Dimitris Avramopoulos

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Dimitris Avramopoulos
Δημήτρης Αβραμόπουλος
D Avramopoulos at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.jpg
European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
Designate
Taking office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker
Succeeding Cecilia Malmström (Home Affairs)
Minister for National Defence
Incumbent
Assumed office
25 June 2013
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
Preceded by Panos Panagiotopoulos
Succeeded by TBD
In office
11 November 2011 – 17 May 2012
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos
Preceded by Panagiotis Beglitis
Succeeded by Frangoulis Frangos
Deputy Leader of New Democracy
Incumbent
Assumed office
2 July 2010
Leader Antonis Samaras
Preceded by Position established
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
21 June 2012 – 25 June 2013
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
Preceded by Petros Molyviatis
Succeeded by Evangelos Venizelos
Minister for Health and Social Solidarity
In office
15 February 2007 – 7 October 2009
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis
Preceded by Nikitas Kaklamanis
Succeeded by Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou
Minister for Tourism
In office
18 March 2004 – 7 October 2009
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis
Preceded by Akis Tsochatzopoulos (Development)
Succeeded by Fani Palli-Petralia
Mayor of Athens
In office
1 January 1995 – 31 December 2002
Preceded by Leonidas Kouris
Succeeded by Dora Bakoyannis
Personal details
Born (1953-06-06) 6 June 1953 (age 61)
Athens, Greece
Political party New Democracy
Spouse(s) Vivian Avramopoulou
Children 2
Alma mater University of Athens
Boston University
Free University of Brussels, French
Religion Greek Orthodoxy

Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greek: Δημήτρης Αβραμόπουλος) is a Greek politician and diplomat who is, since 25 June 2013, the Minister of National Defence of Greece. Previously, he was Mayor of Athens for eight years, and has served in a number of cabinet posts, including as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Personal information[edit]

He was born in Athens in 1953. He originated from Ilia, Arkadia. He served his military service in the Greek Air Force (1978–1980), based in Athens and in the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. He is married to Vivian and has two sons, Filippos and Iasonas. He is fluent in English, French and Italian.

Diplomatic career[edit]

From 1980 until 1993 he served as a Career Diplomat to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens. From 1988 to 1992, he was Consul of Greece in Liege and Special Diplomatic Advisor to the President and Leader of the Nea Dimokratia Party, Costas Mitsotakis during this period. He also represented Greece in the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna at the same year. In 1992 he served as the Official Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Athens and was Consul General of Greece to Geneva. In 1993 he was appointed Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister of Greece.[1]

Political career[edit]

Minister of Foreign Affairs D. Avramopoulos' participation at the 67th General Assembly of the UN

In 1993, he resigned from the Greek Diplomatic Service to enter the political arena, as a member of the Neo-Liberal (conservative) party “Nea Dimokratia” and he was elected member of the Central Committee. From 1993 to 1994 he was elected Deputy, member of the Greek Parliament. In 1994 he was elected Mayor of Athens and was reelected in October 1998 from the first round, with a historically landslide majority. From 1995 to 1999 he served as Chairman of the Central Union of Local Authorities of Greece. In 1995 he founded and was the first President of the “Permanent Conference of the Mayors of the Capitals of Southeastern Europe”. From 1996 to 2000 he served as Vice President of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) and from 1997 to 2002, as a member of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union. In March 2001 he founded the “Free Citizens Movement (KEP) party” until June 2002. From 2000 to 2002, he was elected President of the “Summit Conference of the Mayors of the World” and during this period he founded the “World Union of Olympic Cities”, “Athens’ International Prize for Democracy”, and “World Institute of Global and Cities’ Diplomacy” (Rome). In 2004 the “New Democracy” party won the elections. Dimitris Avramopoulos took the office of Minister of Tourism until 2006. From 2006 until 2009, he served as Minister of Health And Social Solidarity.[2] In the October 2009 election, Dimitris Avramopoulos was re-elected Deputy, member of the Greek Parliament for Athens A District. After the election of Antonis Samaras in the “New Democracy” party Presidency he was appointed President of the Organizing Committee of the 8th Party Congress held in Athens in June 2010. In July 2010, he assumed the position of Vice-President of “New Democracy”, a post he currently holds. On November 11, 2011 he was appointed Minister of Defence in the coalition Government of Lucas Papademos, resigning from his elected parliament seat, thus adhering to the "New Democracy" stance that no serving Members of Parliament from the Main Opposition Party may serve in ministerial posts. In the May 6, 2012 election, Avramopoulos was elected as a Deputy from the Athens A' electoral district. He was re-elected on the June 17, 2012 general elections. On June 21, 2012 he assumed the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs. On 25 June 2013, after the cabinet reshuffle, he assumed the office of Minister of Defence.

Other positions[edit]

From the beginning of his career until 2003, Dimitris Avramopoulos became Honorary President of the Athens’ International Prize for Democracy, under the auspices of UNESCO (Paris). He also became Chairman of the Steering Committee on Cities´ Diplomacy, established by the Global Forum (Rome) and the World Bank Institute (Washington D.C.). He was elected President of the “World Institute of Global and Cities’ Diplomacy”, an independent NGO based in Rome as well as an Executive President of the “World Union of Olympic Cities”, an NGO, according to the Olympic Charter, recognized by the IOC (Lausanne).

Views and controversies[edit]

Avramopoulos is said to be a friend of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and has been reported to be a keen admirer of Istanbul as well as a believer in the convergence of Greek and Turkish societies.[3]He is considered to be one of the architects of the Greek-Turkish rapprochement.

Academic degrees[edit]

Avramopoulos has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Law and Political Science from the Law School of Athens’ University. He has also a postgraduate Specialization Diploma in International Organisation (Boston University / Brussels) and a Masters in European Studies (Institute of European Affairs of the “Université Libre de Bruxelles” in Brussels). He was awarded honorary doctorates by Adelphi University (Long Island, New York), Deree College (Athens), Drexel University (Philadelphia) and Kingston University (London).[4]

He was Honorary Professor of the State Academy of Technological Sciences of Moscow and Peking University (Beijing).

Honorary distinctions and awards[edit]

He has received awards and recognitions from many countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Vatican City, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, as well as from the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinopolis, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Patriarchate of Alexandria. He has also been awarded, in 2006, the “Vincitore Assoluto” Award of the Premio Internazionale “Giuseppe Sciacca”. He has been presented with highest distinctions from many foreign cities and Municipalities: Famagusta, Barcelona, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Boston, Brooklyn N.Y., Bucharest, Caracas, Chicago, Florence, Genoa, Jakarta, Havana, Istanbul, Kiev, Krotone, Ljubljana, Los Angeles, Miami -Florida, Massachusetts, Montreal, Moscow, New Jersey, New York, Nicosia, Paris, Philadelphia, Providence, Rhode Island, Rome, Sofia, State of Illinois, Sydney, Tbilisi, Tirana, Toronto, Valletta, Washington D.C., Xian, Yerevan. He has also been awarded the Honorary Citizenship of 40 Greek and foreign cities.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Leonidas Kouris
Mayor of Athens
1995–2002
Succeeded by
Dora Bakoyannis
Preceded by
Akis Tsochatzopoulos
as Minister for Development
Minister for Tourism
2004–2007
Succeeded by
Fani Palli-Petralia
Preceded by
Nikitas Kaklamanis
Minister for Health and Social Solidarity
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou
Preceded by
Panagiotis Beglitis
Minister for National Defence
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Frangoulis Frangos
Preceded by
Petros Molyviatis
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Evangelos Venizelos
Preceded by
Panos Panagiotopoulos
Minister for National Defence
2013–2014
Succeeded by
TBD
Preceded by
Maria Damanaki
Greek European Commissioner
Designate

2014–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Cecilia Malmström
as European Commissioner for Home Affairs
European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
Designate

2014–present