Silvana Koch-Mehrin

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Silvana Koch-Mehrin 2009

Esther Silvana Koch-Mehrin (born 17 November 1970 in Wuppertal) is a German politician and former Member of the European Parliament with the Free Democratic Party of Germany. Until May 2011, she was Vice Chairwoman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. She is a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets. She also is a substitute member of the Committee on Budgetary Control and a member of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union (including Libya).

During the campaign for the 2009 European Parliament election, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) criticised Koch-Mehrin for attending only 39% of the parliamentary debates, not counting maternity leave. She answered back and gave a statutory declaration that she had participated in 75% of the debates. The European Parliament then published a corrected number of 62%, with maternity leave taken into consideration. Since giving a wrong statutory declaration is a criminal act, the European Parliament's administration reviewed additional attendance lists Koch-Mehrin provided. Mehrin's party urged a preliminary injunction against the FAZ, but withdrew it soon after.[1]

In 2009, she was elected Vice President of the European Parliament.[citation needed]

Doctorate plagiarism[edit]

Like Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis's doctoral theses, Koch-Mehrin's 2001 thesis, titled 'Historical Currency Unions between Economy and Politics', was analysed by VroniPlag using a crowd-source effort, and she was accused of plagiarism.[2][3][4] As a consequence of this, on 11 May 2011 she resigned as chairperson of the FDP in the European Parliament and as vice-president of the European Parliament, arguing that she wanted to end the strain the investigation put on her family.

She remains a member of the European Parliament, and continued to use the doctor title.[5][6][7] On 15 June 2011 the University of Heidelberg officially rescinded her doctorate due to massive plagiarism.[8] Only four days later she announced that she had become a full member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. This provoked a hefty reaction from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The DFG President, Matthias Kleiner, stated that further membership of Koch-Mehrin in the European Parliament is not acceptable.[9] Koch-Mehrin has since announced that she will relinquish her seat on the committee.[10]

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