Person

Emma Bonino

Born:

March 9, 1948

Occupation:

Politician

Nationality:

Italy

Emma Bonino is a left-of-center Italian politician sitting as of 2021 as a Senator for the More Europe party concerned with feminism, international criminal justice, and humanitarianism. [1] She served as the Italian minister of foreign affairs from 2013 to 2014, as vice chair of the Italian Senate from 2008 to 2013, and as minister for international trade and European affairs from 2006 to 2008. [2] She has been a member of either the Italian or the European Union’s (EU) parliament since she was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1976, except between 1995 and 1999 when she served as European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Fisheries, and Consumer Policy. [3] [4]

Bonino was a former chief observer for the EU electoral missions in Ecuador and Afghanistan. She has been involved with several left-progressive campaigns over her career, including initiatives such as the legalization of abortion, the prohibition of female genital mutilation, and the establishment of the International Criminal Court. [5] Bonino was a member of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations’ Global Board from roughly October 2015 to January 2018. [6] [7]

Nonprofit Activity

In 1993, Emma Bonino founded No Peace Without Justice. It was born from a campaign of the Transnational Radical Party focused on human rights advocacy and international justice. It operates according to three main programs: “International Criminal Justice,” “Gender and Human Rights,” and “Middle East and North Africa Democracy.” [8]

According to Wayback Machine, Bonino was a member of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations’ Global Board from roughly October 2015 to January 2018. [9] [10]

Political Career

In 1976, Bonino was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies as a member of the Radical Party when she was only 28 years old. [11] With the Radical Party, Bonino helped pioneer many social-liberal initiatives in the Italian Parliament, particularly legislation that concerned feminism. She was elected the political secretary of the Radical Party in 1993. Her Italian-based political activity grew to encompass energy policy, criminal justice, and information policy, but she began to set her sights on international political issues like world hunger and human rights. [12]

In April 1981, she founded the International Food and Disarmament Association with 113 Nobel signatories to the Radical appeal against death from hunger. She became the secretary of this organization in February 1986. [13]

During the 1990s, Bonino involved herself in various international campaigns such as opposing the proliferation of landmines in 1991 and supporting the creation of an international court to try war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia in 1993. [14]

Between 1994 and 1999, Bonino served as the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Fisheries, Consumer Policy, Consumer Health Protection and Food Safety. In this role, Bonino was in charge of the European Union’s Emergency Aid Program (ECHO) operating with an average annual budget of more than 800 million Euro. Nearly a third of these funds were directed through United Nations agencies, which explains how Bonino “forged deep ties” with UN High Commissioner Ogata and her deputy, Sergio Vieira de Mello. With these connections, Bonino organized the Madrid “Humanitarian Summit” in December 1995. Her chief point of advocacy was for progressive political action to always accompany humanitarian aid. [15]

In 2001, Bonino began traveling back and forth from her EU office to Cairo, Egypt, so she could continue her parliamentary work but also attend lessons in Arabic in order to consume Middle Eastern newspapers and broadcasts. In March 2003, she began managing the Arab press review for Radio Radicale, an Italian media outlet. She became a prominent Italian analyst of Middle Eastern politics, using her press coverage to advocate for bringing democracy to various Middle Eastern nations. [16]

In November 2002, Bonino attended the Seoul-based second ministerial conference of the Community of Democracies, an international alliance formed in agreement of a document which proposed the creation of a “World Organization of Democracies” that would “reinforce civil and political liberties” globally in a stronger and more aggressive way than the United Nations. It was explicitly anti-nationalist and anti-fundamentalist. [17]

In January 2004, Bonino directed her nonprofit No Peace Without Justice to work with the Yemeni government in organizing a regional inter-governmental conference on human rights and the International Criminal Court. The conference turned out to be a success, attracting more than 800 figures in Western and Middle Eastern politics. The conference was officially sponsored by the European Union and had contributions from the European Commission, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and several other governments along with the United National Development Programme. [18]

Career in European Parliament

Emma Bonino has also served at various times in the European Parliament. She began her career by becoming a member on the Committee on Energy and Research, a position she held from 1979 to 1984. She was a member of the Committee on Budgetary Control from 1981 until 1982. During this time, she represented the Radical Party of Italy. [19]

From 1984 to 1989 she was a member of various committees dealing with budgets, Yugoslavian relations, the environment, and citizens’ rights. [20] In the early 2000s she served on committees mainly devoted to foreign affairs, human rights, and relations to Middle Eastern nations. [21] This continued into the late 2000s. [22]

Feminism and Abortion

Emma Bonino is an ardent, lifelong feminist. In a 2019 interview with Politico, she reminisced about civil rights movements in the 1970s and her struggle against feminists who thought ill of power. “No one is going to step aside and let you have power. You have to seize power whenever you can, and many women just give up,” she told the media outlet. [23]

In the 1970s, Emma Bonino collaborated with the Centre for Information, Sterilization and Abortion (CISA) founded by Adele Faccio, which sponsored clandestine abortion clinics for women who sought abortions but could not travel abroad to get them. With the Radical Party, Bonino also helped propose a successful referendum to introduce divorce in Italy. [24]

References

  1. “Emma Bonino – Biography (CV).” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. http://www.emmabonino.it/biografia/cv_eb_it.pdf. ^
  2. “Emma Bonino – Experts & Staff.” European Council on Foreign Relations. Accessed November 25, 2021. https://ecfr.eu/profile/emma-bonino/. ^
  3. “Emma Bonino – Experts & Staff.” European Council on Foreign Relations. Accessed November 25, 2021. https://ecfr.eu/profile/emma-bonino/. ^
  4. “Emma Bonino.” Open Society Foundations, January 21, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20180121061407/https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/people/emma-bonino. ^
  5. [1] “Emma Bonino – Experts & Staff.” European Council on Foreign Relations. Accessed November 25, 2021. https://ecfr.eu/profile/emma-bonino/. ^
  6. “Emma Bonino.” Open Society Foundations, October 2, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20151002075654/https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/boards/open-society-global-board ^
  7. “Emma Bonino.” Open Society Foundations, January 21, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20180121061407/https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/people/emma-bonino. ^
  8. [1] “Emma Bonino.” No Peace Without Justice. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.npwj.org/About-NPWJ/Emma-Bonino.html. ^
  9. “Emma Bonino.” Open Society Foundations, October 2, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20151002075654/https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/boards/open-society-global-board ^
  10. “Emma Bonino.” Open Society Foundations, January 21, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20180121061407/https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/people/emma-bonino. ^
  11. [1] “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
  12. “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
  13.  “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
  14. “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
  15. “Emma Bonino.” No Peace Without Justice. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.npwj.org/About-NPWJ/Emma-Bonino.html. ^
  16. “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
  17. “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
  18. “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
  19. “1st Parliamentary Term – Emma Bonino – MEPs.” European Parliament. Accessed November 25, 2021. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/1566/EMMA_BONINO/history/1#detailedcardmep. ^
  20. “2nd Parliamentary Term – Emma Bonino – MEPs.” European Parliament. Accessed November 25, 2021. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/1566/EMMA_BONINO/history/2#detailedcardmep. ^
  21. “5th Parliamentary Term – Emma Bonino – MEPs.” European Parliament. Accessed November 25, 2021. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/1566/EMMA_BONINO/history/5#detailedcardmep ^
  22. “6th Parliamentary Term – Emma Bonino – MEPs.” European Parliament. Accessed November 25, 2021. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/1566/EMMA_BONINO/history/6#detailedcardmep ^
  23. Blasi, Giulia. “Italy’s Missing Feminists.” POLITICO. POLITICO, November 21, 2019. https://www.politico.eu/article/italy-feminism-diversity-representation-parliament-laura-boldrini-matteo-renzi/. ^
  24. “Emma Bonino – Biography.” Emma Bonino. Accessed November 25, 2021. http://www.emmabonino.it/biography. ^
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