Marietje Schaake (Dutch pronunciation: [mɑˈritʃə ˈsxɑkə]; born 28 October 1978) is a Dutch politician. She is a member of Democrats 66 and has been a Member of the European Parliament with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE) since July 2009.
Education and early career
Schaake grew up in Leiden and went to high school at the Haags Montessori Lyceum in The Hague. She then left for the United States to study liberal arts at Wittenberg University in Ohio. She went on to study sociology, American studies and new media at the University of Amsterdam. After an internship with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Schaake was granted the Lantos Fellowship of the United States House of Representatives, where she focused on international relations and human rights issues.
Before her political life, Schaake served as an independent advisor to, amongst others, the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands and to the president of theLeadership Conference on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C.. Other assignments included consulting the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as cultural institutes and companies. Schaake specialized in topics such as transatlantic relations, diversity, integration, civil rights and Muslims in the West. In 2007 she received the Barney Karbank Memorial Award 2007 for outstanding leadership on the issue of human rights.
In the fall of 2008, Schaake was nominated as candidate for the European Parliament for the Dutch political party Democrats 66 (D66). In the European Parliament elections of 2009, Schaake was elected when D66 won three seats. In the European Parliament elections of 2014, she was re-elected for a second term.
In the European Parliament, Schaake is the ALDE Coordinator of the International Trade committee (INTA). She is the spokesperson for the ALDE Group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Schaake additionally serves on the committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), where she focuses on strengthening Europe as a global player. She works on the EU’s neighbourhood policy, notably Turkey, Iran and North Africa and the broader Middle East. In the subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), she speaks on human rights and coordinates the monthly human rights resolutions for ALDE.
Schaake has taken several initiatives to promote digital freedoms and to include them in EU foreign policy. She is vice president of the delegation for relations with the United States and serves in the delegation for relations with Iran. Schaake has pushed for completing Europe’s digital single market and copyright reform. She supports an open internet in discussions about internet governance and digital (human) rights.
Schaake established the Intergroup on the Digital Agenda for Europe. In this group Members of the European Parliament, cross-party and cross-nationality, work together in strengthening the digital agenda for Europe.
In March 2011, the European Parliament adopted Schaake’s report on the Cultural Dimensions of the EU’s External Actions. This was followed by the adoption of Schaake’s report on a Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign Policy in December 2012 and her report on Freedom of the Press and Media in the World in June 2013. Furthermore, in April 2014 the European Parliament supported Schaake’s amendments to enshrine netneutrality into European telecommunications legislation. Earlier in 2011, The Wall Street Journal called Schaake “Europe’s most wired politician”.
Schaake has several unpaid additional positions. She is a Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Board of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, and serves as a Commissioner in the Global Commission on Internet Governance. She is also vice-chair of the Supervisory Board of Free Press Unlimited, serves on the Board of Governors of the European Internet Foundation, on the Board of Directors of the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren, and on the board of the Dutch section of the Internet Society.
Schaake is furthermore member of the Board of Advisors of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, member of the Committee of Recommendation of the Model European Parliament, and member of the Board of Advisors at the EU-funded research project ‘Media, Conflict and Democratisation’. In September 2013, Schaake joined the Steering Committee of the “Transatlantic Dialogues on Security and Freedom in the Digital Age” project of the New America Foundation, and joined the Committee of Recommendation of Dutch whistleblower foundation Publeaks. Schaake is a Young Global Leader in the class of 2014.