Rebecca Harms

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Rebecca Harms
Rebecca Harms.jpg
Rebecca Harms (2011)
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1956-12-07) 7 December 1956 (age 58)
Hambrock, Uelzen, Lower Saxony
Nationality German
Political party Alliance '90/The Greens
Occupation Landscape designer

Rebecca Harms (born 7 December 1956) is a German politician and Member of the European Parliament for Alliance '90/The Greens, part of the European Greens. Since 2010 she has been the president of The Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European parliament.

Early life and education[edit]

Harms grew up in a village near Uelzen in Lower Saxony. She finished school with the Abitur in 1975 and began her career with an apprenticeship in plant nursery and landscape gardening.[1]

Political career[edit]

During the following years, Harms became active in the anti-nuclear movement and began to study at university. In 1984 Undine-Uta Bloch von Blottnitz (de) employed her as an advisor after being elected to the European Parliament. She returned to her home in 1988 and made numerous documentaries. From 1994 to 2004, Harms was a member of the Landtag of Lower Saxony. From 1998 she served as chairwoman of her party on the state level. She has since been a member of the Parteirat, the federal leadership body of Germany’s Green Party.

Member of the European Parliament[edit]

In 2004, Harms was the top candidate of the Alliance 90/The Greens for the Elections to the European Parliament and in 2009 she was elected again for parliament. She has led the Greens–European Free Alliance in the European Parliament since 2009, at first alongside Daniel Cohn-Bendit (2009-14) and later Philippe Lamberts (since 2014).

Political positions[edit]

On nuclear energy[edit]

Living in the Wendland region which became known nationwide for the Gorleben atomic waste site, Harms is a declared opponent of nuclear power. In 2006, she commissioned two UK scientists for an alternate report, entitled TORCH, to the disputed November 2005 IAEA report on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. After European Union leaders in 2011 decided that nuclear reactors across all 27 member nations should undergo safety tests in response to the continuing radiation leaks from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, Harms criticized that the tests were "designed to give the impression that there’s a new evaluation of the risks of nuclear power" but instead are meant "to win new acceptance for nuclear power."[2]

On NSA surveillance and Edward Snowden[edit]

After German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported in 2013 that American intelligence agencies had monitored the offices of the European Union in New York and Washington,[3] Harms called for a special committee to investigate the claims and the possible cancellation of existing agreements between the European Union and the United States concerning bank transaction information and airline passenger data.[4]

On Russia[edit]

During the Ukraine crisis, Harms – a longtime critic of Putin[5] – made a number of statements supporting Kiev and criticizing Russia. In December 2013, she addressed the thousands of Ukrainians in Maidan Nezalezhnosti protesting the previous regime's rejection of a pact with the European Union.[6] In the context of European efforts to unify their political response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Harms claimed that “in the face of a new threat of war in Europe, E.U. states have indeed agreed on a joint strategy towards Russia.”[7]

On September 25, 2014, Harms who arrived to Moscow to witness court trial against Nadiya Savchenko was denied entrance to the Russian Federation and was announced as persona non grata.[8] She was informed that her entrance to Russia could be qualified as a crime.[9]

When Finland announced plans in 2014 to build a nuclear reactor in cooperation with Russian firm Rosatom and on the condition that Finland maintains an energy partnership with Russia over the subsequent years, Harms described the decision as "wrong". She insisted that "with a Russian partner, it is even worse," as this was "totally contrary to the EU's energy security goals, which aim to cut the EU's damaging dependency on Russian energy."[10]

Harms is fundamentally supportive of the European Commission’s 2015 proposal for an Energy Union, but warned that while reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian energy imports "we escape into the arms of Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan instead of the home-grown renewables sector."[11]

Other activities[edit]

Harms serves as a member on the Norddeutscher Rundfunk’s advisory committee.[12]


External links[edit]