Anne Sander, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and council member of the Grand Est Region, became a member of the EM Strasbourg Board of Trustees in December 2021. In this interview, she reflects on her background and her love of our School, which has “all the assets to become the European school of today and tomorrow.”
Could you tell us about your academic background?
I pursued my academic career at the University of Strasbourg, earning a PhD in economics. I also hold a specialized one-year applied postgraduate degree (DESS) in local economic development and urban policies management, which I obtained in Marseille. During my studies, I always valued a dual—academic and professional—approach. I was highly involved in associations, at the local, regional, and national levels. I was president of the JCE (Junior Chamber) of Haguenau and its surrounding region and president of the Federation of Junior Chambers of Alsace. At the same time, I was also parliamentary attaché to Joseph Daul, MEP.
Since 2014, I have been a MEP, and since 2019, a quaestor in the European Parliament. I was also elected as a council member of the Grand Est Region in June 2021. In my exciting role, I enjoy juggling legislative work with day-to-day involvement on the ground.
In December 2021, you also became a member of the EM Strasbourg Board of Trustees. What made you accept this position?
“I share the School’s dual academic and professional identity, with deep roots in the local economy.”
First of all, it is an honor and a source of pride. EM Strasbourg is a key actor on the higher education stage. The School enjoys a very good reputation at the national level. During my travels, various people talk to me about the School with great respect. Joining EM Strasbourg is also a nice nod to my background. I share the School’s dual academic and professional identity, with deep roots in the local economy. I really appreciate this uniqueness. When at EM Strasbourg, I also find a familiar campus and faculty members that I met during my studies.
What would you like to bring to the School?
As a regional council member of Grand Est and MEP, I nurture a cross-border network with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, and beyond. If I can help the School by forging links with partners from these regions, I will do so with great pleasure.
As a regional council member, I am also president of Grand Est Europe, a group of regional actors wishing to highlight the initiatives of Grand Est actors at the European level, to create new partnerships, and to attract funding. The University of Strasbourg is incidentally a member of this entity. These functions lead me to meet many European actors who could help develop the School.
For several years now, EM Strasbourg has opted for an educational approach focused on Europe, as illustrated by the creation of the CLUE course set and the visit of European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, guest of honor of the PGE class of 2024. In 2022, EM Strasbourg will push the European envelope even further with the opening of an extension in Kehl. You also embody these preoccupations and values through your work as an MEP. How do you see EM Strasbourg becoming the European school of today and tomorrow?
“EM Strasbourg has a real card to play in terms of European influence.”
EM Strasbourg has everything it takes to become the European school of today and tomorrow. It already assumes this role on account of its geographic location and its history. The decision to commit to this European theme is only natural. Mariya Gabriel's arrival on campus is an important step. This reinforces the School’s strategy.
In my opinion, EM Strasbourg must capitalize on the presence of the European institutions in Strasbourg. The European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights are all levers for developing the School. These institutions offer many prospects for EM Strasbourg, which has a real card to play in terms of European influence. Many personalities visit these institutions every month. If we can get them to visit the School's campus, they will become true ambassadors of the School among economic and European players. This is an exciting challenge that the School will rise to.
EM Strasbourg's European and international scope are very interesting assets for attracting talent from around the world. In this way, the School also contributes to the prominence of the city of Strasbourg and the region.
What, in your opinion, are the other strengths of EM Strasbourg?
EM Strasbourg has a very strong presence in the regional economy. These strong links with the business world are a token of excellence for the School. These roots, combined with academic excellence and research, make EM Strasbourg a unique and essential school in higher education.