Silvana Koch-Mehrin

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Person.png Silvana Koch-Mehrin  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(lobbyist, politician)
Silvana Koch-Mehrin.jpg
BornNovember 17, 1970
Alma materUniversity of Heidelberg
Member ofAmerican Council on Germany/Young Leaders/2003, Atlantik-Brücke, European Leadership Network, WEF/Young Global Leaders/2005
WEF/Young Global Leaders 2005. Promising euro-politician from the German FDP until revelations that she had plagiarized large parts of her doctoral thesis.

Esther Silvana Koch-Mehrin is a German politician of the FDP. She was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2014. After the 2009 European elections, she was one of 14 Vice-Presidents of this Parliament until her resignation on May 11, 2011 after revelations of plagiarism in her doctoral dissertation She did not stand for the 2014 European elections.

As of September 2021, she is the chairwoman of the Women Political Leaders Foundation, which she co-founded.[1]

She was selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005. She participated in the deep state Atlantik-Brücke and the European Leadership Network.

Early Life

Koch-Mehrin was born in Wuppertal in 1970 as the daughter of a journalist and FDP member and a teacher; her father transferred to the Foreign Service. After her father was posted to German embassies in Africa, she grew up in Morocco and Sudan as a preschooler.

She studied economics and history at the Universities of Hamburg, Strasbourg and Heidelberg from 1990 to 1995 with a scholarship from the FDP-affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation. She received her doctorate in 2000 from the Faculty of Philosophy and History at the University of Heidelberg with a dissertation on historical economics[2]. On June 15, 2011, the University of Heidelberg revoked her doctoral degree for plagiarism in her dissertation (see below).

Immediately after her doctorate, Koch-Mehrin founded Conseillé + Partners sprl, a management consultancy for strategic planning and European consulting. At the beginning of 2003 she became a partner with her company in the management consultancy Policy Action Ltd.[3], which specializes in analyzing the impact of legislation on business and is also active in lobbying. After her election to the European Parliament, she claims to have sold her shares.[4] From 2004, she wrote a weekly column to a reader's question about the EU in Praline magazine.[5]

In November 2014, the PR and communications company gplus europe hired Koch-Mehrin as a Senior Policy Advisor based in Brussels.

Political career

Koch-Mehrin was deputy leader of the Young Liberals. From 1999 to 2011 she was a member of the federal executive board of the FDP. Koch-Mehrin is a member of the FDP district association in Karlsruhe.

After a ten-year absence, the FDP returned to the European Parliament in the 2004 European elections with Koch-Mehrin as its top candidate. After moving into the European Parliament, Koch-Netzin became the chair of the FDP delegation within the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe parliamentary group (ALDE) selected. At the same time she became a member of the party executive committee of the FDP. She was also elected first deputy leader of the ALDE parliamentary group. Among other things, she was a member of the budget committee of the parliament.

Koch-Mehrin is a member of the association promoting the Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft and is on the editorial board of the magazine Politik & Kommunikation.


At the beginning of April 2011, after Internet users in the VroniPlag Wiki had compiled passages suspected of plagiarism in Koch-Mehrin's doctoral thesis[6], the University of Heidelberg announced that the allegations would be reviewed by the end of May 2011 at the latest. The public prosecutor's office in Heidelberg stated that possible copyright infringements were already time -barred, so that no criminal investigations were initiated.

On May 11, 2011, Koch-Mehrin wrote a statement resigning as head of the FDP delegation in the European Parliament, as parliamentary vice-president and as a member of the FDP executive committee. She wanted Heidelberg University's exams to be "confidential, fair, carried out according to the rule of law and without regard to persons and not burdened by the fact that [she] held prominent offices". Koch-Mehrin wanted to keep her mandate in the European Parliament. [7]

On June 15, 2011, the Doctoral Committee of the University of Heidelberg announced that her doctoral degree would be revoked. According to information from the university, there were over 125 passages on around 80 pages of text which had to be classified as plagiarism[8]. These plagiarisms came from more than 30 different publications, two thirds of which were not listed in the bibliography, including standard works and handbooks.

Debates about attendance rates in 2009 and 2011

In the run-up to the 2009 European elections, MEPs from other parliamentary groups and various media criticized Koch-Mehrin for rarely attending committee and plenary sessions in the European Parliament[9]. In September 2011, media reported that Koch-Mehrin had not attended a single meeting of the petitions committee in the past two years, even though this committee was the only one in which Koch-Mehrin was a full member.[10]


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