Monday interview with… Nina Vredegoor

Nina Vredegoor

Many people stand behind the scene of Citizens of Europe. The high enthusiasm and motivation of these volunteers is a great contribution to transform the ideas of Citizens into real projects. We would like to raise the voice of all these people in our website. Thus we want to start the week introducing you Nina Vredegoor, who sits on the Board of Citizens of Europe as Secretary General. We invite you to follow the interview and meet her.

Nina Vredegoor was born in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. She graduated on Cultural and Social Development in Amsterdam in 2011. At the moment she lives in Berlin and works as an air-hostess.

When did you start volunteering at Citizens of Europe? I mean, among so many organizations based in Berlin, why did you choose Citizens?
When I was looking for an organization to write my Bachelor-thesis, I found the Citizens website very interesting from the start on. The open atmosphere inside the organization and the big European network fitted the theme of my Bachelor thesis very well.

What does Citizens mean for you?
I’ve met so many amazing people since I started at Citizens and some of them became very dear friends. Being able to be surrounded by intelligent, fun and interesting people with so many different backgrounds is truly inspirational.

What kind of activities do you carry out at Citizens?
As a Secretary General I’m responsible for the paperwork around board-meetings. Since I live in Berlin I also tend to visit the office sometimes and bother the poor volunteers and office manager.

What is the funniest and most enjoyable thing of volunteering at Citizens?
I’ll never forget the amazing Citizens Convention in Landau – a crazy week of working, Stellwände, wine-tasting, bumper-cars and sunshine.

Coming from the Netherlands, which differences do you see between your country and Germany?
Even though we Dutchies don’t like to admit it, the German and Dutch culture are pretty similar. Okay, the Germans don’t understand small talk that well and the Dutch do have better humor. But in the end, we’re happy neighbor countries and we do love the rivalry during football matches so much.

Being a stewardess, which are your impressions about mobility nowadays?
With tickets getting cheaper all the time, it is so much easier to travel around. But I think especially the possibility for Europeans to live and work in any European country, raises the mobility enormously. It would be wonderful if also non-Europeans could do the same.

Which place in Europe would you undoubtedly recommend?
Two cities have made a big impression on me: Belgrade and Belfast. They are dynamic and exciting, I guess also because they’re both struggling with intense recent history. But most important: both cities are filled with warm and welcoming people, making you feel at home in an instance.

Which is your favorite European dish?
I’m really caught between pizza or pasta. Italian food is just the best! But I think I’ll settle for dark Swiss chocolate. Does that count as a proper dish?

Thank you!