Green Social Summit 2023.
Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Group, Germany
My path to the European Parliament was not exactly predetermined for me. As a woman with a visible disability and part of the “financial crisis” generation, I have personally experienced that solidarity and inclusion are unfortunately not yet a reality in the EU.
I was born in Langenhagen near Hanover in 1979 and lived there until I graduated from high school. As a convinced European, I became interested in languages, culture and journalism from an early age. After graduating from high school, I gained a lot of experience abroad. I studied speech therapy in the Netherlands for a few semesters, was an au pair in the banlieues of Marseille, worked on the kibbutz in Israel, and finally completed training as a foreign language assistant.
Despite my experiences, it was difficult for me to find a job at the time of the financial crisis. Because of my disability, I was denied many opportunities.
This motivated me to become politically involved with Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. Just one year after joining the party, I was elected to the Hanover City Council in 2011, where I was active as a social policy spokesperson and advocated for more participation and solidarity as spokesperson for the Federal Disability Policy Working Group. At the same time, from 2017 to 2019 I worked in the constituency office of Bundestag member Sven-Christian Kindler and in the state parliament office of Filiz Polat and Belit Onay.
In November 2018, I was finally elected to number 9 on the European list at the federal party conference of Alliance 90/The Greens and thus entered the European Parliament in July 2019. As Vice-Chairman of the Social Committee, I am now committed to a social Europe with a particular focus on the topics of housing, basic security and inclusion.
At the federal level, as a member of the AG Diversity, I launched our new Green Diversity Statute and advocated for intra-party diversity within the Greens.