Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, MEP. The Mali-born politician, who was elected in 2019, is the first Afro-German European Parliamentarian/Photo: Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana

Herzberger-Fofana on why she’s running again for the European Parliament

Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, a member of the European Parliament representing Germany, has announced that she would seek reelection next year.

“It has been a great honour for me to work for our Alliance 90/The Greens in the European Parliament since 2019 to realise the vision of a fairer, more humane and sustainable world,” Ms Herzberger-Fofana said in a public announcement during the week.

“In recent years, I have already been able to push through many concrete measures for women’s rights, for climate justice and against racism and discrimination in the European Parliament and I would like to continue this!” she continued.

“That is why I am running for the European Parliament again with great passion and am counting on your support!”

Dr Herzberger-Fofana was elected to the European Parliament on 26 May 2019 and has since been campaigning for a democratic, humane Europe.

The 74-year-old Mali-born politician, the first Afro-German Member of the European Parliament (MEP), has been very active promoting the cause of human rights in the context of the global climate crisis, among other issues.

“As First Vice-Chair of the DEVE Development Committee, I work to develop fair trade relations and constructive dialogues with countries of the Global South and am committed to relaunching EU-Africa relations on an equal footing,” Dr Herzberger-Fofana writes.

The MEP has also been very loud and active against racism and discrimination in the EU.

“In addition to the EU Antiracism and Diversity Weeks, which I have hosted together with other MEPs in recent years, I am also committed to the issue in my constituency. In my home town of Erlangen, I have organised the Black History Weeks every year since 2015 and am always in dialogue with refugees in the region,” she reports.

The Afro-German politician holds other important positions in the parliament, showing the confidence her fellow MEPs have in her.

She is the Co-President of the European Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) and a member of the delegation to the Cariforum-EU Parliamentary Committee (DCAR) – ‘Cariforum’ stands for the countries of the Caribbean region.

She is also a substitute in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), as well as a substitute in the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (DACP) – ACP standing for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Dr Herzberger-Fofana, who holds a doctorate in literature, has been strongly engaged on issues such as the empowerment of girls and women, with a particular focus on migrant women, as well as combating violence against women, discrimination and racism.

In 2003, she received the “Grand Prize of the President of Senegal for Research and Science” in Dakar and, in 2009, was awarded the “Helene Weber Prize” by the then Federal Minister for Family Affairs, who is currently the EU President, Dr Ursula von der Leyen, for her outstanding commitment as a local politician.

Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana was born on 20 March 1949 in Bamako (Mali), the daughter of a Guinean father and a Cape Verdean mother, and she grew up in Dakar, Senegal. After her studies in Paris, Munich and Trier and a doctorate at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, she worked as a research assistant and lecturer at various Bavarian universities and as a secondary school teacher in Erlangen.

From 2005-2019, Dr Herzberger-Fofana was a city councillor in Erlangen, the first African to be elected to a city council in Germany. She is also a founding member and former chairwoman of FORWARD-Germany e. V., an organisation that campaigns for the abolition of genital mutilation of women and girls, a member of the Helene Weber Network and the Vereinigung Mandatsträger*innen Afrikanischer Abstammung e.V. (Association of Elective Office Holders of African Descent in Germany).

Until her election to the European Parliament, the mother of three, worked as a freelance editor and author.

The 2024 European Parliament election is scheduled to hold on 6-9 June 2024, the tenth parliamentary election since the first direct elections in 1979 and the first after Brexit.

Femi Awoniyi

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