5 Questions with... Izaskun Bilbao Barandica

Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ES, RE) is a member of Parliament’s TRAN and PECH Committees
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica | Photo provided by Izaskun Bilbao Barandica's office

1. What three elements describe your political leadership style?
Female leadership. Less testosterone, more emotional intelligence.

2. What are the smallest changes you have made in your career that have had the biggest positive result? 
Participating in the establishing of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, as a key to the transformation of our economic and social culture. Promoting a system of transparency and digital participation in the Basque Parliament when I was its president and the programme I set in motion to recognise the pain of the victims of terrorism in the Basque Country. These actions helped to improve what was already in place.

3. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?  
I was a candidate for mayor in my village more than 30 years ago when I was a young woman at a time when that was unheard of. It came as a surprise.

4. What is something surprising you experienced in your career in politics?
Many expressions of discrimination that remain embedded in the subconscious of society. Many men still think that we women have to demonstrate what they are recognised for only because of their gender

5 What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?  
In the historical genre, “From Guernica to New York via Berlin”, which tells of the odyssey that our lehendakari (the president of Basque Government) José Antonio Aguirre underwent to escape from Franco and the Nazis.  In the genre of political essays, “The Cause of the Basque People” by Francisco Javier de Landaburu, which describes a treatise on Europeanist federalism written in the 1950s. In fiction, Muriel Barbery’s “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” — It is tender and intelligent. 

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