Emma Bonino

Emma Bonino ( born March 9, 1948 in Bra, Piedmont) is an Italian politician. From May 2006 to May 2008, she was Trade and Minister for European Affairs in the second cabinet of Romano Prodi. On 6 May 2008, she was elected alongside three other candidates for Vice President of the Italian Senate. April 28, 2013 to February 22, 2014 Bonino was Italy's Foreign Minister in the Cabinet Letta.


After graduation in the birth town of Bra, graduated from Emma Bonino 1967 linguistics studies at the Bocconi University in Milan, graduating with a thesis on Malcolm X in 1972.


The beginnings

In 1975, Emma Bonino, co-founder of the Information Centre for sterilization and abortion (Centro di Informazione Sterilizzazione e Aborto, CISA ) and had been voluntarily arrest for abortion. As a prisoner, she was one of the icons for the legalization of abortion campaign.

In 1976, the Radical Party for the first time for the general election on. With only 28 years, Emma Bonino was deputy. In 1979 she won a seat in the European Parliament.

At the beginning of the 1980s, she sat down for an awareness-raising campaigns for the protection of human rights in the Soviet bloc and the Establishment of an International Criminal Court. In 1981 she participated in the founding of the Food and Disarmement International and some officiated several years as secretary of this movement and initiates global information campaigns about the famine.

From 1989 to 1993 she worked as a secretary of the Transnational Radical Party. In 1992 Bonino in New York arrested while distributing sterile syringes to protest against a U.S. law that allowed the sale of syringes only with a doctor's prescription. 1993 Bonino was Promoter of a campaign for the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, by presenting UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali 5,000 signatures from around the world.

In 1993, she founded the NGO " No Peace Without Justice ," which advocates for the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and international justice. In particular, the NGO supported the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and campaigned for the establishment of an international tribunal to judge crimes against humanity such as genocide worldwide.

In the same year she met the Dalai Lama and held a press conference with him on the mobilization for the rights and freedom of the Tibetan people and democracy from China. In 1994, she led a delegation of the Italian Government to the UN General Assembly on the initiative of the " moratorium of the death penalty ".

EU Commissioner

In January 1995 she was proposed by the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and said EU Commission President Jacques Santer as European Commissioner. In the reigning between 1995 and 1999 she was Commission for consumer protection, fisheries and the Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Union (ECHO ) is responsible.

On January 26, 1995, she flew first member of the European Commission since the beginning of the Bosnian war in Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia - Herzegovina. After the genocide in Rwanda in 1996, she traveled several times through the Great Lakes region in Africa to support by the European action in the region, the humanitarian aid to the refugees. At the same time they tried to find a way out of the crisis in Somalia.

In 1997, she led a mission in the Kurdish part of Iraq. As reigning European Commissioner Emma Bonino was arrested a few hours with her ​​delegation in Kabul by the Taliban government. They also promoted an awareness campaign about the extortion of Afghan women.

On March 15, 1999, she stepped back with all the Santer Commission, after it was shaken by a corruption scandal involving the Commissioner Edith Cresson. Although Emma Bonino was not affected by the main charges against the Commission, you were accused of some shortcomings in the management of ECHO in the investigation report of the "wise men". Santer's successor Romano Prodi not confirmed in office.


After her retirement from the EU Commission, it launched the campaign " Emma for President", by which it claimed their choice for President of the Republic of Italy. Despite their relative popularity in the opinion polls, chose the Parliament with a very large majority of the Economy Minister Carlo Azeglio Ciampi as head of state. Nevertheless, it was the radical it relies list for the European elections in June 1999, the best result of all time with 8.5 % of the vote in Italy. Recently, she has signed the Soros letter and actively supports European integration.

Middle East

In December 2001, after the failure of their lists in the parliamentary elections in Italy, settled Emma Bonino in Cairo to learn the Arabic language and culture with the target. At the same time it promoted " StopFgm ", a campaign against the spread in African countries, euphemistically called " circumcision " called female genital mutilation.

In June 2004, she was re-elected as MEPs and joined the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. In 2005, she traveled to Afghanistan as head of a delegation of the European Union for the observation of the local elections.

By 2006 she was a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Budget Committee, the delegation of the Joint Parliamentary Commission EU and Turkey and the delegation to the Euro -Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly. She also held the post of Vice President of the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries.

Prodi government

After the restructuring of the Italian party system early 90s the formally independent radicals Silvio Berlusconi were close. 2006, however, decided the party with the Social Democratic splinter movement SDI the new political force rose in the fist in the context of Romano Prodi's L' Unione coalition to set up. Emma Bonino led the election campaign of the new left-liberal movement in person, which was based on the principle of a clear separation of church and state and the modernization of society.

With only 2.6 percent of the vote, the motion could choose 18 deputies, but not a single senator. Emma Bonino opted on 27 April 2006 for the Italian Parliament and gave her mandate in the European Parliament.

Shortly before the elections was said in the media about them as possible, Foreign Minister of the Prodi government. Nevertheless, she had to eventually settle for a imported for her trade and European Affairs.

Government Letta

Although the Radicals failed in the parliamentary elections in 2013 and Bonino also as a candidate in the presidential elections had no success, she was appointed in April 2013 to the Secretary of State in the Cabinet Letta.

Honors and Awards