Ulrike Lunacek

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Ulrike Lunacek

Ulrike Lunacek (born 26 May 1957 in Krems an der Donau) is an Austrian politician.

She is head of delegation of the Austrian Greens in the European Parliament, European spokesperson of the Austrian Greens, vice-president and foreign affairs spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, Kosovo-Rapporteur and co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights. Lunacek was the frontrunner of the Austrian Green Party for the European elections on 7 June 2009.


From 1967 to 1975 Lunacek attended high school in the second district of Vienna. Furthermore she spent 1 year (1973-1974) as an AFS-student at a high school in Boone (Iowa, USA). In 1975 she started studying interpreting (English and Spanish) at the University of Innsbruck and graduated in 1983. During this time she was involved in the establishment of the women's refuge Innsbruck and did social work. From 1984 to 1986 she was an adviser for the organization "Frauensolidarität" (Solidarity among Women) in Vienna. Afterwards Lunacek was editor of the magazine "Südwind" and press officer of the Austrian Information Service for Development Politics (ÖIE). In addition she worked as a freelance translator and journalist.[1]

In 1994 Lunacek was NGO-delegate at the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo and a year later she coordinated the press work of all NGOs at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Political career[edit]

Lunacek's political career began in 1995 with the presentation of the "Appeal to reason", organized by the Austrian Lesbian and Gay Forum in Palais Auersperg, and the first-time candidacy for the Austrian Green Party, whose federal business manager she was from 1996 to 1998.

From 1999 to 2009 she was a member of parliament and the Green group's spokeswoman on foreign and development policy as well as equality for lesbians, gays and transgender persons. Also starting in 1999, she was deputy chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

As the first openly lesbian politician in the Austrian Parliament,[2] she is also a member of the Greens "andersrum". She had her coming-out in 1980. Since 1994 she is living with a native Peruvian.[3]

On 5 May 2006 Lunacek was elected co-chair of the European Green Party in Helsinki, a position she held for 3 years. On 28 October 2008 she became vice-chair of the Green Parliamentary Club in Austria and was nominated frontrunner for the EP elections 2009.

On 14 July 2009 she moved into Parliament as head of delegation of the Austrian Greens. Currently she is a member of the "Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)", the "Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM)" and the "Delegation to the parliamentary Cooperation Committees EU-Armenia, EU-Azerbaijan and EU-Georgia (DSCA)". In addition she is a substitute member of the "Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)", the "Delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo (DSEE)" and the "Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly (DEPA)".[4] Moreover, she is the Parliament's Rapporteur for Kosovo and the foreign affairs spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group.[1] As co-president of the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights she also fights for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons.[5]

In February 2013 Lunacek was elected vice-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.[4]


In 2013, she advocated for a non-binding resolution on "Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights".[6] that called for "age-appropriate and gender-sensitive sexuality and relationship education ... for all children and adolescents" and referenced a document co-authored by the WHO in which some sexuality information is deemed appropriate from age 4. After some controversy, the European Parliament instead passed a modified version which declared sexual education a competence of the member states.[7] Lunacek called the opponents of the report “right-wing bigots”[8] stating the groups were against “women’s right to a safe and healthy reproductive and sexual life.”[8]



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