Sophie in 't Veld
|Leader of the Democrats 66 in the European Parliament|
|Assumed office |
20 July 2004
|Preceded by||Lousewies van der Laan|
|Member of the European Parliament|
|Assumed office |
20 July 2004
Sophia Helena in 't Veld
13 September 1963
|Political party||Democrats 66|
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
|Alma mater||Leiden University|
Sophia Helena "Sophie" in 't Veld (born 13 September 1963) is a Dutch politician of the Democrats 66 party. She was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2004, and reelected in 2009, 2014 and 2019. She was her party's top candidate for the three elections and has been its leader in the European Parliament since her first election.
From 1982 to 1991, she studied history at Leiden University. After completing a master's degree in medieval studies, she worked as a freelance translator in French, English and Italian, then as a trainee in the economic affairs department in the Dutch city of Gouda.
In ’t Veld has been a Member of the European Parliament since the 2004 European elections, for Democrats 66 as part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe parliamentary group. Her election in 2004 made her the sole D66 MEP until 2009.
Between 2004 and 2009, In ’t Veld served on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. From 2009 to 2014, she was a member of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality. Since 2009, she has been a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs; between 2009 and 2014, she served as the committee’s deputy chairwoman. Within the Committee, she has been chairing the Rule of Law Monitoring Group (ROLMG) since 2018.
In addition to her committee assignments, In ’t Veld founded and currently chairs the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics. She is also Chair of the European Parliament Working Group on Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Development since 2009 and Vice-President of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights.
In 2017, In ‘t Veld and Guy Verhofstadt unsuccessfully tried to recruit the Five Star Movement (M5S), an Italian populist party, into ALDE. When Martin Selmayr was appointed to be Secretary-General of the European Commission in March 2018, In 't Veld led the protests in the European Parliament stating that the nomination "destroys all the credibility of the European Union". Following the 2019 elections, she ran against Dacian Cioloș and Fredrick Federley to lead the Renew Europe group but eventually lost to Cioloș.
In ‘t Veld is an ardent opponent of the death penalty. In 2009, In ‘t Veld and her fellow MEP Sarah Ludford publicly supported an online petition calling for abortion to be made legal across all EU member states. In ‘t Veld also sought a condemnation of Pope Benedict XVI over his critical comments on gender theory.
Following the 2014 elections, In 't Veld joined fellow MEPs Othmar Karas, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard and Alessia Mosca in an open letter aimed at exerting pressure on the President of the European Commission and national government leaders during the nominations process to improve the gender balance in the composition of the European Commission.
In 2008, In 't Veld filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Homeland Security, demanding to see what information it had collected on her from her PNR data; this move led to her being blacklisted. A Washington, D.C. judge ruled in 2009 that the Federal government of the United States does not need to explain to In 't Veld why she must undergo additional security checks each time she visits the United States.
In July 2009, In ‘t Veld took to court again after unsuccessfully seeking access to documents about the legal basis of the EU’s agreement with the United States about how information from the international bank transfer system Swift concerning EU citizens would be passed from the EU to the United States. The EU’s General Court ruled in December 2009 that In ‘t Veld should be given access to parts of the documents, but the Council of Ministers heavily censored the files. In 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that In ‘t Veld should be given access to documents prepared by the legal service of the Council. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer represented in 't Veld in her case.
Speaking in the European Parliament on 29 April 2015, In 't Veld criticized Nigel Farage's warning that Islamic extremists were likely to enter Europe among the influx of migrants and refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, suggesting that this scenario was as unlikely as an invasion by Martians.
In September 2019, European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen created the new position of “Vice President for Protecting our European Way of Life”, who will be responsible for upholding the rule-of-law, internal security and migration. In 't Veld said in a statement: "The implication that Europeans need to be protected from external cultures is grotesque and this narrative should be rejected."
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