Marina Yannakoudakis

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Marina Yannakoudakis
Marina Yannakoudakis MEP 1, Strasbourg - Diliff.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for London
In office
4 June 2009 – 2 July 2014
Preceded by John Bowis
Succeeded by Lucy Anderson
Personal details
Born (1956-04-16) 16 April 1956 (age 60)
Paddington, London, England, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Zacharias Yannakoudakis
Alma mater Brunel University
Open University
Website Official website

Marina Yannakoudakis (born 16 April 1956) is a Conservative former Member of the European Parliament for London, elected at the 2009 European Parliament election. She lost her seat at the 2014 election.

Early years[edit]

Yannakoudakis was born in Paddington. She studied for a BSc in government, politics and modern history at Brunel University, where she was chairman of the Conservative students, and also received an MA in education from the Open University.

She was a member of Barnet London Borough Council for Oakleigh Park Ward from 2006 to 2010 where she was chair of the Cleaner, Greener, Transport and Development Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

Member of the European Parliament[edit]

She is a full member of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and a substitute member of the Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering. She is a member of the Delegation to the EU-Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee.[1]

She is also a member of the High-Level Contact Group for relations with the Turkish Cypriot community in the northern part of the island. She is the Conservative and the European Conservatives and Reformists spokesman on Women's Rights and Gender Equality.

Women's Rights[edit]

She has campaigned against EU plans to give women 20 weeks maternity leave on full pay which would have cost the UK economy £2.5 billion.[2] She led calls in the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality for an impact assessment of the legislation to be conducted which resulted in the proposals being shelved.[3] She has also spoken out against EU proposals to have a quota for women on boardrooms, where she described the proposals as "patronising".[4][5]

Since December 2011, she has been pushing for a redress to the Test Achats vs Council of Ministers case, a European Court of Justice ruling which determined it was illegal for insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of gender in the European Union.[6]

She has also worked on issues related to women and entrepreneurship[7] and child protection.[8]

Yannakoudakis has been leading a campaign in the European Parliament against female genital mutilation.[9]

Health and Environment[edit]

In the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety she mainly concentrates on public health issues, where she has spoken out on the need for stricter rules for EU doctors[10] as well as ensuring that MRI scanner rules are not over-regulated by EU law.[11] She drafted the committee's report on the voluntary donation of tissues and cells which called for more donations of cord blood for stem cell transplants.[12] She is the committee's contact point for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Yannakoudakis has led a campaign to ensure that EU rules do not make it more difficult for electronic cigarette users to access e-cigs.[13]

Cyprus and LGBT Rights[edit]

Yannakoudakis has worked to support efforts to find people who went missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Cypriot intercommunal violence.[14] She is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights.[15] She has campaigned for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Cyprus.[16] She met and received assurances from Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Derviş Eroğlu that he would sign a repeal of the gay ban into law[17] and by putting pressure on the authorities in the north she was instrumental in overturning the anti-gay law.[18][19]

She has also supported LGBT rights by co-authoring a resolution on LGBT rights in Africa especially the protection of lesbians[20] and called on the EU to suspend its aid to Uganda in light of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill.[21]

Opposition to EU Policy[edit]

Yannakoudakis is strongly opposed to the introduction of a European Union financial transaction tax[22][23][24] which she believes would have an adverse effect on the City of London. She has also campaigned to protect companies in her constituency threatened by EU rules including Prudential plc.[25] She has led a cross-party multi-national campaign to secure a level playing field for sugar cane refiners, including London's Tate & Lyle where jobs are under threat.[26][27][28][29]

She has led campaigns to seek savings in the EU budget. She raised concerns about spending on EU orchestras[30] and has called for cuts to be made to the European Personnel Selection Office.[31] and the Agencies of the European Union.[32][33] She has criticised the EU spending €2 million a year on Europe Day[34] as well as the high cost of the European Commission's participation at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.[35]

Yannakoudakis has made a number of comments on the enlargement of the EU. She has voted against the accession of Iceland to the European Union[36][37] citing the ongoing Icesave dispute as an obstacle to EU membership. Yannakoudakis called for Iceland to fully compensate all UK depositors, especially the London councils which had invested surplus money. She also opposed a European Parliament report recommending the accession of Turkey to the European Union[38] citing concerns about Ankara's failure to fully respect women's and minority rights, especially Kurds in Turkey. She also criticised Turkey's refusal to work with the 2012 Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Personal life[edit]

She married her Greek-born husband, Zacharias Yannakoudakis, in 1983. She was finance director of the company that they founded and ran together until her election; the couple has three children. The family lives in Barnet.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "European Parliament Profile". European Parliament. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Groves, Jason (17 June 2011). "EU shelves plan to extend fully paid maternity leave to 20 weeks 'because we can't afford it'". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Banks, Martin (17 June 2011). "New EU maternity rules 'set to be shelved'". The Parliament Magazine. Brussels. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Walker, Kirsty (5 March 2012). "EU wants law to enforce minimum quotas for women in the boardroom". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Outcry over EU plan for more women directors". The Daily Express. London. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Morrison, Caitlin (20 December 2011). "MEP objects to ECJ ruling". Insurance Age. London. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Fleming, Jeremy (4 October 2011). "MEPs urge encouragement for female web entrepreneurs". Euractiv. Brussels. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Protecting children from sex abuse". Conservatives in the European Parliament. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Davis, Anna (3 February 2014). "Europe-wide move to end FGM barbarism". London Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Banks, Martin (21 November 2011). "MEP calls for language tests for doctors". The Parliament Magazine. Brussels. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Yannakoudakis, Marina (2 December 2011). "MRI ban would be 'madness' - warns MEP". PublicService Europe. Brussels. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Health MEPs oppose paid donation of tissues and cells". European Parliament. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Yannakoudakis, Marina (18 July 2013). "E-cigarettes key to helping smokers kick the habit". London 24. London. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  14. ^ Banks, Martin (8 June 2011). "MEPs press for continued action to find Cyprus' disappeared". The Parliament Magazine. Brussels. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  15. ^ James Ledward, Tory MEP joins European Intergroup on LGBT rights, GScene, 24 July 2012
  16. ^ Gray, Stephen (1 February 2012). "MEPs condemn gay arrests in Northern Cyprus". The Pink News. London. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Lloyd, Peter (20 October 2011). "Conservative MEP gets pledge from Turkish Cypriot leader to repeal anti-gay law". The Pink Paper. London. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  18. ^ Roberts, Scott (27 January 2014). "Northern Cyprus votes to repeal gay sex ban". The Pink News. London. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Northern Cyprus lifts ban on gay sex". BBC News. London. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  20. ^ Gray, Stephen (6 July 2012). "European Parliament condemns violence against lesbians in Africa". The Pink News. London. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  21. ^ Roberts, Scott (19 November 2012). "Tory MEP says EU aid must stop if Uganda passes anti-gay bill". The Pink News. London. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  22. ^ Yannakoudakis, Marina (7 December 2011). "Tax and the City". City AM. London. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  23. ^ Mason, Daniel (23 January 2012). "No plot against UK, insists EU's Barnier". PublicService Europe. Brussels. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  24. ^ Mason, Daniel (23 May 2012). "Push ahead with financial transaction tax, MEPs urge". PublicService Europe. Brussels. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  25. ^ Nyman, Francesca (29 February 2012). "Prudential departure would be "severe blow", says Tory MEP". Insurance Insight. London. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Tate & Lyle EU sugar case backed by MEPs". The Grocer. London. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  27. ^ "No Sweeteners". EU Chronicle. Brussels. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  28. ^ Broadbent, Giles (29 May 2012). "MEPs call for reforms to help Tate & Lyle". The Wharf. London. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "MEPs lobby for 'equal treatment' for EU sugar cane refiners". Agra Europe. Brussels. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Banks, Martin (18 March 2012). "EU spends £9 million on 13 orchestras". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  31. ^ Banks, Martin (31 January 2013). "Commissioner leaps to defence of under-fire EU personnel office". The Parliament Magazine. Brussels. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  32. ^ Banks, Martin (10 May 2012). "UK deputy calls for 'bonfire' of EU agencies". The Parliament Magazine. Brussels. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  33. ^ Banks, Martin (4 September 2012). "MEP calls for EU gender agency funding to be scrapped". The Parliament Magazine. Brussels. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  34. ^ Yannakoudakis, Marina (22 June 2012). "EU spends millions on Europe Day every year". Public service Europe. Brussels. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "£475,000 and 300 tonnes of CO2 to send Eurocrats to Earth Summit in Rio... and they STILL can't decide on anything". The Daily Mail. London. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  36. ^ Meade, Geoff (14 March 2012). "MEP in protest over Iceland EU membership". The Independent. London. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  37. ^ Nielsen, Nikolaj (15 March 2012). "Iceland considers Canadian dollar instead of euro". EUObserver. Brussels. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  38. ^ Banks, Martin (30 March 2012). "EU parliament told Turkey is 'not ready' for EU accession". The Parliament Magazine. Brussels. Retrieved 4 April 2012.