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Katharina von Schnurbein

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Katharina von Schnurbein (born 1973) is a German civil servant who has served as the European Commission's coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life since 2015. She is the first person to hold this role, which reports to Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas under his portfolio of European Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life.

Table of contents
  1. Personal life
  2. Professional career
  3. Awards

Image gallery

Official portrait of Katharina von Schnurbein Dean, Von Schnurbein, and Forman

Personal life

Von Schnurbein was born in the German state of Bavaria in 1973. Despite not being Jewish, her parents emphasized the responsibility that Germans had toward Jews and were ardent supporters of Israel.

Von Schnurbein completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science and Slavonic Studies at Charles University in Prague and at the University of Bonn. She earned a master's degree in Slavonic Studies from Oxford University in 1997 and a master's degree in European Studies from the Center for European Integration Studies in Bonn in 1999.

Von Schnurbein is married and has four children.

Professional career

After her studies, von Schnurbein worked for a management consulting firm. From 2000 to 2002, she worked for the chairman of the European Affairs Committee in the Bundestag in Berlin.

European Commission career

Von Schnurbein began her career at the European Union in 2002 as a press officer for the EU Delegation in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2004, she transferred to Brussels to be the spokesperson for European Commissioner for Employment, Sociaal Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimir Spidla. From 2010 to 2015, she coordinated the European Commission's dialogue with churches, religions, philosophical and non-confessional organizations, as well as think tanks in Germany, as an advisor to President of the European Commission Josť Manuel Barroso.

Antisemitism coordinator

In October 2015, the EC created the new Antisemitism coordinator position in response to rising Antisemitism in Europe. As a career EC bureaucrat, Von Schnurbein was appointed by then First Vice-President Frans Timmermans for the position in December 2015.

Her key responsibilities are to liaise with European Jewish communities and bodies and to propose and implement policies to address Antisemitism, promote Holocaust education, and foster Jewish life.

In 2022, von Schnurbein argued that Belgian bans on ritual slaughter risked painting the Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe as "medieval". In response, von Schnurbein convened the first joint meeting between European Jewish and Muslim leaders and EU officials to discuss slaughter based on religious rules in the light of Freedom of Religion.


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