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Sergej Stamishev

President PES
sergej-stamishev-portrait
© Maurice Weiss

What encouraged you to go into politics?

The ability to change the world. If you don’t go to politics, politics goes to you, you know. So I chose to be proactive.

In your political career what makes/made you see doing the right thing?

I travel a lot. Some times in the train or at the airport I unintentionally hear parts of people’s conversations. When people are happy with some of the things my political family, our parties are doing, I feel proud. But I am never a 100% sure if I did the right thing, as far as there is always something better that I can do.

What does good life/good society mean to you?

A good society is one that provides equal chances for each and every person. In a decent society no one is left behind. It is my deeply held belief that in an unequal society, someone can be successful, but not happy. We humans are social animals. We need each other and it feels better when the society is good for everyone.

What do you have to do to bring your thoughts away from politics?

A number of things. First of all – my family, my kids. I don’t need anything special. I enjoy spending timeall together. I travel a lot and I don’t have enough time for my children and my wife. Secondly – adventure sports like diving and skiing. I like sports that make you feel part of the environment, that are closer to nature. A ski slope surrounded by trees and rocks, or the deep of a lonely bay, where you are diving surrounded by underwater life. You are in direct contact with nature. And finally – classical music.

What was the strangest thing that happened to you?

Politics is the strongest thing that happened to me. After to many victories and achievements, defeats and disappointments, the fact that I’m still passionate and optimistic about politics is a surprise for me.

What is your driving power for your political work?

The driving force behind my work is my fundamental belief in equality and my optimism that things can be changed. I relish that my work gives me a platform to events according to my beliefs. Of course forces beyond your powers can put you in extremely difficult situations, even can take away everything. But they can’t take away your freedom to response accordingly, to do and say what you think is right.

What is your biggest wish for tomorrow?

To have some time drawing with my kids. I am not a good painter, but I can draw a cat or a flower and we do this with my son and my daughter whenever we can. My time with them is precious so it is always a pleasure to have quality time away from the phone calls and emails and the glare of computer screens. We enjoydrawing together though soon they will be better than me!

What was the advice your parents gave you? Did you put it in practice?

My mother was always telling me “Never be afraid of anything!” Fear paralyses both the mind and the soul and always leads you to wrong decisions. Whatever happens to me I try to act in a way that would not make my wife and kids ashamed of me.