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Pilvi Torsti appointed Director of the European Training Foundation

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 13.3.2023 12.30 | Published in English on 14.3.2023 at 10.57
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Pilvi Torsti.
Pilvi Torsti. Photo: Eric Vidal / European Union 2023 - Source: EP

The European Parliament has appointed Doctor of Social Sciences Pilvi Torsti as Director of the European Training Foundation (ETF). The appointment is significant for Finland. Pilvi Torsti will take up her new post on 16 April 2023.

Doctor of Social Sciences Pilvi Torsti is currently State Secretary to Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka. In the last ten years, she has also served as State Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and as a Member of Parliament.

Torsti, who holds a doctoral degree in political history, was appointed adjunct professor of the year at the University of Helsinki in 2020. She specialises in the political use of history and historical awareness.

Torsti has been socially active in several global projects. For example, she has led the establishment of the first post-conflict multinational upper secondary school in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and she continues to chair the board of directors of the foundation responsible for the United World College upper secondary school.

Torsti is also one of the founders of HEI Schools, which focuses on education exports. Founded in 2015 in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, the enterprise aims to provide high-quality early childhood education and care for as many children as possible around the world.

Concrete measures for Europe

The European Training Foundation (ETF) is an EU agency that supports the countries surrounding the European Union in reforming their education and labour market systems. Currently, it cooperates with 28 partner countries mainly within the framework of the EU enlargement and neighbourhood policy.

The agency was established in 1993 in Turin, Italy, where it continues to have its main location.

As the leader of ETF, Torsti can draw on her solid experience of promoting national and international education policies, and provide a strong Finnish handprint for concrete work.

– The whole world is looking for solutions in the field of competence and education, and the development of human capital in Finland has assumed a strategic role. I was born into a difficult life situation in the 1970s and I represent the Finnish welfare state where education has created equal opportunities for all. My goal is to strengthen the expertise of the ETF so that it will be in full use not only at the EU level but also globally. For the past 25 years, I have believed that education can change the world. The key is long-term commitment.

Along with the Ukraine crisis, the EU began extensive efforts to promote peace and stability in Europe. Torsti says that the ETF is strongly involved in Ukraine and in building the future of Ukrainians. Creating preconditions for peace is very important for her, too.

– The application period for the post ended on the day before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The importance of the post and the entire ETF dawned on me in a completely new way and I see it as really valuable to be able to work concretely for the benefit of Europe at this point in time.

Press release by ETF: Pilvi Torsti appointed as new Director of the European Training Foundation

Requests for interviews:

  • Katarina Koch, Communications Specialist, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 295 330 157.