5 Questions with... Pierre Karleskind

Pierre Karleskind (FR, RE) is Chair of Parliament’s Fisheries Committee.
Pierre Karleskind | Photo credit: European Parliament Audiovisual

1 Which person has most inspired you in your career, and how?

The person who truly inspired me the most is not someone in my career but my own father. He is an unwavering optimist and always strives to find solutions. I learned a lot from his attachment to work, a means for emancipation and freedom.

2 What one item would you save from your home if it was on fire? (Apart from your photo album)

It would be a fire extinguisher. My reflex is always the same: How can I help others? If there is anyone else in my house, I would be able to save them.

3 Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?

When I was a young local councillor, I was appointed CEO of the funeral services of my city, Brest. At 28 years old, I was suddenly at the head of a small enterprise with 42 employees. Dealing with these types of moments in families’ lives was an experience I will never forget, full of many emotions and great responsibilities.

4 What is the most humbling thing you have experienced in your career?

In my early twenties, I had the chance to embark on a military tugboat for one year as part of my engineering degree. The most humbling thing I experienced was a terrifying storm in the middle of the ocean. At that moment, what struck me the most was the importance of the crew’s team spirit and the violence of this natural phenomenon. Overall, I learned many things, including the fact that I can get very sea-sick.

5 What is the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?

The most influential book I have read is “L’arrache-coeur” by Boris Vian. This novel unfolds in an illusory world that reflects what frightens us in the darkest parts of the human soul: the old people’s market, children killed by slave labour and the wall of “nothing” that a mother builds, supposedly to save her children from the dangers of the world. This book reminds us that, from the rest of humanity, we cannot extract ourselves, and that from the reality of the environment, including when it can be fatal, we must accept the conditions.

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