Italien: Luisa Morgantini

Dialogue is the only way to end war and terror. We need practical solidarity with those who are weaker and diplomacy from below.

— Luisa Morgantini

Luisa Morgantini is a member of the European Parliament. The leftist politician from northern Italy supports people in areas of tension. She makes every effort to see that conflicts are resolved through peaceful dialogue. As a trade unionist she started more than 20 years ago to establish solidarity projects in South American and African countries. Since 1982, she has been working closely with Israeli and Palestinian peace initiatives, above all Women in Black, and has risked her life in peace missions. In Palestinian areas she demonstrated with the people against the Israeli occupation.

The Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia. Luisa Morgantini makes dangerous trips to crisis areas. She tries to mediate between conflict parties. “Practical solidarity” is what the north Italian calls her missions. “I am not naïve,” she says. Negotiations are very difficult. But dialogue is the only way to end war and terror. In the European Parliament and at international conferences she reports about her experiences with sensitivity. At the center of her speeches are the people who have experienced injustice and live with violence daily. Since 1982, Luisa Morgantini has supported peace activists in the Middle East, especially the women’s organization Women in Black. Palestinian and Israeli women prove that it is possible to live together. “Never again war,” said her father when she was still a little girl. He was a partisan, fighting against German Nazis and Italian fascists. He did not talk much about his experiences, but Luisa Morgantini could not forget his warning, which gave her energy for her peace work. Already as a young girl she resisted social injustice. In her home town of Villadossola, she was, at age 14, already an active member of the leftist metal workers union (FLM). And later she was the first woman to be elected to the secretariat of the workers’ organization in Milan. The severe earthquake in the southern Italian Irpinia in 1980 interrupted her trade union involvement. For almost a year, she did voluntary reconstruction work in the area affected by the catastrophe. This experience changed her life. She got involved in solidarity projects in South American and African countries. In 1999, Luisa Morgantini ran for European Parliament for the first time as an independent candidate. Currently, she is chairwoman of the Committee on Development and a member of the Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council.

European Parliament Confederal Group of the European United Left Women in Black