1. Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
There are many people I could mention, but one of the most notable is human rights lawyer and activist Sam Muyizzi from the Uganda Young Democrats. Throughout the years I have been active in the international young socialists and progressives movement, he has always been a source of inspiration for his relentless fight against state violence and torture. He taught me that you should never surrender when you are defending justice and freedom.
2. How would you describe your political style in three words and why?
Open, accessible, concrete. I try to be open, by sharing as much information as possible on all the work I do, such as briefings, legislative texts and decisions with my voters and followers. I also engage in direct dialogue and I am frank when I do not feel aligned with politically correct or mainstream positions. I am an accessible politician. I try to communication directly with people. I also try to participate in many debates and public and private meetings, and I do my best to be reachable through different means of communication. I consider myself to be a value-driver and concrete politician, because I want to deliver results for people. This means compromising when necessary, because I do not like politics that are unable to find solutions.
3. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
Actually, my election to the European Parliament surprised many people and, to some extent, I surprised myself too. In Italy, it is very difficult for a young person to get elected, especially in the big mainstream parties, due to the direct preference voting system. I was able to overcome my lack of notoriety and party influence thanks to the huge mobilisation of young people, who wanted to finally have at least one representative of their generation in the European institutions.
4. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?
First of all, I try to find time to spend talking and playing with my two nephews who are now nine and six years old. I like going to the cinema and to concerts. During my Erasmus in London years ago, I became an avid fan of many bands. I am also a bit of a science fiction and fantasy nerd, so I read a lot of books and comics. These are passions that I have maintained even though I only have limited time to dedicate to them.
5. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?
I could say it is the Greek tragedy Antigone, a Sophocles play where personal and family moral codes clash with the laws of the sovereign power. Its depiction of this struggle between different values and ideals, between individuals and the legitimate power of the state, is striking and still resonates a lot with contemporary readers, especially ones who follow or are active in politics.
Want more 5Qs? Get to know Emilian Pavel.