5 questions with...Isabelle Thomas

Written by The Parliament Magazine on 9 May 2019 in Opinion

Isabelle Thomas (FR, S&D) is a 2019 MEP Award winner and member of Parliament’s budget and fisheries committees

Photo credit: European Parliament Audiovisual

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

While I was a student unionist and a young woman, I was honoured with a proposal to become a Minister at 25 years old, at a time when the political environment was less focused on women and youth. However, I chose to decline the offer, as I believed I still had much to learn and to grow before I could become the kind of Minister I wanted to be. People are very surprised when they find this out; they would never have refused.

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

Sincerity, determination and my motto is: “Never give up; never surrender”.

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

I am hesitating, it could be my piano, for my pleasure, or it could also be my archives to write my memories to pass on.

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

Voltaire wrote “one must cultivate its garden”. I have translated that that metaphor literally; I particularly enjoy taking care of my garden, as it is both a soothing and a humbling hobby. I also enjoy playing the piano.

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

“Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo. It is a representation of the horror of poverty and of the vicious circle of oppression and at the same time an inspirational and depictive, progressive consideration of one’s class conscience. It still keeps all its relevance today.

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