5 Questions with... Henna Virkkunen

Henna Virkkunen (FI, EPP) is a member of Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee
Henna Virkkunen | Photo credit: European Parliament Audiovisual

1 Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?

Former European Commission Vice- President and former Prime Minister of Finland Jyrki Katainen has been an inspirational colleague and person to work with. I served as his deputy for six years while he was our party leader. We have also worked together for six years in the Finnish government. He is a supportive, dedicated and humble person with a hard-working attitude. I have always admired his strong values and future-oriented approach.

2 How would you describe your political/leadership style in three words?

Cooperative, transparent & futureoriented

3 Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?

I love ultrarunning and recently ran 100km to celebrate my birthday.

4 What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?

I unwind by running, biking and, whenever I have time, seeing my horses. Horse riding has always been a part of my life. I started running years ago when I signed up for a half marathon. Over the last couple of years I have also started biking and swimming in order to compete in triathlons. The best thing is that in my hometown Jyväskylä, in central- Finland, nature is right at my doorstep and I can train year-round in a clean air environment while enjoying the beautiful landscape.

5 What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?

Feminist classics such as Virginia Woolf’s books have had a big infl uence on me. My childhood favourite is Pippi Longstocking by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is a strong, unconventional and rebellious girl, with a strong sense of justice. I think she is a great role model for children.

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