London born and bred, Marina went to a convent school in Beckenham, studied government, politics and modern history at Brunel University in Uxbridge and received an MA in Education from the Open University.
Marina was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for London in June 2009. She served as the Conservative Spokesman on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in the European Parliament. She was also a full member of the parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee where she focused on health issues. Marina was also a substitute on the Special Committee on Organised Crime.
Prior to entering the European Parliament Marina was the financial director of a pan-European company she founded in 1984 with her husband.
What Marina has achieved so far
Marina is focused on protecting British business from costly EU regulation. She campaigned hard against EU plans to give women 20 weeks’ maternity leave on full pay which would have cost the UK economy £2.5 billion a year. She led calls in the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality for an impact assessment of the legislation to be conducted which resulted in the proposals being shelved.
Marina is opposed to quotas for women in the boardroom being imposed at the EU level. She is leading the campaign against intrusive EU employment legislation which would not only patronise women but lead to multinationals relocating their businesses outside Europe.
As a former small businesswomen, one of Marina’s areas has been promoting more female entrepreneurs. Marina drafted a report which was overwhelmingly adopted by parliament to make it easier for women to start their own businesses, especially through access to EU micro-financing facilities. Marina is currently the lead negotiator in the Women’s Rights Committee on draft legislation on boosting the competiveness of SMEs.
Marina was also the MEP following and reporting on sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography in the Women’s Rights Committee. She worked on measures in the European Parliament to stop child abuse, block access to child pornography and criminalise the sexual grooming of children; areas where it is vital to have multinational co-operation. An overview or Marina’s work in the Women’s Rights Committee can be found in her booklet: Women and the EU: Changing lives, growing choices.
In the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety she negotiated a good deal for the UK during her work on the Cross-border healthcare directive to ensure that the EU does not interfere in the NHS. Marina also worked to fight counterfeit medicines at the EU level. She also authored proposals on the voluntary donation of tissues and cells where she called for a life-saving network linking potential donors with desperately-ill patients. For more information on Marina’s work in Public Health please see her booklet: Health in the EU: A Member State Competency.
Marina is strongly opposed to the introduction of a European Union financial transaction tax which she believes would have a disproportionately harmful affect on her constituency of London. She has also called on the EU to be more business-friendly and to reduce the legislative burden on companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
Marina continues to support efforts to find people who went missing during Cypriot intercommunal violence and the Turkish invasion of 1974. She instigated a Written Declaration (motion) which was signed by 411 MEPs and became the official position of the European Parliament. She has also actively campaigned for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Cyprus. In October 2011 she met the Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Dervi? Ero?lu who assured her that he would sign a repeal of the gay ban into law.