About Tom

Thomas Waitz (born on 16 May 1973 in Vienna) is an Austrian organic farmer, forest warden and politician of the Green Party. He took over the mandate of Ulrike Lunacek in the European Parliament on 10 November 2017.

Waitz is the son of a railwayman, but his family had strong ties to agriculture – on his mother’s side to Lower Austria and Southern Hungary, on his father’s side to Styria. He attended school in Vienna and was a “globetrotter” for a few years afterwards. Since 1994 he has been working as a forester and farmer in Southern Styria. Together with his partner he cultivates 40 hectares of his own land and about 10 hectares of leased land. The main focus of the organic farm is the timber industry (with a small sawmill on the other side of the border, in Slovenia), the breeding of Krainer Steinschaf, breeding and training of Border Collies as herding dogs as well as beekeeping.

For Waitz, Green is “the only serious political force interested in maintaining a small-scale agriculture with all its positive effects on the environment and food quality, and is committed to small and organic farmers. He is involved in the green farmers’ organisation of Styria and Austria and is represented on the European board of the Greens. He supports the common economic policy of the EU and uniform social standards for Europe, but would like to see other areas delegated back to the member states, where the states can make decisions closer to the citizens, and cites as an example what he sees as unnecessary overregulation for direct marketing by farmers.

Waitz is the father of three children.

“When we look at how our ministers and governments act, successes, which would be reportable in terms of the effects of our accession to the EU, are very often sold as our own successes; things that are harder to communicate or more controversial are very often blamed on Brussels. Sometimes the truth is also missing when it comes to negotiating positions: it happens that ministers vote differently in European votes than they do at home.”

Thomas Waitz