic Sea Strategy. SI worked in close collaboration with PA Hazards at the Swedish EPA in building the network. At the end of this BLP, IVL took on the challenge as coordinator of the network and became a flagship of PA Hazards.