President of FEPS
Maria Joao Rodrigues, was elected Member of the European Parliament in 2014, becoming a member of the S&D Group, the second most important EP Group, with 190 members coming from the 28 Member States. She was then elected by this Group as its Vice-President, in charge of general coordination and interface with the other EU institutions and working with the Committees of Economic and Social Affairs.
After being a Minister of Employment in Portugal, she moved since 2000 to different roles of policy maker in the European Institutions, particularly as member of EU Presidencies leading teams and as special adivisor to the European Commission.
The main outcomes she has been working for are:
- The Economic Policy for Recovery
- The European Pillar of Social Rights
- The EU Strategy for growth and jobs, the Lisbon Strategy followed by the EU2020 Strategy
- The EU agenda for globalization and the strategic partnerships with the USA, China, Russia, India and Brazil for a new growth model
- The development of several policy areas: employment, education, innovation, research, regional and industrial policies
- Special EU initiatives: the new Erasmus for mobility, New Skills for New Jobs
- The final negotiation of the Lisbon Treaty
- The responses to the euro-zone crisis and the reform of the Economic and Monetary Union
In academic terms, she was professor of European economic policies in the European Studies Institute - Université Libre de Bruxelles and in the Lisbon University Institute. She was also the chair of the European Commission Advisory Board for socio-economic sciences and she was also chair or member of several other High-Level Groups in the European Commission. She is author of more than one hundred publications, notably the books:
- The New Knowledge Economy in Europe - A Strategy for International Competitiveness and Social Cohesion, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, 2002.
- European Policies for a Knowledge Economy, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, 2003.
- Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, 2009.
- Europe is Still Possible, Xlibris-Penguin Group, UK and USA, 2013.
- Eurozone Crisis and the Transformation of the EU Governance, edited with Eleni Xiarchogiannopoulou , Ashgate, 2014.
Nominated for the Gaetan Pirou Award (Economic Science Award given by French universities at national level), 1986.
and Gulbenkian Science and Technology National Award in Portugal, 1986 for her PhD thesis on the Employment System
Highly mentioned in the Boa Esperança Science and Technology Award in Portugal, 1992.
Ordre de la Couronne de Chêne au grade de Commandeur of the GrandDuchy of Luxembourg for her contribution to the promotion of social Europe, 2000.
Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique, Grand Official of the Portuguese Republic for her academic and public service functions and for her European contribution, 2003.
Légion d’Honneur – Chevalier of the French Republic for her role in the European integration and the EU Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, 2005. Promotion to the degree of Officier for her role in the EU Presidency and the Lisbon Treaty, 2008.