Women in Power: Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA)

Labour Party

To follow up my launch of the female members of the Socialists and Democrats and European United Left – Nordic Green Left groups in the European Parliament as part of my Women in Power project, I am presenting today a set of profiles from the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA). This group, which compromises a large number of French and German MEPs from Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (Alliance 90/The Greens) and Europe Écologie respectively, also includes three women from the United Kingdom.

At 30, Franziska Katharina Brantner from Germany is one of the youngest female members of the European Parliament. Despite her age, however, she already has an extremely impressive CV. Before becoming an MEP in 2009, she was a consultant for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), where she helped to design a European action plan for UN Security Resolution 1325. After this she worked for the Bertelsmann Foundation consulting on EU foreign policy issues. Franziska was for a short time a research fellow at my own university, Oxford, in the European Studies Centre at St. Antony’s College, having graduated in 2004 with a double diploma in Political Science.

Another young and highly impressive woman MEP is Marije Cornelissen from the Netherlands, who sits alongside me in the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. She has been a forceful anti-discrimination campaigner, and was even Director of North Holland’s Anti-Discrimination Bureau. Like me, she has a strong background in women’s rights, having been Chair of the Feminist Network of the GreenLeft between 1996 and 2001 and a parliamentary assistant in Brussels from 1996 to 1997 where she followed the Committee on Women’s Rights.

Swedish MEP Isabella Lövin has rather a different background, having spent most of her career in the media industry. She received a diploma in Radio Production from the Dramatic Arts Institute in Sweden in 1994, and went on to work as a radio producer and a reporter of debate programmes on the Swedish channel P1. She has also edited several high-profile magazines. Her strong writing and researching skills have brought her numerous successes, including 14 different prizes in Sweden for her book Tyst hav (Silent Seas) on the European Common Fisheries Policy.

As ever, you will see in these profiles a group MEPs embodying a wide range of talents, which have been manifest both in and outside the world of politics. I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading their profiles, and that they provide a useful reference point for learning more about women in the European Parliament.