5 Questions with... Angelika Niebler
Friends in politics, going digital and the value of family.
1. Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
Doris Pack, my former colleague in the European Parliament, is an impressive character in every respect: During her entire political career, she has always fought enthusiastically for her convictions, our common European values and stressed the importance of our cultural heritage. As spokesperson for south-eastern Europe, she regularly visited the region and supported the people there, even in times of war. Needless to say that there was more to her political success than her lady-like appearance and the way she communicated. Some people say there are no friends in politics. But when it comes to Doris Pack, I can confidently say that is untrue.
2. How would you describe your political style in three words and why?
Pragmatic, because I'm convinced that ideological stubbornness does not help you achieve your goals. Results-orientated, because in the end it is very satisfying to see the positive impact of political decision-making, for example by getting rid of roaming-charges in the EU. Mediating, because in contrast to finding a compromise, dogmatism will not get you anywhere.
3. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
Long before everyone was online, together with some friends I established an association in my region to campaign for all citizens, villages and associations to familiarise themselves with the internet and get online (EBEonline e.V. - Bürger im Netz). I am happy to see that the association still exists today.
4. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?
I spend time with my husband and my two sons. Having a family and spending time with your loved ones is a great gift.
5. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?
Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran, written by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt. The main character, Ibrahim, the 'Arab', is hugely inspiring because of his humanity, his tolerance and the manner he lives according to his values. Ibrahim's friendship with the young Moses is heart-warming. The book is both inspiring and encouraging, like Le petit prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.