Lobby meetings

Lobbying is not always a bad thing. Human rights activists, peace activists or oppressed minorities also need associations or groups to represent them in politics. Lobbying is part of it, but must not become backroom politics.
That is why our group has voluntarily committed itself to transparency. Under the following link you can follow up with which lobby groups or representatives I have met so far. However, there is one exception and that is activists who are politically persecuted and are not safe. In order to protect these people, such meetings are not listed publicly.

Office expenses

For us Greens/EFA, Transparency is a matter close to our hearts. Of course this also applies to our own work. Each MEP receives a monthly lump sum for office expenses ("GEA lump sum", "GEA" stands for "General Expenditure Allowance"). Below you can find an overview of my expenses last year:

In 2020, I received 59,356.75 euros from the European Parliament to cover expenses for my parliamentary work. Of this, I spent 54,401.62 euros, leaving the remaining 4,955.13 euros for expenses in 2021.

The largest item in 2020 was "office equipment". I used the money primarily to furnish my two constituency offices (in Berlin and Greifswald) and to equip my staff with laptops and smartphones with Internet access to enable them to work from their home offices during the pandemic.

It is also important to me that my employees and I can continue our individual training and that we all have a contact person/coach in the team for possible conflicts. In addition, I subscribed to a number of publications last year. All of this can be found under "Further training".

The heading "representation" includes expenses related to the #SHEcurity campaign, which we redesigned from an analog to a digital event, as well as costs for events or for visits from abroad or the constituency.

The item "Travel" covers travel expenses on my part or on the part of team members. Last year, this included parts of my trip to Iraq, to the Munich Security Conference, and overnight stays in the constituency or in other European countries. The European Parliament travel also grants a travel budget to MEPs, but it is too tight for a politician with a focus on foreign policy.

The "phone expenses" are, for example, cell phone contracts and mobile data plans for my staff and me, since we switched completely to mobile working last year.

The item "Office Supplies" includes everything from folders to paper, paper clips, and software licenses.

The "Administrative Expenses" are bank fees as well as my proportionate contribution to the office and travel expenses of our 4 joint staff members of the German members of the Green Group (135 euros per month).

I hope this list helps to understand what I used my GEA lump sum for in 2020. Of course, there is a receipt for every euro and I am happy to provide further information in case of justified inquiries.