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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 was a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets. She also was 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). EU Representative to the Executive Board of W20, Member of the Advisory Board of the Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL), and Alumni of the Young Global Leaders Network of the World Economic Forum.
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. 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 remained a member of the European Parliament, and continued to use the doctor title. On 15 June 2011 the University of Heidelberg officially rescinded her doctorate due to massive plagiarism. 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. Koch-Mehrin has since announced that she will relinquish her seat on the committee.
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. this figure would later be corrected to 75% without maternity leave, like she had stated earlier. 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, due to the fact of her stating a true statement.
Women In Parliaments
Silvana is the Founder of the Women in Parliaments a Global Forum (WIP), the worldwide network of female politicians. WIP is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit foundation. Its mission is to advance society by increasing the number and influence of women in political leadership. The foundation have had numerous conferences, of which the most recent ones have been held in Jerusalem, Nairobi and Beirut. The organisation has undertaken two studies so far; Social Media: Advancing Women in Politics? and The female political career.
- "German politics rocked by new plagiarism probe". BBC News. 14 April 2011.
- ZEIT ONLINE GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. "Universität Heidelberg will Koch-Mehrin Doktortitel aberkennen". Zeit.de. Retrieved 2013-02-19.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- ZEIT ONLINE GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. "Koch-Mehrin resigns from party and European offices(ZEIT online)". Zeit.de. Retrieved 2013-02-19.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- The Whiff of Plagiarism Again Hits German Elite, NY Times, 2011-04-24
- La vicepresidenta de la Eurocámara Koch-Mehrin plagió su tesis doctoral, El Mundo, 2011-05-13
- 'Heidelberg University rescinds Koch-Mehrin doctorate, Der Spiegel, 2011-06-15 (German)]
- Weitere Mitgliedschaft im Europäischen Parlament nicht akzeptabel, Professor Matthias Kleiner, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, 2011-06-24
- Koch-Mehrin lässt die Finger von der Forschung, Focus, 2011-06-26
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