Marisa Isabel dos Santos Matias (born February 20, 1976 in Coimbra) is a Portuguese sociologist with work in the area of environment and public health, and European MEP of the Left Block.
Maris Matias studies Sociology at the University of Coimbra with the thesis: “Is nature sick of us? Health, environment and emerging forms of citizenship.” (2009); MA in Sociology, social studies in Science and Technology and BA in Sociology by the same university. She has published several scientific articles, chapters in books and other publications, national and international, on the relations between environment and public health, science and knowledge, democracy and citizenship. Collaborated as a training/teacher in various training courses and postgraduate programs (including master and phd programs). Conducted scientific research in the areas of environmental health, sociology of science, sociology of health and political sociology. Research member of the Centre for Social Studies of University of Coimbra (since 2004); research assistant of the Centre for Social Studies of University of Coimbra, Portugal (2000–2004); teacher of Sociology and other disciplines in ITAP and Profitecla schools (2000–2001); secretary of newsroom of the Scientific Magazine of Social Sciences (1998–2000).
Member of Left Bloc National Board and Executive Board; member of board of Pro-Urbe, a civic association in Coimbra. She was national trustee of the movement “Cidadania e Responsabilidade pelo Sim”, during the campaign for decriminalization of abortion in Portugal. Activist in the movement against co-incineration in Souselasand head of the Left Bloc list in the elections for Coimbra Municipality (2005).
In 2009 was elected MEP being part of the political group GUE/NGL. In the European Parliament she is member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. Also member of the delegation to the relations with the Mashriq Countries, with the Legislative Council of Palestine and with South Africa.
At the beginning of mandate was nominated the Parliament’s rapporteur to write and negotiate the directive preventing the entrance of false medicines into legal distribution. A business that generates more than € 400 billion per year for the counterfeiting networks and puts at risk the life of patients. The proposed directive, and negotiated for almost two years, with the parliamentary groups and the governments, would be approved in 2011. Marisa Matias was the second time since Portugal’s entrance at the EU a Portuguese MEP, which leaded the process of a framework-directive, a law that will be transposed to the judicial system of the each of the 28 member States until 2016.
At the same time, she was also rapporteur of the European strategy in the fight against Alzheimer and other dementias, that would equally be approved in 2011. She was part, and co-president, of the European Work Group for Diabetes, being co-author of the first resolution to ever be approved in the European Parliament aiming at the definition of a political strategy to fight the diabetes epidemic (2010). Was also involved in the planning and approval of proposals of resolution on cancer, HIV, and was active member of the parliamentary committee inquiry on the case of H1N1 vaccine. In 2011 was elected by its pairs, with more than 350 votes, was MEP of the Year for health, being the single MEP from the United Left Parliamentary Group to receive this price since its creation.
In the years 2011 and 2012 was the Parliament’s rapporteur for the definition of a Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation. The report was be approved in 2012 and established the bases for what should be the proposal for the Horizon 2020 programme on the European financing of research and innovation for the period 2014-2020. Besides the proposal to reinforce the funds and of a better geographical distribution of the funds, the approved proposal also included a significant increase of support to the scientific work and to the attribution of scholarships within the European financing framework. Later, would also be part of the team of six rapporteurs, nominated by the European Parliament, to the definition and negotiation of the proposal about the Horizon 2020, being responsible for one of the legislative regulations on the Strategic Agenda for Innovation. The legislative package would end up being approved at the end of 2013, being already active since January 2014.
In 2012 she was still nominated rapporteur of the European Parliament for the evaluation of the European Central Bank (ECB) activities of 2011, the year the ECB presidency changed. In a very disputed process and hard negotiations, her report would be approved by one vote of difference in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. Later, the report would be approved, in plenary, still in 2013, but Marisa Matias requested her name to be withdraw as a result of approved changes in the final vote. Those changed took out of the report all the critical references to the ECB as member of the European Troika, equally eliminating the proposal to oblige the ECB to restore to the countries under the Troika’s intervention the profits resulting from the complex processes of buying and selling of public debt titles.
Marisa Matias was, still, the Parliament’s rapporteur for four opinion on European strategy for adapting to climate change, resettling of GDP calculation, proposal for a new pluri-annual financing framework and regulation defining indexes on the goods traded in stock market.
As shadow rapporteur, meaning, MEP responsible within its parliamentary group, to follow and negotiate proposals leaded by other colleagues from other parliamentary groups, Marisa Matias followed, during the mandate, the making of 25 parliamentary proposals, having presented proposals for change and being present in negotiation meetings. So far, was also co-author of 119 proposals of parliamentary resolutions.
While Vice-President of the Parliament to the relations with the Mashriq countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt) was part and presided to several parliamentary negotiations with these countries, coordinating processes of negotiation with the correspondent national parliaments. This was also done during the period known for the transformations introduced by the Arab Spring. Marisa is also member of the Parliament’s Delegation to the relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, having developed initiatives mainly concerning the siege of the Gaza Strip.