My goal as a politician and psychologist is to provide people with the opportunity to live a self-determined life. Before becoming a Member of the European Parliament in 2009, I spent seven years working as a municipal councillor of Munich, which is why I am aware of their important role in the political power balance.
Not only is the European Union a union of states, it is also a union of regions and municipalities. This is why I am committed to strengthening their role. Whenever possible, political measures should be implemented on a local level. This principle of subsidiarity applies to all topics that I cover in my committee work ranging from immigration and integration to employment, social affairs and education.
In February 2012, I was elected first Vice-Chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. There, I work towards giving young people better prospects for their future. Youth unemployment is one of the most pressing challenges of the EU – not only in this decade, but potentially for generations to come. Our primary objective is the reduce the number of early school leavers and to modernise our educational systems, including vocational education and training. We need to better equip young people with the skills that are needed on the labour market. The quality of education has to increase and measures to do so have to be better coordinated across national and European levels. We need to give young people the opportunity to gain professional experiences abroad and to obtain qualifications that are acknowledged across the EU.
In the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, I focus on both migration and integration matters. In this context, I argue for the introduction of a Common European Asylum System, setting minimum standards for the reception and treatment of refugees, introducing more efficient application procedures and promoting more solidarity among Member States. We also need to better coordinate our migration policies to foster legal migration, e.g. of badly needed qualified labour, and to control the growing number of illegal migrants. In order to stand up to global competition, Europe needs highly qualified people. A points-based system for third country nationals wishing to work in the EU based on criteria such as the level of education and language could be a model for the future.
Since summer 2011, I am the media policy spokesperson of the German liberals within the European Parliament. One of the primary challenges of today is to adapt our legislative framework to new ways of producing, distributing and consuming content online. Within the committee for Culture, Education and Media, the issues that will keep us busy in the near future are: copyright, including collecting societies, data protection, online distribution of digital content, radio frequencies, advertising, net neutrality, etc. Thanks to the technological progress, citizens are ever more connected and mobile and wish to have access to services and content wherever they are. Now we need to make sure that the digital single market comes true.
A topic very close to my heart is animal protection. More often than not, animal protection goes hand in hand with consumer protection. In order to make the right decisions, consumers need information about their product and how it is produced. This is also true for animal products and concerns information about livestock transports, animal testing, animal trading and their treatment during the production process. A liberal view on animal protection takes into account that today people have a different relationship with and a different perception of animals.
The European Union will continue to gain in importance and influence. The crisis of the Euro shows us that a monetary union does not function without a political union. Together with my colleagues in the European Parliament I want to bring in a liberal perspective on the opportunities and challenges that Europe holds for us and enable citizens to shape their future and reap the benefits from a united Europe.
Since 2009 I am Member of the European Parliament. In this function, I am member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Delegation to the EU-Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee. As substitute member I am active in the committees for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs as well as Culture and Education. I have recently been nominated rapporteur on the Commission’s proposal on vocational education and training on behalf of the ALDE group.
Prior to being an MEP, I held political positions as vice-chair of the FDP city council group (2008-2009); honorary municipal councillor of the FDP in Munich town hall (2002-2008); honorary city councillor of the regional capital Munich (2002-2009); member of the District Committee 14, Berg am Laim (2008-2009).
Born in Munich/Germany in 1978, I studied and graduated in psychology at the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich from 1998-2005. She has also studied economic sciences at Hagen Open University (1999-2002). She is a trained economic mediator and worked as freelance psychologist and mediator since 2006.