The German Ska Keller, co-candidate of the Greens to the Presidency of the Commission in the EP 2014 elections has been MEP for the Greens since 2009. Her national party contributes with 14 deputies out of the 58 seats for the Greens. Her group was the fourth force in the EP after the 2009 elections.
She is from East German and has studied in the Free University of Berlin and in Sabanci of Istanbul where she took Islamic, Turkish and Jewish Studies. With 32 years, she speaks six languages; besides German, her mother tongue, she speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian and Turkish.
Her areas of expertise are Migration and Asylum policies, Common commercial policies, environmental protection standards, and relations with Turkey, which she has been dealing with in the parliamentary committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs; the Commission of International Trade; and in the Delegation in the Mixed Parliamentary Commission EU-Turkey. One of her main worries is the rights of irregular migrants from outside the EU, which she studied in situ in the Spanish city of Ceuta, located in the African coast, in April 2014.
Her trajectory in the Youth Section of Die Grünen coincided with the participation of the Greens in the German Federal Government under the leadership of Joschka Fischer. Between 2005 and 2007, before being elected in the seventh European legislature, she was the spokeswoman for the youth section of the European Green Party, the Federation of Young European Greens.
In January 2014, surprisingly, Keller got the majority of votes through the new process of pan-European open primary elections held via Internet, overtaking more prominent names such as José Bové; the president of the Greens along Daniel Cohn-Benedit, Rebecca Harms; and the former leader of the group, Monica Frassoni.
Keller was strictly the winner with 11971 votes but the 11726 obtained by Bové made the vote to be considered a draw. As there was no competitiveness between both contenders, the European Green Party decided that the two of them would co-lead the campaign. It resulted in a shared candidacy which made sense because the Greens had asked their voters to choose two aspirants. When choosing this formula, the Greens in general and Keller in particular, aware of her lack of notoriety among the European electorate, would take advantage Bové’s fame, known worldwide for his conservation and anti-globalization campaigns.
In the Green Manifesto for the PE elections, Keller defends the need of changing Europe to recover the “hope in the future”. “I fight for a Europe that puts people before banks, that protects the refugees, that works for global justice and that listens to its citizens” proclaimed the green candidate, who chosses on the “Europe of solidarity” over the current “Europe of austerity” and “Fortress Europe”.
“Overcoming borders instead of closing them” as well as “promoting fair trade and not the free market” are the ways to demolish the closed off EU which Keller denounces with these words: “Refugees drown and we spend hundreds of millions of euro in fences and drones. But Human Rights cannot stop at our borders”.
Keller has assured her presence in the European institutions as she is the third in the list of the Alliance 90/The Greens to the EP; Rebecca Harms is the head of the list. Keller won her seat in 2009 being seventh on the list of the Die Grüne.
Keller is married to the green finish activist Markus Drake, who became notoriously famous in 2001 when he threw a cream pie in the face to the World Bank President, James Wolfensohn, while he was giving a press conference in Helsinki.
(Update to March 2014)