5Qs with... Captain Europe

Written by The Parliament Magazine on 28 January 2016 in Opinion

Getting to know Europe's part time superhero in 5 questions.

1. Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
I can't really name names without revealing my secret identity, but I'll tell you about a line manager I had before I moved to Brussels. Aged just 27 and nudged into the role in spite of himself, he quickly developed the ability to identify the strengths within his team and play to them. He saw expertise and intellect as an asset, not a threat, and was thus able to get the best out of his people. The last I heard, he was in the Who's Who of promising young business leaders.

2. How would you describe your political style in three words?
Letting truth flourish.

3. What is the one piece of technology you could not live without?
I have been fortunate in having had a low-tech childhood and a high-tech youth. There is therefore no one piece of technology I literally couldn't live without, but I have to say my MOBIB card (for public transport in Brussels) makes life a lot easier.

4. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?
In my case, free time is a rarity, and relaxing and unwinding are two different things. Working out at the gym every morning, and a brisk walk home in the evening, releases energy and thus helps me unwind; to relax, when I get the chance, there is nothing better than curling up with a good book and a glass of something.


5. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read, and why?
In true 'Desert Island Discs' fashion, I shall exclude the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare. While Paddy Ashdown's autobiography, 'A Fortunate Life', and 'The Spirit Level' by Richard Wilkinson and Katie Pickett are close contenders, I have to say 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' by Dale Carnegie has been the most influential. It taught me a lot about human relationships, and the principles it set out have helped me in the workplace and elsewhere. It didn't cure my mischievous sense of humour, though - as anyone who follows me on Twitter will have noticed.

Captain Europe is a part time superhero and full time European


Want more 5 questions? Check out our chat with Tanja Fajon.

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