My Internet is a series where DisCo discusses how movers and shakers use the internet for work, leisure and life in general.
Bulgaria’s Eva Maydell is one of the youngest and most visible members of the European Parliament. If the name’s a surprise, the woman behind it isn’t: MEP Paunova got married last month. A Brussels fixture on all things digital, she sits on the EP’s influential Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and is also the shadow rapporteur on the plan for digitising EU industry for the European People’s Party, which brings together the continent’s centre-right parties.
She’s also a regular on techy panels and a big social media user, who keeps her constituents informed through Facebook and Twitter. Working on areas from eCommerce to the app economy and the European Cloud Initiative, she’s enthusiastic about the power of the internet to transform society, but also wants to see citizens educated to use it wisely.
Born in 1986, she’s one of the few digital native MEPs. She started using the internet in high school, then became a regular user while studying at the American University of Rome, where she found it an “exciting tool” for research, but also learned about the importance of being discerning. “The first thing we were advised at uni was to be so aware of what sources we used, and to pay attention,” she recalls. “Today, that’s the biggest challenge — how do you actually get to the right information?”