Walter Schwimmer

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Walter Schwimmer and Misir Mardanov

Walter Schwimmer (born 16 June 1942, Vienna) is a former politician and diplomat from Austria.

After being a member of the Austrian Parliament (National Council) for 28 years, serving as chairperson of several committees (Justice, Health, Housing and Construction) and deputy leader of his political group (ÖVP – Austrian People's Party), he was elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Schwimmer held this post from September 1, 1999 until September 1, 2004. At the beginning of his term, The Economist accused him of being a "timid moral policeman" over his treatment of the Chechen - Russian conflict. [1] In June 2004 his attempt to be elected to a second five-year term as secretary general failed, like all his predecessors of whom no one was reelected.

Schwimmer currently works as a consultant on international relations and European affairs, based in Klosterneuburg near Vienna. [2]

Schwimmer is (honorary) Secretary General of the Maison de la Méditerranée/Fondazione Mediterraneo (Naples) and Chairman of the International Coordination Committee of the World Public Forum - Dialogue of Civilisations.

On April 15, 2010 he became president of Megatrend University, the largest private university in Serbia.[3] He resigned from this position in January 2013.

Honours and awards[edit]

National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


  • "The European Dream", Continuum Publishing, London 2004 (translated from the German "Der Traum Europa, Springer-Verlag 2003, also available in Russian, Italian and Serbian).

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Walter Schwimmer, timid moral policeman.(Council of Europe equivocates over conflict in Chechnya)". The Economist. 1999-11-27. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  2. ^ "Walter Schwimmer CV". European Democracy Forum. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1637. Retrieved November 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Tarschys
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
1 September 1999 - 31 August 2004
Succeeded by
Terry Davis