Born and raised in Emilia-Romagna, at home in Europe – since May 2008 Laura Garavini is a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies as a representative of the Democratic Party.
Since the beginning of the current legislative period, she has been a member of the parliamentary board of the Democratic Party Group, responsible in the field of Europe and foreign affairs.
Moreover Laura Garavini is part of the Antimafia-committee of the Italian parliament – whose spokeswoman she has been from 2009 to 2013. During the Italian EU Council Presidency in 2014 Laura Garavini was the chairwoman of the “Board for fighting organized crime in Europe and worldwide”. Furthermore she is a member of the Italian Parliament’s commission for immunity matters, as well as, suggested by all of the factions, chairwoman of the German-Italian parliamentarian group.
As a „bridge-builder for Europe” in 2016 Laura Garavini was awarded with the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the Federal President Gauck.
Before being elected into the Italian Parliament Laura Garavini has worked in Germany for almost 20 years, especially in the fields of integration and social work. Since 1996 she was in charge of the Italian part of the integration project “Pro qualification” in Cologne. From 1999 she was the chief of the Italian social counseling center ITAL-UIL in the DGB building Berlin-Brandenburg. Since 2004 Laura Garavini worked for the union-linked association “Union of the Italians in the World” (UIM).
In 2007 Laura Garavini aroused public attention in Italy and Germany, as she, together with prominent gastronomes, founded the organization “Mafia? Nein, Danke!”, as a reaction to the mafia murders in Duisburg. “Mafia? Nein, Danke!“ led to the biggest rebellion against racketeering outside of Italy. With the turn of the year 2007/2008 two members of the Neapolitan Camorra blackmailed several restaurant owners in Berlin, setting on fire a restaurant and a car. With the support of “Mafia? Nein, Danke!” numerous of the blackmailed gastronomes contacted the police and filed charges. This led to the arrest of the two Camorra members in the beginning of 2008, later followed by their perennial prison sentence.
For the general election in 2008 the Democratic Party nominated Laura Garavini, who has been a member ever since the party’s formation, as their candidate for the electoral constituency “Europe” for the Italians living abroad. She gained the most preferential votes (25.070 Stimmen) and got elected into the Italian parliament. During the general election in 2013 Laura Garavini was her party’s frontrunner for the electoral ward Europe and got elected into the parliament again, with again the most preferential votes (37.813).
Laura Garavini, grown-up as a child of cherry farmers in Vignola in the province of Modena, studied politics at the University of Bologna and graduated with top grade (“cum laude”). At the LUISS University of Rome she completed a specialization in Management of European collaborative projects. One month after the fall of the Wall she moved to Germany and taught at the University of Kiel with a teaching assignment for Italian language and culture.
Laura Garavini is married and has one daughter.