President of the National Council Elisabeth Köstinger
Elisabeth Köstinger was born on 22 November 1978 in Carinthia and grew up on a small family-run farm in St. Paul/Granitztal.
Having taken her matriculation exam at the Federal Higher-Level Secondary School for Economic Professions (HBLA) in Wolfsberg in 1998, she started to work as an Assistant in Carinthia’s Regional Public Health Insurance Fund in the following year. She quit this job in 2003 to study journalism and communication sciences as well as applied cultural sciences at the University of Klagenfurt. In parallel, she worked in the field of communications on a freelance Basis.
Already at a young age she was active in the Rural Youth: first in the Granitztal local group, then as district chairwoman of Wolfberg Rural Youth, regional chairwoman of Carinthia’s Rural Youth and finally, from 2002 to 2006, federal chairwoman of Austria’s Rural Youth. In 2007, she was elected chairwoman of Austria’s Young Farmers. Her committed work for the Young Farmers and for the Austrian Farmers Federation, of which she is Vice President, led her to be elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and to be re-elected in 2014.
In the European Parliament, she was a member of the committees on Agriculture and Rural Development and on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. In addition, she was very active as a substitute member of the committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and of the special committee on Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector. In the committee on Fisheries, she had an observer function. In 2014, Köstinger received the „MEP Award 2014“ in the Agriculture and Rural Development category.
From 2011 until she resigned from the European Parliament, she was deputy head of the ÖVP delegation to the European Parliament, and since 2014 she was Vice President of the European Parliamentary Association as well as the ÖVP delegation’s spokeswoman for agricultural, environmental and women’s affairs.
Köstinger is also President of the Ecosocial Forum Europe and Vice President of the Ecosocial Forum Austria.
In May 2017, she became Secretary General of Austria’s New People’s Party and ran for a National Council seat on the regional list of her native province of Carinthia. With an impressive number of preference votes, she won a seat in the National Council. In the constitutive sitting of its 26th legislative term, she was sworn in as a Member and elected as the National Council‘s President. She accepted her election „with deep humility and gratitude“ and assured she will „do her best to be a President for all Members of the House“.