Judith Sargentini

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Judith Sargentini
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 2009 – 2019
Personal details
Born (1974-03-13) 13 March 1974 (age 50)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Political party Dutch:
European Green Party
Alma materUniversity of Amsterdam

Judith Sargentini (born 13 March 1974) is a former Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP). She is a member of the GreenLeft (Dutch: GroenLinks) party, which is part of The Greens–European Free Alliance, and the European Green Party. Previously, she was chair of the party's delegation in Amsterdam's city council.


Of distant Italian descent from Bozzano, Province of Lucca, Tuscany, on her paternal side,[1][2] Sargentini describes her family as being "politically very aware".[3] As a child, her parents took her to demonstrations against the placement of nuclear weapons in the Netherlands. Between 1986 and 1992, she attended high school at the Spinozalyceum in Amsterdam. In 1999 she received an MA of history at the University of Amsterdam (specialising in totalitarian systems and the democratisation of Europe).[4] Since 1990, Sargentini was politically active, first in the PSJG, the political youth organization of the left-socialist Pacifist Socialist Party, and later in DWARS, the political youth organization of the GreenLeft, a new political party in which the PSP had merged. During her study, she was also active in the international student movement. Sargentini is a vegetarian.[3]

Political career[edit]

She was secretary of the Dutch Student Union (between 1995 and 1996) and board member of the European Students' Union (in 1998).

In 2002, Sargentini was elected into the Amsterdam municipal council. Between 1999 and 2002, she sat as a co-opted assistant on the municipal council. Between 2006 and 2009, Sargentini served as chair of the GreenLeft party in the Amsterdam municipality. She was spokesperson on work & income, youth policy, and public order.[5]

In addition to her membership of the council, Sargentini worked for various NGOs in the sphere development cooperation. Between 2000 and 2001, she was international coordinator of the European Network for Information and Action in Southern Africa. Following upon that, she worked as international-campaign coordinator for Fatal Transactions, a foundation that highlighted issues surrounding the international trade in conflict diamonds and the financing of (civil) wars in Africa.[6] Between 2003 and 2007, she worked as lobbyist at the Dutch Institute for South Africa. Since 2007, she worked as consultant for the European alliance of development-cooperation organisations Eurostep.[7]

Member of the European Parliament, 2009–2019[edit]

In 2009, Sargentini was one of the candidates for the position of lead candidate on the list of GroenLinks for the 2009 European Parliament elections. While a candidate for the position, Sargentini emphasised issues such as development cooperation, migration, climate change and emancipation.[8] On 8 February 2009, it was announced that she was elected as lead candidate and party foreperson for GroenLinks in the Netherlands European Parliament elections. After five rounds of vote counting, she was elected with 52.4% of the tally.[7][9][10] In 2009, she urged the international community to start negotiations with the Palestinian Hamas and condemned Israel for its "disproportionate use of power".[11][12] In 2015, she visited Israel and Palestine, characterising Israel with the word apartheid.[13] In 2018 she accused Israel of war crimes for forcibly deporting the Palestinians.[14] In 2015 she said that claiming that Islamic State warriors are coming into Europe with refugees is hysteria.[15] In a video[16] her efforts were praised by the Hamas. She herself and the political stance of her party was criticised by the chief rabbi of the Netherlands in a demonstration outside of the office of the Green party in Utrecht.[17] Binyomin Jacobs claimed that Sargentini's opinion encouraged antisemitism.

Sargentini became a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs of the European Parliament, as well as a substitute for the Committee on Development.[18]

In addition to her committee assignments, Sargentini is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights.[19] She is also a vice-chairwoman of the cross-party working groups on fair trade (sponsored by Fair Trade Advocacy),[20] as well as on innovation, access to medicines, and poverty-related diseases (sponsored by Médecins Sans Frontières).[21]

In the European parliament, Sargentini serves as rapporteur on conflict minerals.[22] In 2014, she and Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš persuaded their fellow MEPs to back new rules under which public registers are created listing the beneficial owners of all EU companies and trusts.[23]

From 2014 until 2019, Sargentini was a member of the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG), which oversees the Parliament's election observation missions.[24] She has led EU-Election Observer Missions on numerous occasions, including for the 2014 Tunisian parliamentary elections[25] and the 2015 Tanzanian general elections.

Report on use of Article 7 against Hungary[edit]

In 2017, she was appointed by the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs as the rapporteur to examine triggering Article 7 proceedings against Hungary alleging breaches of "core EU values".[26] On 12 September 2018 the European Parliament adopted a resolution based on her report to trigger Article 7.[27][28] The report includes concerns mainly regarding the constitutional and electoral system; the independence of the judiciary’, corruption; privacy and data protection; freedom of expression; academic independence; freedom of religion and association; the right to equal treatment; the rights of minorities, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees; and the abolition of economic and social rights, antisemitism, antisemitic acts and hate speech. In point 57 of her report she accused the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán of delivering antisemitic hate speech.[29][30] In point 67, she claimed that the conviction of Ahmed H-, a Syrian refugee, who got into conflict with Hungarian policemen at the southern border, raises "the issue of proper application of the laws against terrorism in Hungary, as well as the right to a fair trial".[31] The report was approved by the European Parliament, with 448 votes in favour, 197 against and 48 abstention.[32]

The Hungarian Government questioned the legitimacy of this vote, claiming that this kind of decision would have needed a 2/3 majority. The Orbán-cabinet also stated that the abstinence votes should not have been omitted during the voting process - ignoring that only votes cast, excluding abstentions, were counted on the advice of the Parliament's legal service.[33] Hungary turned to the European Court of Justice for a final decision. The government also edited a 109 pages long answer, which claims that the report contains at least 39 factual errors or fallacies.[34] Ms Sargentini replied to this answer at a press conference, stating that she went through it and found "no holes in [her] report since it is based on sources of intergovernmental bodies such as the UN, the Council of Europe, court cases from Strasbourg and Luxembourg, infringement procedures", adding that the report does not express her personal opinion but that of the European Commission.[35] The dean of the Hungarian university ELTE claimed that contrarily to what Ms Sargentini said, the university had not been consulted during Ms Sargentini's investigation, and asked the removal of its name from the report many times- without response.[36] Another Hungarian university, the University of Pécs also raised this concern.[37] On this issue, Ms Sargentini answered that names were omitted on the interviewed academics' request, who feared of being outed as they would be labelled anti-government and pursued for their opinions.[35] The leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community said that contrarily to what Sargentini stated, antisemitism is actually in decline in Hungary, which is a safer place for Jewry than many West-European countries, due to the government's actions and to the lack of muslim population.[38] Chief Rabbi, Slomó Köves declared that the Sargentini Report is misleading and unfounded concerning Hungarian antisemitism.

Following her report, Sargentini became the subject of a negative TV campaign financed by the Hungarian government.[39][40] Deserted by many of his conservative allies, the membership of the Hungarian governing party Fidesz was partially suspended by the European People's Party on 20 March 2019.[41]

Other activities[edit]


  1. ^ Eizenga-Hendriks, Henny. "Johannes Domenicus "Gio Dominica" Sargentini (1813-1883) » Stamboom Hendriks Regtien » Genealogie Online". Genealogie Online.
  2. ^ Bozzano is a frazione of the Comune of Massarosa, in the province of Lucca in Tuscany.
  3. ^ a b Interview Judith Sargentini Archived 7 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine on Amsterdam.nl
  4. ^ "Judith Sargentini". LinkedIn.[self-published source?]
  5. ^ "mevr. Judith Sargentini". Archived from the original on 5 June 2008.
  6. ^ David Cronin (1 October 2003), Mining, Minerals and Metals European Voice.
  7. ^ a b Judith Sargentini lijsttrekker verkiezingen Europees Parlement Archived 12 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine op GroenLinks.nl
  8. ^ Crisis? Welnee! Nieuwe kansen voor de wereld. Een manifest voor verantwoordelijk Europa on JudithSargentini.nl
  9. ^ ‘Voor een schonere lucht moet je in Europa zijn’ in Volkskrant 8 February 2009
  10. ^ Sargentini Europees lijsttrekker van GroenLinks Archived 15 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine op NRC.nl
  11. ^ "Praten met Hamas is de enige vreedzame oplossing" [Talking to Hamas is the only peaceful solution]. de Volkskrant (in Dutch). 5 January 2009.
  12. ^ "Praten met Hamas" [Talking to Hamas] (JPG) (in Dutch) – via static.origos.hu.
  13. ^ Bernát, Veszprémy László. ""Izraelre a helyes szó: apartheid" - Judith Sargentini és a holland Zöld Baloldal Izrael-ellenességéről - Mandiner". mandiner.hu/.
  14. ^ "Deportatie bewoners Khan al-Ahmar is een oorlogsmisdaad, stellen prominente Nederlanders". The Rights Forum. 12 June 2018.
  15. ^ Sargentini, Judith. "Er is geen greintje bewijs voor de stelling dat IS-strijders op vluchtelingenbootjes naar Europa komen. Is hysterie @EricPetri1".
  16. ^ "'Hamas in Nederland' omarmt GroenLinks in propagandavideo". Jonet.nl. 5 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Christians for Israel Netherlands demonstrates against BDS". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  18. ^ GroenLinks dik tevreden over verworven posities in Europarlement Archived 9 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine op groenlinks.nl
  19. ^ Members Archived 27 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights.
  20. ^ Fair Trade housewarming at the European Parliament Archived 10 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine Fair Trade Advocacy, press release of 8 October 2014.
  21. ^ MEPs kick start their mandate with greater commitment to access to medicines Archived 11 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine Médecins Sans Frontières, press release of 7 October 2014.
  22. ^ Andrew Gardner (5 March 2014), Commission shies away from rules on conflict minerals European Voice.
  23. ^ Nicholas Hirst (23 April 2014), What the Parliament achieved in 2009-14 European Voice.
  24. ^ "EP Election Observation". europarl.europa.eu.
  25. ^ Jeanette Minns (25 September 2014), Election monitors European Voice.
  26. ^ Lili Bayer and Maïa de La Baume (12 April 2018), European Parliament report calls for sanctions procedure against Hungary Politico Europe.Text of the Report.
  27. ^ "Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament calls on the EU to act - News - European Parliament". europarl.europa.eu. 9 December 2018.
  28. ^ Rankin, Jennifer (12 September 2018). "MEPs vote to pursue action against Hungary over Orbán crackdown" – via www.theguardian.com.
  29. ^ "REPORT on a proposal calling on the Council to determine, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Treaty on European Union, the existence of a clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values on which the Union is founded". europarl.europa.eu.
  30. ^ The Sargentini-Report retrieved 4 May 2019.
  31. ^ "Ahmed H. had seven passports". Daily News Hungary. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  32. ^ "EP approves Sargentini Report against Hungary". Budapest Business Journal.
  33. ^ "Parliament denounces Hungary's illiberalism". POLITICO. 12 September 2018.
  34. ^ "About Hungary - [Background] The government of Hungary on the so-called Sargentini Report". abouthungary.hu. 10 September 2018.
  35. ^ a b "Press conference by Judith SARGENTINI (Greens/EFA, NL), rapporteur, on the situation in Hungary (14:09 - 14:32)" – via multimedia.europarl.europa.eu.
  36. ^ Gergő, Kereki. "Hiába tiltakozott levélben az ELTE jogi karának dékánja, Sargentini csak belerakta az egyetemet is a jelentésébe - Mandiner.precedens". mandiner.hu/.
  37. ^ "A Sargentini jelentéshez | Pécsi Tudományegyetem". pte.hu. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018.
  38. ^ "Chief Rabbi Slomó Köves: "Anti-Semitism is in Decline in Hungary"". Hungary Today. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  39. ^ vpro zondag met lubach (14 October 2018), Judith Sargentini en Hongarije - Zondag met Lubach (S09), archived from the original on 20 December 2021, retrieved 4 November 2018
  40. ^ Tamás, Fábián (18 September 2018). "A kormány kampányt indít a Sargentini-jelentésről" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  41. ^ "European People's Party votes to suspend Hungarian President Orban's Fidesz Party". France 24. 20 March 2019.

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