Profile: Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou
Androulla Vassiliou is currently European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
Previously, she served as Commissioner for Health, from February 2008 to end 2009.
Ms Vassiliou studied law and international affairs in London and practiced law in Cyprus for 20 years (1968-1988). During this period she acted as legal advisor to The Standard Chartered Bank and, later, to the Bank of Cyprus.
Before her appointment to the European Commission, Ms Vassiliou was actively involved in politics in her home country, Cyprus. She was twice elected to the Cypriot House of Representatives: in 1996 and 2001 – representing the Movement of United Democrats (affiliated to the European Liberal Democrats and Reform Party ELDR).
As a Cypriot parliamentarian, she was an active member of the European Affairs Committee and represented the Cyprus Parliament to the Convention for the future of Europe as an alternate member.
Androulla Vassiliou was active in the field of international affairs and human rights as a President of the UN Association of Cyprus from 1978 until 1992 and as President of the World Federation of UN Associations from 1991 until 1995. She was unanimously elected Honorary President of the World Federation at the end of her term. Ms Vassiliou was also President of the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women from 1996 until 2000, Vice-President of the ELDR and chairperson of the European Liberal Women's Network (2001-2006). From 2002 to 2008 she chaired the Board of Trustees of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology centre in Cyprus.
Commissioner Vassiliou is married to Dr George Vassiliou, former Cypriot President and Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the EU.
She has three children.
In addition to Greek (her mother tongue) she is fluent in English and has a good knowledge of French.