CV

Eija-Riitta Korhola

Welcome to my home pages!

“One should use ordinary words to say extraordinary things”, was the advice from philosopher Schopenhauer. Many people, and politicians especially, do just the opposite – and probably without even noticing it. Euro-politics is an abyss of incomprehensible words and abbreviations, into which one could easily fall and become similarly incomprehensible for the audience. With these pages, I have tried to use ordinary language to describe what happens in the EU. My 15 years in the European Parliament (1999-2014) taught me a lot. 

I was born in Lahti, Finland in 1959 as the youngest in a family of five children, being the pet of my older siblings. In this family I learned to think that every time I step into the room, the lights go on. Later on I realized that I had been wrong, and my years in politics have proven just how much.  However, I enjoyed it. The mandate from the people makes a person humble, proud and enthusiastic, all at the same time. Not unlike becoming a mother.

I am the founder of Korhola Global – communication & consulting, providing my environmental & energy  expertise and 15-year EU-experience for governments and companies. I am an Approved Board Member (ABM), and a visiting senior fellow Brookings Tsinghua Center for Public Policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

As for my education, I am a Doctor of environmental politics, having written my thesis on Kyoto Protocol and climate strategies. It is a monograph written for two faculties and departments, environmental politics and theoretical philosophy. I tried to draw an over-all picture of climate change, and by doing that seek to explain why so little has been gained in international climate politics during the last decades.   I also ponder the relationship between science and the political decision-making process since I have benefited myself from the opportunity of crossing the frontiers between research and political decision-making. The thesis was rated as exceptional.

I did my Master of Arts and my licentiate thesis – a semi-PhD – in the field of theoretical philosophy, and was a student of Ilkka Niiniluoto and Esa Saarinen. My post graduate thesis had a lot to do with the philosophy of technology, especially the concept of technology of Jacques Ellul. Besides philosophy and environmental sciences, I have also studied theology. Before becoming an MEP, I have worked as a reporter, a columnist, an information officer and a trainer; – this I have detailed within my CV.

My main interest in politics are human rights, energy and environment. In the area of climate legislation I was one of the leading figures in the European Parliament. I think I saw there too much politics of fantasy, and my skeptical attitude grow quite soon.  In the beginning of last decade I was still a firm supporter of the Kyoto protocol. However, the legislative work with emissions trading opened my eyes. In 2005 when the Kyoto Protocol finally entered into force I anticipated in my press release that when it comes to climate, this treaty may be even counterproductive. The agreement is valuable as an expression of political will, but in terms of emissions it may be harmful. In the light of emission trends, this estimate was accurate.

I am proud and humble mother of three, and a happy grandmother of one. My hobbies  include friends, reading, word games, cooking & baking, kayaking and personal fitness. Earlier I used to parachute but flying on constant basis for 15 years satisfied my passion on that area.  I collect the requiems of various composers, great palindromes and airsickness bags from different airlines, unused, mind you.

I am a member of Amnesty International and the Philosophical Society of Finland, plus am proud to have a Godchild from Plan International. I am the chairman of First Step Forum – an organization, which has specialized in matters concerning the religious liberty and rights of the minorities. Last but not least, I am the first woman member of the Seniors of the Lyceum of Lahti, being one of the first four female graduates from that famous Boys’ School.