Re-elected Member of the European Parliament, Edit Herczog is a promoter of research and development and e-skills. In the previous legislature, Edit has promoted research and development initiatives by looking at ways to lower the energy use in Europe, to sustain the competitiveness of SMEs and to drive forward the e-skills agenda.
Before entering politics in 1998 as a member of the Hungarian National Assembly and before being a delegate at the Council of Europe, Edit has worked both in academic researches and in an international business environment, developing solutions for the food industry. Adding the degrees achieved in engineering, in business management and in language and literature, it is certain that Edit can serve as a role model for many younger women.
How did you get started? What got you into politics?
I was 24 when the political system changed in all countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It turned out for me that if you want to make responsible decisions for your own life you have to follow and try to influence the changes around you. My values were closer to socialist values and my way to deliver a change way determined, coordinated evolution rather than conflict and revolution.
What are the personal achievements you are most proud of?
My life is not a rocky hill with tops and downs. It is rather a continuous effort to work for issues that are important to me: energy and telecom package, services directive, Small Business Act, REACH, Lisbon Strategy and the maximization of working places.
How have you changed or how has the work environment for women changed since you first started working?
When I started we were targeting a quota. Today we have to find a new target to get beyond. I am proud that in my party three women led the European Parliament list. It is certainly a socialist value.
How can women be encouraged to take leadership roles, particularly in politics?
My grandmother gave me a piece of advice for my marriage and this secret works for politics as well: work hard, keep your principles and have fun. These are the success keys for women in politics, too.
How do you balance work and life?
Work is part of my life as well as my family, my pets, my books and my household. Same rules: work, fun and balance are the keys.
Some of our readers are "mentees", young women at the beginning of their careers. Could you share with them whatt had inspired you when starting new initiatives?
Firstly, the most important is to learn that yesterday's yourself is your hardest competitor you have to win. Secondly, it is better to be alone with the truth than being with everybody and being wrong. Finally, the help and the added value you received once from someone important in your life you have to give it back to someone else younger.
And, lastly, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Books, pets, garden.