The CPMR’s Baltic Sea Commission is delighted to welcome its newest staff member, Niklas Schmalholz. With his academic background in ‘European Studies’ and ‘European Public Policy’, he is supporting the Secretariat as a policy analyst. He also studied the regional integration effects of the Oresund Bridgeon the region of Skane, Zealand and Copenhagen. We asked him a few questions about his new role…

What will your tasks at the Baltic Sea Commission involve?

As a policy analyst for the Baltic Sea Commission, I am supporting the secretariat in a number of policy areas. In particular, this includes the development of technical papers in policy areas relevant to the working groups.

In Brussels, I will be helping fostering the Commission’s cooperation with DG MOVE, DG RTD and DG MARE. I will also be available to support our members in any possible way.

Please tell us something about your background?

I grew up in the region of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) in the North of Germany. As a dual citizen of Germany and Austria, I was always very interested in other European cultures and countries.

Based on this strong interest for Europe, I studied ‘European Studies’ in the Dutch city of Maastricht, as well as at the ‘Science PO’ in Grenoble. Following this, I worked as an intern at the European Parliament and as a journalist in Germany. I am very happy to be back in Brussels.

Did you work on regional cooperation before?

I have a theoretical background in the subject from my academic background in European Studies. In my new position, I will have the chance to apply this in a practical way. I am convinced that regional cooperation provides a unique selling point for benefits of the European Union.

What interests you about the Baltic Sea?

As I have travelled to the majority of the Member States, I understand the cultural différences and similarities. So, the motto of the EU does also apply to the Baltic Sea Region – “United in Diversity”.

From the white beaches to the historic cities of, the region has a lot to offer. This culturally, politically and geographically diverse region has a fascinating amount of opportunities, which the Baltic Sea Commission wants to foster.