Karima Delli MEP one of the 40 MEPs who matter

Karima Delli
Karima Delli, MEP France

Source: Politico

Karima Delli isn’t your typical European Parliament committee chair.

She takes over the Greens’ only top job this week covering transport — a woman, in her 30s and with an Algerian background — and is used to facing-off against National Front leader Marine Le Pen in northern France.

“In electing a young woman you are sending out a very strong signal to European citizens,”

Delli said from the chair’s seat immediately after being confirmed in committee [in January].

At 37 she isn’t the youngest MEP, but she will be the youngest chair. Delli replaces Michael Cramer, a German Green with a penchant for cycling and rail who plans to step down as an MEP in 2019 and in 2014 agreed to switch the chair half-way through the term. A tight internal vote was held this month to determine who would stand.

As part of her priorities, Delli says she wants to prioritize social issues and deploy transport in the fight against climate change. A source close to Delli said she also hoped to bring a different style to committee leadership.

Delli is the ninth child from a family of 13 and grew up in the industrial city of Roubaix, not far from the Belgian border. Her father worked in a textile factory while her mother cared for the family. A former parliamentary assistant to a Green senator in France, she has a record of activism.

Her election to the European Parliament in 2009 came as a surprise. Delli was fourth on the Paris list for the Greens but benefited from an unexpected boost in support for the party in the French capital. Her first committee gig was in employment affairs where she focused on social housing and workers’ rights.

In 2014 she was re-elected, this time as first on the list from the northern Hauts De France region. It is here that she competed directly against Le Pen for votes.

A transition to transport policy came as part the European Parliament’s response to the Dieselgate scandal. Delli helped lead the push to collect over 150,000 signatures calling on the European Parliament to launch its own investigation. She’s been a vice-chair of the committee of inquiry since its inception.

See Politico’s full list here.

Karima Delli


Cecilie Kyenge, Member of European Parliament, Italy

Cecilia Kyenge, MEP, Itlay
Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/124801/KASHETU_KYENGE_history.html

In 2013 Cecile Kyenge was named to the Black Women in Europe Power List after her appointment to Minister of Integration in Italy. During that time she endured abuse from her colleagues.

Cécile Kyenge Kashetu is a Congolese-born Italian politician and ophthalmologist. She is the Minister for Integration in the current Italian government. She has founded an intercultural Association (DAWA) to promote mutual awareness, integration and cooperation between Italy and Africa, particularly in her country of birth, the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is also the spokesperson of the association “March First”, which works to promote the rights of migrants in Italy. In February 2013 she was elected member of the Chamber of Deputies for the Democratic Party in Emilia-Romagna. Two months later she was appointed Minister for Integration in the grand coalition government formed by Enrico Letta, becoming Italy’s first black cabinet minister. She supports the introduction of a Jus soli law to grant citizenship to children of immigrants born on Italian soil.

Ms. Kyenge pictured with her daughters.

On 25 May 2014 she was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).  Visit Minister Kyenge’s website (in Italian).

Barking and Dagenham councillor set to become first Black woman to be elected to European parliament from the UK

Barking and Dagenham councillor set to become first Black woman to be elected to European parliament from the UK

Sanchia Alasia, a Labour party councillor in Barking and Dagenham is set to become the first Black woman from the UK to be elected to the European parliament in the elections set to be held on the 22nd May 2014.


Sanchia worked alongside the party members and activists in Barking and Dagenham to smash the BNP in Barking and defeat the sitting BNP councillor in her ward, Robert Bailey to become the youngest woman on the council.  She currently chairs the council’s Health and Adult Services Scrutiny Committee.


Sanchia is a specialist in French politics and she has done a number of key things in Europe with the European Diversity and Inclusion Congress, German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network and as an expert at the Council of Europe conference in Poverty and Inequality.


There are six new candidates that were chosen by a tough selection process by the London Labour party to fight the elections next year; they will be announced on the party’s website on Monday 8th April.


The final stage of the selection process is a one member one vote ballot which will be sent to all Labour party members in June.  The outcome of this ballot will determine the ranking of the candidates.  The higher the ranking the more likely it will be that the candidate will be elected.


This news comes on the back of another success for Sanchia; she has been selected to take part in the 50/50 European Campaign Political Mentoring Network, which will be launched this Tuesday in the European Parliament in Brussels.  This network will bring together current sitting MEPs from all political parties, with future candidates for the 2014 European Parliament elections. The European Women’s lobby, European Political Mentoring Network aims to empower ethnic minority women and women of foreign origin ahead of the June 2014 European elections and, ideally, to increase their representation in the European Parliament (EP), in order to address the lack of gender parity and ethnic diversity in political decision-making at European level.


More details about the political mentoring network can be found here:




Sanchia Alasia said:

‘It is a great honour and privilege to have been chosen as a candidate by the Labour party for the European elections in the London region for 2014.  I look forward to being able to use my direct experience to help Labour and sister parties across Europe tackle the rising threat of the far right.  This seat is not my seat but for every one of the nine million residents of London.

Sanchia was born in Jamaica and grew up in Newham, east London.  Both her parents worked in the public sector, her mum is a teacher and her dad was a train driver.  Sanchia has a BSc in politics and sociology and an MSc in politics, policy and government.

Sanchia is an award winning diversity and human resource specialist and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).   Sanchia has worked on equality and diversity issues in a number of public sector organisations.  She led the mature students section within the National Union of students, Black students campaign.  She sat on the women’s staff network committee and co-chaired the Black staff network group at Transport for London.  Whilst studying for her master’s degree she was elected as the race equality officer at the University of London Union.  Professionally her roles include diversity officer at Queen Mary University and Equality and Diversity lead within the NHS.  She currently provides expert diversity advice to Brunel University as their equality and diversity manager.  Working in all these roles has given Sanchia a strong understanding of equality and employment law as well as developing initiatives to improve workforce representation.

Due to her expertise, Sanchia was asked to write a chapter for the book ‘equality, inequalities and diversity ‘published by Palgrave Macmillan and co-wrote a chapter about the resources and constraints of diversity and equality officers.  Sanchia is a well sought after speaker and has spoken at the World Diversity leadership summit and the European Diversity Business Congress over the last couple of years.  Sanchia was selected as one of the 35 delegates to the Women in Public Service project out of the initial 170 applicants, which took place in Paris in October 2012. The theme of the project was global health, particularly relevant as she chairs the health scrutiny committee at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.  In this role she has led a review of the quality and safety of maternity services at Queens’s hospital in Romford and is currently leading on an in-depth scrutiny review of services and support for diabetics in Barking and Dagenham.

Sanchia has always been an active individual, having been a student governor at her last university and was elected to become the first Black vice president in her students union.   As well as being an active member of the Labour party, Sanchia is also an active member of the Fabian Society, Co-op Party, Christian Socialist Movement, BAME Labour and her trade union, UNISON.  Sanchia has completed internships with Sadiq Khan and Diane Abbott and now brings that experience to help and to work closely with local residents in Alibon ward, resolving their issues with long lasting solutions.  Sanchia was elected as a Labour party councillor in Barking for Alibon ward in May 2010, where she defeated the London regional coordinator of the BNP, Robert Bailey, who was the sitting councillor at the time to become the youngest woman on the council.  Sanchia achieved over a 7% swing to Labour as the council candidate in the 2010 local elections by reaching out to the wider community.  Sanchia currently serves the borough as a school governor in a local primary school within her ward and as chair of the health and adult services scrutiny committee.

She is a specialist in French political analysis and broader European debate and writes about the French presidency and tackling the far right in the UK and across Europe on a regular basis, on her own blog sanchiaalasia.blogspot.com and on www.leftfootforward.org

Sanchia was shortlisted to the final three for International politician of the year for the inaugural Google European Diversity Awards in 2011. She was long listed to the final ten for the Women in the city awards this year and was runner up for the women in public service category in the Precious awards that took place in late November 2012. www.preciousawards.com

She was given a community leadership award for the work she tirelessly does in her local community, at the good neighbourhood awards ceremony which took place in Barking in December 2012.  She was shortlisted for young councillor of the year in the Local Government Information Unit, annual councillor 2013 achievement awards.

She also been shortlisted in the category of Local Government Personality of the year in the women in public life awards.  The ceremony is due to take place in March 2013.  http://www.womeninpubliclifeawards.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=7:local-government-personality-of-the-year&Itemid=14&layout=default

Sanchia was elected onto the executive committee of the Labour Movement for Europe (LME) in February 2013.  LME is an affiliated socialist society in the Labour Party.  LME also works with Unions, the Co-operative Movement and other progressive groups – and puts them in a European context. They believe in progressive change and society’s capability to reflect social responsibility and solidarity – in workplaces and communities up and down this country, but also across Europe and across the globe.

Sanchia loves cooking and singing.


2nd Annual Transatlantic Minority Political Leadership Conference

European Parliament – Brussels, Belgium

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe


The Transatlantic Minority Political Leadership Conference has taken place annually at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels since the seminal Black European Summit (BES): Transatlantic Dialogue on Political Inclusion, held in 2009. The events focus on Black and ethnic minority political participation in Europe and North America. This year’s Conference focused on the social and political inclusion of ethnic and racial minority populations in Europe and the United States. Participants considered the adoption of an EU-U.S. Joint Strategy on Racial and Ethnic Equality, similar to current United States’ initiatives with Brazil and Colombia that address issues of inequality and discrimination.

1:00 – 2:15 pm

Welcome Lunch


The Honorable Hannes Swoboda MEP, Socialist & Democrats Group
The Honorable Alcee L. Hastings, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Claude Moraes, MEP, Socialist &Democrats Group

2:30 – 4:15 pm

Parliamentary Forum:

Including Diversity on the Transatlantic Agenda: The case for a EU-U.S. Joint Strategy on Racial and Ethnic Equality and Inclusion

Forum Chairs:

The Honorable Alcee L. Hastings, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Peter Skinner, Member of the European Parliament

Special Remarks:

Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General, European External Action Service


Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, Head of Equality and Citizens’ Rights Department, European Union Fundamental Rights Agency
Zakiya Carr Johnson, Sr. Advisor, Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit, U.S. Department of State
Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union

4:30 – 6:30 pm

Are We Being Served? Minorities at the Decision-making Table

Session Chairs:

The Honorable Barbara Lee, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Glyn Ford, former Member of the European Parliament


Cornell Belcher, President, Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies, U.S.
The Honorable Nura Ismailovski, Zagreb City Council, Croatia
The Honorable Said el Khadraoui, Member of the European Parliament
The Honorable David Lammy, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
The Honorable Vivienne Poy, Member of the Senate of Canada

Moderator: Rokhaya Diallo, Journalist, France

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Awards Ceremony

Honoring the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent


The Honorable Alcee L. Hastings, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Gregory Meeks, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable George Pau-Langevin, Member of Parliament, France



Parliamentary Forum

Including Diversity on the Transatlantic Agenda:

The case for a EU-U.S. Joint Strategy on Racial and Ethnic Equality and Inclusion

The Parliamentary Forum focused on an EU-U.S. equality and inclusion strategy, potentially modeled after existing bilateral ‘Joint Action Plans’ the U.S. maintains with Brazil and Colombia focused on eliminating racial discrimination and inequality. The Forum was prompted by a 2010 EU-U.S. Summit affiliated European Parliament Resolution calling for a dialogue between governments on greater tolerance and respect for diversity. Panelists reviewed the situation of racial and ethnic minorities in Europe, including
political participation and provided an overview of existing U.S. Action Plans. Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General Johnsson maintained that any EU-U.S. plan must include a focus on minority political participation, especially in national Parliaments, while External Action Deputy Secretary General Popowski
noted a plan would assist in complying with international human rights norms.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency Head, Mr. Dimitrakopoulos relayed disturbing statistics on the situation of ethnic minorities and migrants and raised the importance of active citizenship for these populations. U.S. State Department Sr. Advisor Carr-Johnson highlighted current successes between the U.S. and Latin America plans and their applicability to Europe. Conference participants supported incorporating any new strategy with Roma inclusion efforts that were being discussed in the European Union and the need for minorities to be involved in the development and implementation of strategies, noting the need for the creation of minority thinktanks. U.S. Representative Hastings commented,

“Too often have governments done things to us rather than with us.”

At the conclusion of the Conference, Conference participants called for the U.S. State Department and the European Commission to adopt a Joint Action Plan.

Minority legislators compared and contrasted the social and political situation of racial and ethnic minorities and migrants in North America and Europe based upon their experiences. All speakers noted the underrepresentation of minorities in government at national and other levels in their countries, which impacted access to quality education, employment, and other resources. Existing government programs to improve the situation of minorities were found to be largely ineffective, in part due to poor implementation and underfunding. An absence of minority legislators who could support such measures and
waning political will were cited as additional reasons for these efforts being unsuccessful. Canada’s first Asian Senator, Vivienne Poy extolled Canada’s social integration methods for migrants allowing them to excel in some areas, while noting the lack of diversity in the Canadian Parliament and the need for reforms in the electoral process. Belgian MEP El Khadraoui of Moroccan descent noted that only 4% of candidates were of a foreign background in a recent election in the Flanders region, despite 30% of the population being foreign born and having high unemployment rates that warranted political action. U.K. parliamentarian, David Lammy of Black Caribbean origin noted the need for strategies from minorities to increase pressure on traditional political parties to adopt beneficial policies for their communities, including strengthening education. Both Lammy and El Khadraoui highlighted Europe’s growing class of inter-racial youth and its impact on European identities. Zagreb City Councilwoman of Croatia, Ms. Ismailovski reflected on her journey as the first Romani woman to graduate from University and be elected. She lamented the lack of clear and measurable actions for the Roma community compared to five years ago in the face of the recession. African-American pollster, Cornell Belcher detailed the power of minority voters in winning U.S. elections, but noted the current failure of U.S. political parties to reach out to them and support policies benefiting their communities.

Panel Chair, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee offered closing remarks where she spoke of challenges in her work leading the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus to address racial disparities in the United States. She also noted her entry into politics via a Congressional fellowship and the need for similar professional development opportunities for minorities throughout the transatlantic space. Former U.K.M EP Glyn Ford raised concerns with growing racist and xenophobic political parties in Europe that were rolling back gains for minorities.

Panel Discussion:

Are We Being Served?: Minorities at the Decision-making Table

For the third year, prior to the Conference, U.S. Congressional minority staffers and interns participated in an exchange with the European Parliament’s Socialists & Democrats Group. In addition to meetings with European counterparts and party leaders, this year’s program included attendance at a Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, where EU High Representative Catherine Ashton spoke about the EU’s Libya strategy, an S&D Group meeting focused on plans to create a code of conduct to fight corruption in Parliament, and a book launch entitled, Roma: A European Minority, the Challenge of Diversity Inclusion.

The 2011 International Year for People of African Descent aims at strengthening national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.

Edouard Glissant

In honor of the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent, Dorothy Height of the United States and Edouard Glissant of France received Posthumous recognition for their work to advance minority political participation presented by U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks and French Parliamentarian George Pau-Langevin.

Dorothy Height

“I believe we hold in our hands the power once again to shape not only our own but the nation’s future — a future that is based on developing an agenda that radically challenges limitations in our economic development, educational achievement and political empowerment.” – Dorothy Height

Awards Ceremony

Honoring the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent

Minority Staff Exchange

For the first time, affiliated Conference events took place over the weekend during the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Brussels Forum—an annual high-level meeting of North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders focused on transatlantic cooperation on global challenges. In an off-the-record discussion, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, former Dutch Parliamentarian Fadime Orgu and pollster Mr. Cornell Belcher discussed changing demographics and the role of minority politicians and electorates in current policy debates amidst growing tensions surrounding national identity, immigration, and national security in the United States and Europe. Questions explored included: How race and ethnicity impact politics? If demographic changes fuel far-right and conservative policies? How can increased mi-
nority political participation strengthen our democracies?

GMF Brussels Forum Night Owl Session:

Demographic Shifts and Minority Political Representation

We would like to thank all participants for their contribution in helping to make the event a success: Mr. Cornell Belcher-Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies; Ms. Lora Berg-Department of State; Dr. Allison Blakely-Boston University; Ms. Zakiya Carr Johnson-Sr. Advisor, Department of State; Ms. Dimitria Clayton-State Chancellery, State of North Rhine-Westphalia; Ms. Anna Colombo-Secretary General, Socialists & Democrats Group Secretariat; Mr. Peter J. Croll-Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC); Mr. Harlem Desir- MEP, S & D Group; Ms. Rokhaya Diallo-Journalist; Ms. Seynabou Dia; Mr. Reda Didi-Graines de France; Mr. Alain Dolium-French Democratic Movement; Mr. Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos-European Union Fundamental Rights Agency; Mr. Said El Khadraoui- MEP, S&D Group; Mr. Ioan Enciu, MEP, S&D Group; Mr. Glyn Ford -Political Intelligence; Ms. Aurelie Ganga-The European Diversity Caucus; Ms. Adrianne George-Black Women in Europe Blog and Social Network; Ms. Domenica Ghidei-The Netherlands Equal Treatment Commissioner; Dr. Terri Givens-University of Texas at Austin; Mr. Alcee L. Hastings-Member of the U.S. Congress, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe; Ms. Nura-Ismailovski-Councilwoman, Zagreb City Council; Mr. Anders Johnsson-Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union; Ms. Brenda King-European Commission; Mr. David Lammy-MP, United Kingdom; Ms. Barbara Lee-Member of the U.S. Congress; Mr. Gregory Meeks-Member of the U.S. Congress; Mr. Claude Moraes-MEP, S&D Group; Dr. Lorenzo Morris-Howard University; Ms. Joyce Naar-ACP Civil Society Forum; Ms. George Pau-Langevin-Member of the French National Assembly; Ms. Randianina Peccoud-U.S. Embassy Paris; Senator Vivienne Poy-Member of the Canadian Senate; Peter Skinner- MEP, S&D Group; Mr. Paul Stafford-The German Marshall Fund of the U.S.; Mr. Hannes Swoboda- MEP, S&D Group; Mr. Wouter Van Bellingen-Stadhuis Sint-Niklaas. We would also like to thank the following people for their assistance in the work of the Conference and Report: Dr. Emmanuelle Le Texier of the staff of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Mr. Alex Johnson and Dr. Mischa Thompson of the staff of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Ms. Naakoshie Mills of Howard University, intern, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Mischa Thompson
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
234 Ford House Office Building
3rd and D St. NW
Washington DC 20515
Tel: 202-225-190|Fax: 202-226-4199

Dr. Emmanuelle Le Texier
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament
European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
B-1047 Bruxelles
T +32 2 284 2111/F +32 2 230 6664

Black Women in Leadership in France: Marie-Luce Penchard Minister of France Overseas

Marie-Luce Penchard was appointed the Minister of France Overseas by French President Sarkozy. She is a Guadeloupean politician aged 50, whose mother, Lucette Michaux-Chevry Senator, was one of the leading figures of RPR in Guadeloupe, and Secretary of State for Francophone.

Madame Penchard was born on 14 February 1959, holds a Master of Economic Sciences, and is an adviser to the presidency of the Republic, and political advisor of the UMP, in charge of the Overseas Territories.


African week in the European Parliament

08.09.2008 – 11.09.2008
09:00 – 18:00

African week on the Intercultural Dialogue in the European Parliament

Link to program:

European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0)2 284 21 11
Fax: +32 (0)2 284 69 74
Email: info@europarl.eu.int

Link to the organizer:
URL of event: http://www.interculturaldialogue2008.eu/405.0.html[tt_news]=339&tx_ttnews[backPid]=333&cHash=ae32f6f43d

Registration required:
Thomas Dudrap
Phone: +32 (0)2 284 45 24
Email: TDudrap@europarl.europa.eu

European Parliament
Rue Wiertz
1047 Brussels

Location of event
The role of the African diaspora in development will be among the themes discussed during the African week to be held by the European Parliament.

Part of the European Year for Intercultural Dialogue (EYID), the week will feature both political and cultural events. EP President Hans-Gert P??ttering, Pan-African Parliament President Gertrude Mongella and African Nobel Prize winners will speak at the closing session on Thursday. A round-table on the role of the African diaspora in development will be held by the Committee on Development and chaired by its President Josep Borrell (Wednesday 10, 18.45h).

A joint meeting of Members of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and Members of the ACP-EU Joint-parliamentary Assembly, together with Nigerian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature Wole Soyinka, will close the African week (Thursday, 11.00h). EP President Hans-Gert P??ttering and PAP President Gertude Mongella will also take the floor.

The Malian photographer Malik Sidib?? will be the guest of honour for the African Week . The week will showcase the vitality of the contemporary arts in Africa. Events linked to current political developments in Africa are also planned.Large scale prints of the Malian photographer???s work will adorn the EP???s building and will be visible from the Place de Luxembourg from Friday 5 September.

Hans-Gert P??tterin, EP President; Gertrude Mongella, Pan-African Parliament President; Josep Borrell,President; Malik Sidib??, Malian photographer; Luisa Morgantini, Vice-President of the EP.

Mobile post sent by BlackWomenInEurope using Utterz.??reply-count??Replies.