On 1 July 2018, Peter Lindvald-Nielsen's term as Head of the Department for Communications comes to an end

For ten years, Peter Lindvald-Nielsen has worked with press officers and other experts in the fields of images, public relations, graphic design and social media. It has been a time of catchy titles, articles both short and long, press releases, political, social, cultural and gastronomic events, hard work, talking and, most importantly, a lot of shared laughter. Peter's motto is to connect people through laughter, because there is nothing more human than to laugh together. Peter has enriched our language, encouraging us to say YES instead of NO, INVEST instead of SPEND and SOLUTION instead of PROBLEM.

Sometimes, he discreetly jots down in his small notebook stand-out phrases such as this one from Hermann van Rompuy who, during the session marking the EESC's 60th anniversary, said: "We cannot change the past, we can change the future".

Dear Peter, we wish you many opportunities for laughter! And please jot down in your brown notebook that we will remember you as a working and smiling Director and as our Friend.

On 1 July 2018 Peter Lindvald-Nielsen was appointed an Honorary Director of the Communication Department in the EESC

Seven questions for Peter Lindvald-Nielsen

During your career in the EU what was the moment when you felt happiest?

When I did work that made a difference and at the same time saw my children and wife happy with life in Belgium

What was the most surprising discovery in your professional life in the EU?

The engagement and commitment among colleagues. Working in the institutions is not a 9 to 5 job and here you work hard over long hours without moaning.

Should you happen to meet a young person, say 20 years old, today, when Europe is confronted with the greatest challenges it has ever faced, what would you tell him or her in terms of the future?

Stay positive, but do not take your present life for granted. Engage in society, be responsible and treat others as you want to be treated by others

What message would you like to pass to your successor?

Work WITH people, not AGAINST people. It is much more rewarding and productive.

Which is the most important feature of character of the people responsible for communication?

Be robust, as everyone is an expert in Communication. Have an open mind without being naïve and be willing to have a conversation with someone you might not know.

Your favourite heroes in life?

My wife, as she willingly accepted to give up her job in Denmark and move with me to Belgium, far away from family and friends, and to raise our children here.

Your favourite motto?

"Love does not make the world go around, but it makes it worthwhile to do the trip"

(In Danish: Kærlighed får ikke Jorden til at dreje rundt, men kærlighed gör det værd at tage turen med)

     Interview by Ewa Haczyk-Plumley, 14 June 2018, in Brussels