Catarina Caldeira da Silva was born in Lisbon, Portugal under Salazar’s regime. This dictated her parents’ choice to enroll her and her three brothers in the German School of Lisbon, thus giving them the opportunity to be in contact with different cultures and mindsets since kindergarten. This experience has proven to be of paramount importance in Ms. Caldeira da Silva’s career choices and her perception of the world. She has a degree in history from the Nova University in Lisbon and an M.A. in European Studies from the European College in Bruges, Belgium. She has dedicated her professional life to the European project and joined the European Parliament as early as 1986, immediately after Portugal’s accession to the European Communities.
In Parliament, Ms. Caldeira da Silva developed policy skills in multiple areas, in particular development and cooperation, foreign affairs and human rights. Subsequently, she was appointed chief of staff to the economic policy cluster, which included policy areas as diverse as the internal market, transport, environment, climate and health, and economic and monetary policy. She has also been in charge of a series of enquiry and special committees such as racism, xenophobia, and the 2008 economic and financial crisis. In 2010, she was appointed special advisor and was responsible for inter-institutional relations, in particular the political dialogue between the EPP leadership, the President of the European Commission, and several other commissioner cabinets. In August 2012, she was offered a unique opportunity to become the first EPP senior staffer based in Washington, D.C., with the task of fostering political relations between legislators across the pond. It has proven to be one of the most challenging as well as rewarding professional opportunities she has come across. She also had the great honor of holding for one year a fellowship at CTR at Johns Hopkins as well as visiting scholar with SCAR at George Mason University.
Back in Brussels since October 2014, Ms. Caldeira da Silva was invited to pursue the task she started in Washington, D.C. She continues to dedicate full attention to transatlantic relations and developing at many different levels all opportunities for a fruitful dialogue amongst legislators, stakeholders, congress staffers, and academia. She is deeply convinced that a deepened, well informed dialogue is instrumental to peace and stability around the world. Based upon shared history and common values, this partnership is unique and deserves renovated commitment and attention so that it is vigorously embraced by future generations.