5 questions with... Danuta Hübner

Written by The Parliament Magazine on 18 May 2017 in Opinion

Academia, crime novels and skiing.

Danuta Hübner | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

1. How would you describe your political/leadership style in three words?

Consensual. Open. Future-oriented.


2. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?

Probably the fact that I transferred pretty fast from purely academic work to politics. For many years, I was a professor and a researcher, with no direct contact with politics. Those who knew me back then were probably quite surprised that I was able to adapt to working in the public sphere with relative ease. Actually, it was a surprise for me too.


3. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?

This is an easy question to answer only for those who have read just one book in their life. For those of us who read books the same way we eat breakfast or drink coffee, it’s pretty much impossible to choose a single book. Every book I read leaves an indelible mark in my mind, sometimes in my heart. One book on its own doesn’t inspire or influence me, rather it’s the cumulative effect of all the books I read that changes the way I look at the world, at different ways of living and at cultures or people. Sometimes I also read for fun, to relax - crime stories, for example. I hope those don’t inspire or influence me.


4. What one item would you save from your house or apartment/house if it was on fire?

This question is about testing the limits of your rationality under stress. Therefore basics like my phone, my wallet, my passport - those I would take as a rational person. But the rest, I imagine, would be a matter of accident. I would take what was closest to me, whatever was at hand and that I could grab the fastest. Well, there would not be much time to think rationally at that moment. I would probably take some mementos that are important and have some sentimental value for my personal history, from my childhood. Perhaps one or two pieces of clothing that I especially like and cannot leave even a house on fire without.


5. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?

Reading, of course. Watching movies. But also skiing, swimming, biking and walking - pretty standard stuff. The nature of my work is such that I am always among people, which is great. But sometimes I just need some solitude, just to think about issues. Therefore I treasure every moment I can have just for myself, walking free against the wind in some empty place, unrecognised by anybody.


Want more 5Qs? Get to know Neena Gill.

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