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Marina Yannakoudakis

Marina Yannakoudakis
Member of the European Parliament
for London
Assumed office
4 June 2009
Preceded by John Bowis
Personal details
Born (1956-04-16) 16 April 1956 (age 58)
Paddington, 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 Party Member of the European Parliament for London first elected at the 2009 European Parliament election.

Early years

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

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

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]

Health and Environment

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[9] as well as ensuring that MRI scanner rules are not over-regulated by EU law.[10] 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.[11] She is the committee's contact point for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Cyprus and LGBT Rights

Yannakoudakis has worked to support efforts to find people who went missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Cypriot intercommunal violence.[12] She is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights.[13] She has campaigned for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Cyprus.[14] She met and received assurances from Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Derviş Eroğlu that he would sign a repeal of the gay ban into law.[15] She has also supported LGBT rights by co-authoring a resolution on LGBT rights in Africa especially the protection of lesbians[16] and called on the EU to suspend its aid to Uganda in light of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill.[17]

Opposition to EU Policy

Yannakoudakis is strongly opposed to the introduction of a European Union financial transaction tax[18][19][20] 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.[21] 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.[22][23][24][25]

She has led campaigns to seek savings in the EU budget. She raised concerns about spending on EU orchestras[26] and has called for cuts to be made to the European Personnel Selection Office.[27] and the Agencies of the European Union.[28][29] She has criticised the EU spending €2 million a year on Europe Day[30] as well as the high cost of the European Commission's participation at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.[31]

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[32][33] 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[34] 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

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

  • Official website
  • European Parliament profile
  • Conservative Party profile


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