The Hon. Erna Hennicot Schoepges
Vice President of the ICD Advisory Board
Former President of the Parliament of Luxembourg; Former Minister of Culture & Religious Affairs
BiographyEarly on Erna Hennicot-Schoepges perused her passion for culture through Musical studies, for which she received the gold medal, combined with studies in philosophy and literature at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique Bruxelles, Ecole Normale in Paris, the Mozarteum in Salzbourg, and the Centre Universitaire in Luxembourg. Later, she became a Professor at the Conservatoire de Luxembourg, where she also gave numerous piano concerts together with the orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, and gained a reputation as accompanist. In addition, she hosted a music show on Radio Luxembourg.
Her political career is paved by cultural affairs. It started early as a politician on the local level in her hometown in Walferdange as Major and she became the first female President of Luxembourg's Parliament and quickly advanced to a main figure in Luxembourg politics as Minister of Culture, Higher Education and Research and Public Works. At the same time she was active as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Elected president of the CSV (the Christian Social Party) from 1995 to 2003, after Jean-Claude Juncker, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges was leading the reform of the party, its new statutes and long-term programme. In 2004 she was elected Member of the European Parliament, a mandate of 5 year, during which she established herself as active member in the field of environment and research. She was a very active member in the culture commitee.
Erna Hennicot-Schoepges is known for her active involvement in numerous foundations, where issues such as Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue and Cultural Itineraries are treated.
On a national level she is responsible, among others, for the creation of the University of Luxembourg in 2003 and the Luxembourg Philharmonic hall Joséphine Charlotte in 2005. On a European level she had the honour to become rapporteur of the "European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, 2008", through which she managed to create an intense political debate on cultural issues by organising conferences and publications.
She is regularly invited to take part in national and international conferences, by different foundations and universities, to speak and elaborate on her experiences in the European and the Cultural field.
In addition, she has a weekly column in the french speaking newspaper "Le Jeudi", where she writes about current issues of the European Unions.