5 questions with...Maria Spyraki

Maria Spyraki (EL/EPP) is a 2019 MEP award winner and member of parliament’s ITRE and REGI committees
Photo credit: European Parliament Audiovisual

1. Which person that you have worked with most inspired you in your career, and how?

Jyrki Katainen. The values that have inspired me are his commitment to defending our European values, his approach in taking people on board and his willingness to take a step back o keep his family happy.

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

It may sound simplistic, but my mobile phone, to let my family know I’m safe. I don’t mind rebuilding everything from scratch. I did it once before, I can do it again. Objects are of little emotional value to me - I only care for people.

3. Is there anything you have done that would surprise people?

I am a strong believer in the value of lifelong learning. I have always sought the opportunity to evolve both personally and professionally. This is why I have twice attended the College f Europe’s summer programmes, for EU Competition Law and for Energy Union. I am also currently enrolled in the Master’s programme in Energy and Environmental Policy at the International University of Thessaloniki.

4. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?

I spend quality time with my family. In the demanding role of an MEP, there is nothing more comforting and relaxing than the love of those close to you. My husband and my children are my sanctuary, helping me get through a tough day. I believe that we politicians must stand for something in their political lives and this makes it challenging to maintain a work/life balance. The inspiration and my motivation for what I do is my family.

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

Ulysses by James Joyce. It is a book I read in my student years and I skim through it quite frequently. I enjoyed the magic of Joyce’s skilful writing, managing to tell a story in so many different ways. I think what Joyce said - when responding to criticisms about his book being hard to read - that if Ulysses isn’t worth reading then life isn’t worth living had a major impact on me. I want my life’s work to be like that.

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