5 Questions with... Damian Boeselager

The German MEP and co-founder of the pan-European political party Volt talks the benefits of lunch, Stefan Zweig and wanting to learn Russian
Damian Boeselager said reading Stefan Zweig’s work was insightful for his work at the European Parliament | Photo: Alamy

By Damian Boeselager

Damian Boeselager (Greens/EFA, DE) is a Member of European Parliament and a member of the committee on constitutional affairs 

10 May 2023

1. Who have you worked with that has most inspired your career, and how?  

It would definitely be my Volt co-founders, Colombe Cahen-Salvador and Andrea Venzon. They were the ones who encouraged me to jump into the ground-breaking and ambitious project of creating the first pan-European political party. They are the people who have impacted my life the most because without them, I wouldn’t even be sitting here.  

2. What is the smallest change you have made in your career that has had the biggest positive result?  

Related to my previous answer, doing something as small as going out for lunch with Colombe and Andrea to discuss the future of Europe ended up having such a big and positive result, namely the creation of Volt.

It gave me the chance to represent many people and to work to make their lives and the EU better. That lunch completely changed the career path I had planned for myself.  

3. How would you describe your political or leadership style in three words?   

Trust, expertise and fun. 

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

There are so many books that have inspired me, so picking one is really hard. I tend to go for fiction, but there is one biography that I have loved and that is Stefan Zweig’s The World of Yesterday: Memoires of a European.

Zweig is fascinated by creativity and the moment when genius strikes – he even collected the pieces of paper on which Beethoven and Mozart wrote their first manuscripts. I found that really intriguing.

But the reason I liked it the most is that it describes Europe well, including the moments that shaped our history like the horrors of the Second World War. I think that understanding where we come from is incredibly insightful for the work I now do at the European Parliament.  

5. If you could learn a language overnight, what would it be and why?  

I think I would choose Russian because, especially now, I would love to better understand how things could go so wrong in the country. Also, I have always liked Dostoevsky, so being able to read him in Russian would be a great experience.  


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