Androulla Vassilliou

Former European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism & Youth

Androulla Vassiliou studied Law and International Affairs in London. She practiced Law for 27 years and during this time she served as legal adviser to ‘The Standard Chartered Bank’, and later to ‘The Bank of Cyprus’. She was elected Member of the Cyprus House of Representatives for two consecutive terms (1996-2006) and served on various parliamentary committees.

She represented The Cyprus Parliament at the Inter Parliamentary Union and the ‘Convention on the Future of Europe’. She was also member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of the EU and Cyprus; President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA 1991-1995); President of the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW-Cyprus 1996-2001); Vice President of the European Liberal Party and Chair of the European Liberal Women’s Network (2001-2006); In March 2008, she became a member of the European Commission and for two years she was the ‘EU Commissioner for Health’.

In March 2010 she was entrusted with another portfolio and she became ‘EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth’, a position she held until October 2014.

At present she holds the following positions: Chair of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre (a position she also held before her departure for Brussels in 2008). Co- Chair of the Bi-Communal Technical Committee, on Culture in Cyprus. Member of the High Council of the European University Institute of Florence. Member of the Board of the European University of Cyprus. Member of the Board of Trustees of the European Think Tank ‘The Friends of Europe’, which is based in Brussels. Member of the BoT of the ‘Cyprus Institute of Research and Education’. Vice President of ‘Europa Nostra’, one of the biggest European NGOs dealing with Cultural Heritage.

She has received the following honours: The ‘Grand Cross of the Order of Benefaction’ from the Hellenic Republic; she received an Honorary Doctorate from ‘Demetri Cantemir University’ of Romania; was named ‘Commander of the Order of the Arts and the Letters’ by the French Republic, in 2015. In January 2016, she received from PM Rahoi of Spain, the ‘Civil Order of Alfonso X el Sabio’ at a special ceremony at the Prado museum.

She is married to Dr. George Vassiliou, former President of the Republic of Cyprus and has three children.