1. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read, and why?
Mintzberg’s Management Roles. It convinced me of the powerful role of intuition in the mature phase of one’s career. It greatly speeds up the decision-making process.
2. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?
At the weekend, apart from spending time with my family and improving my Spanish language skills, I jog along the Reusel river, close to my home in Diessen in the Noord-Brabant region of The Netherlands. It’s where we organise the LandArt Diessen exhibition each year.
3. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
In the 2009-2014 EU legislative period, I added two words to the name of what we now know as the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). This was vital, because it stresses the need not only to research and invent but also to bring inventions to the market. For the past nine years, along the same lines I have hosted the European Innovation Summit in the European Parliament. I am proud of this.
4. What is the smallest change you have made in your career that has had the biggest positive result?
To continue doing what I enjoy the most: representing people. I have stayed in politics since my first election in 1978. Nine elections have shaped my political career, from the local level to the European level. Stability pays off.
5. Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
My geography teacher, Jaap Huysman. He taught me the territorial dimension of issues. This decisively shaped my political thinking. Regional and urban policies, which I have pushed for, are a direct result of his inspiration. It also motivated me to write some 30 booklets on these subjects in my series, ‘Europa Dichtbij’.
Want mroe 5Qs? Get to know Reinhard Bütikofer.