Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greek: Δημήτρης Αβραμόπουλος) is a Greek politician of the conservative New Democracy party, and former career diplomat. He has served in various high-level cabinet posts, including Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for National Defence, and was Mayor of Athens in 1995–2002. Since 1 November 2014 he is serving as EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship in the Juncker Commission.
|European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship|
|Assumed office |
1 November 2014
|Preceded by||Cecilia Malmström (Home Affairs)|
Martine Reicherts (Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship)
|Minister for National Defence|
25 June 2013 – 1 November 2014
|Prime Minister||Antonis Samaras|
|Preceded by||Panos Panagiotopoulos|
|Succeeded by||Nikolaos Dendias|
11 November 2011 – 17 May 2012
|Prime Minister||Lucas Papademos|
|Preceded by||Panagiotis Beglitis|
|Succeeded by||Frangoulis Frangos|
|Deputy Leader of New Democracy|
2 July 2010 – 1 November 2014
Serving with Stavros Dimas
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Adonis Georgiadis|
|Minister for Foreign Affairs|
21 June 2012 – 25 June 2013
|Prime Minister||Antonis Samaras|
|Preceded by||Petros Molyviatis|
|Succeeded by||Evangelos Venizelos|
|Minister for Health and Social Solidarity|
15 February 2007 – 7 October 2009
|Prime Minister||Kostas Karamanlis|
|Preceded by||Nikitas Kaklamanis|
|Succeeded by||Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou|
|Minister for Tourism|
18 March 2004 – 7 October 2009
|Prime Minister||Kostas Karamanlis|
|Preceded by||Akis Tsochatzopoulos (Development)|
|Succeeded by||Fani Palli-Petralia|
|Mayor of Athens|
1 January 1995 – 31 December 2002
|Preceded by||Leonidas Kouris|
|Succeeded by||Dora Bakoyannis|
|Born||6 June 1953|
|Political party||New Democracy|
|Alma mater||University of Athens|
Université libre de Bruxelles
Avramopoulos was born at Athens in 1953, into a family which had originally come from Ilia and Elliniko in Arcadia. He served his 26 months military service from 1978 to 1980 in the Hellenic Air Force.
In 1980, Avramopoulos joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, where he worked until 1993. From 1988 to 1992, he served as Greek Consul to Belgium in Liège. At the same time he was a Special Adviser to Konstantinos Mitsotakis, President and Leader of the New Democracy. During this time he also represented Greece in Vienna at the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe. In 1992 he became Official Spokesman of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was appointed Consul General of Greece in Geneva. In 1993 he was promoted as Director of the Prime Minister of Greece's Diplomatic Office.
In 1993, Avramopoulos resigned from Greek diplomatic service to enter parliamentary politics as a member of New Democracy and was elected a member of its Central Committee. From 1993 to 1994 he served as a Member of the Hellenic Parliament. In 1994 he was elected Mayor of Athens, and was re-elected in October 1998 in a historical first-round landslide victory. From 1995 to 1999 he served as Chairman of the Central Union of Local Authorities of Greece.
In 1995 he founded the “Permanent Conference of the Mayors of the Capitals of South-East Europe” and served as its first President. 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. Elected as President of the Summit Conference of the Mayors of the World in 2000, he served until 2002, during which time he founded the "World Union of Olympic Cities", "Athens’ International Prize for Democracy", and “World Institute of Global and Cities’ Diplomacy”, Rome.
In March 2001, he split from New Democracy with his Movement of Free Citizens (KEP), but in a surprising move merged back in June 2002. When in 2004 New Democracy won the parliamentary elections, Avramopoulos was appointed Minister of Tourism, serving until 2006, and afterwards, from 2006 until 2009, as Minister of Health and Social Solidarity.
In the October 2009 election, Avramopoulos was re-elected to the Hellenic Parliament representing the constituency of Athens A. After the election of Antonis Samaras to the “New Democracy” Party Presidency he was appointed President of the Organizing Committee of the 8th Party Congress held at Athens in June 2010. In July 2010, he became Vice-President of “New Democracy”, serving until 1 November 2014.
On November 11, 2011 he was appointed Minister for National Defence in the coalition government of Lucas Papademos, resigning from his parliamentary seat, thus adhering to the New Democracy policy that no serving Opposition Party Deputies may hold ministerial office.
At the May 6, 2012 election, Avramopoulos was returned as Deputy for Athens A, being re-elected in the June 17, 2012 general election. On June 21, 2012 he was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs. After the Cabinet reshuffle of June 25, 2013, he became Greek Minister for Defence again, serving until his nomination as Greece's European Commissioner in November 2014.
On 27 July 2014, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras nominated Avramopoulos as Greece's next member of the European Commission. Before the nomination, Dora Bakoyiannis was widely seen to be a strong contender for the Commission post. Samaras also defied calls from the centre-left Pasok party for Maria Damanaki to continue as European Commissioner.
Jean-Claude Juncker then nominated Avramopoulos as European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs. In this capacity, Avramopoulos shares competency over cyber-security matters with Günther Oettinger.
In the aftermath of the victory of the left-wing SYRIZA party in the 25 January election in 2015, Avramopoulos' name was widely circulated in Greek media as the most likely choice for SYRIZA's candidate in the second round of the election for the Presidency of Greece. According to the Greek media reports, the nomination would be seen both as a gesture of conciliation with the right, but would crucially also enable SYRIZA to nominate its own European Commissioner. On 30 January Samaras phoned Avramopoulos and assured him that New Democracy would support his eventual nomination.
From the outset of his political career, Avramopoulos served for twenty years as Honorary President of the Athens’ International Prize for Democracy for UNESCO in Paris (until 2013). He has also been 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 Executive President of the “World Union of Olympic Cities”, an Olympic Games NGO.
Avramopoulos has a friendly relation with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since they were Mayors of Athens and Istanbul respectively. He is deemed one of the main proponents of Greek-Turkish rapprochement.
Avramopoulos read Public Law and Political Science at Athens University Law School, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA). He then undertook postgraduate studies receiving a Specialization Diploma in International Organisation at Boston University, and later a Master's degree in European Studies at the Institute of European Affairs, Université libre de Bruxelles. He has been conferred honorary doctorates by Adelphi University (Long Island, New York), Deree College (Athens), Drexel University (Philadelphia) and Kingston University (London), and has been elected Honorary Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, of Peking University (Beijing) and of the European College of Parma (Italy).
Avramopoulos has received numerous honors from European States as well as many countries around the world for his diplomatic, public and charitable service:
Grand Cross, Order of the Phoenix (Greece)
Grand Cross, Order of Civil Merit (Spain)
Grand Cross, Order of the Crown (Belgium)
Grand Cross, Order of Leopold II (Belgium)
Grand Cross, Order of the Polar Star (Sweden)
Grand Cross, Order of the Lion (Finland)
Grand Cross, Order of Merit (Portugal)
1st Class, Order of the White Star (Estonia)
Commander, Order of Merit (Poland)
Grand Decoration, Honour for Services to the Republic (Austria)
Companion, National Order of Merit (Malta)
Officer, Legion d'Honneur (France)
Officer, Order of Merit (Luxembourg)
Knight, National Order of Merit (France)
Commander, Order of Merit (Germany)
Grand Cordon, National Order of the Cedar (Lebanon)
1st Class, Order for Civil Merit (Bulgaria)
Knight, Order of Makarios III (Cyprus)
Grand Cross, Order of Diego de Losada (Venezuela)
1st Class, Order of the Star (Yugoslavia)
Avramopoulos received, in 2006, the “Vincitore Assoluto” Award of the Premio Internazionale “Giuseppe Sciacca”, and has been presented with distinctions by many foreign Cities and Municipalities: Famagusta, Barcelona, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Boston, Brooklyn N.Y., Bucharest, Caracas, Chicago, Crotone, Florence, Genoa, Jakarta, Havana, Istanbul, Kiev, 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 been honoured with the Honorary Freedom of 40 Greek and foreign cities. In November 2017, he became Honorary Member of the Propeller Club of the United States Port of Piraeus and he received the Award of Excellence of the Propeller Club of the United States Port of Piraeus for his strenuous effort and impact on developing a new European Policy on regular Migration. In December 2017, the Department of International and European Studies of the University of Piraeus awarded Mr. Avramopoulos the first "Themistocles" prize for his contribution to the management of the EU migration and security crisis.
| Mayor of Athens
as Minister for Development
| Minister for Tourism
| Minister for Health and Social Solidarity
| Minister for National Defence
| Minister for Foreign Affairs
| Minister for National Defence
| Greek European Commissioner
as European Commissioner for Home Affairs
| European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship|
as European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
In 1991 Azerbaijan recovered its independence from the Soviet Union which was recognized by Greece in December 31, 1991. Diplomatic relations established in 1992. The Greek embassy in Baku was opened in the spring of 1993. The embassy of Azerbaijan in Athens was opened in August 2004.
Both countries are full members of Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). Greece was the first European Union member country that wanted directly import gas from Azerbaijan. Both countries enjoyed recently developed close relations in trade, culture, and economy. Greek diaspora in Azerbaijan is concentrated in Baku and numbers about 250-300 people, most of them are descendants of the Black Sea Greeks of Asia Minor who in the late 19th and early 20th centuries migrated to Azerbaijan.Elliniko, Arcadia
Elliniko (Greek: Ελληνικό, before 1927: Μουλάτσι - Moulatsi) is a mountain village in western Arcadia, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of Trikolonoi. It is situated on a mountain slope on the left bank of the river Lousios. It is 4 km south of Stemnitsa, 4 km east of Atsicholos, 5 km northeast of Karytaina and 14 km northwest of Megalopoli. The ruins of the ancient city Gortys are on the right bank of the river Lousios, near the road from Elliniko to Atsicholos.The mother of the Greek politician Dimitris Avramopoulos hails from the village.Estonia–Greece relations
Estonian-Greek relations are the relations between the Republic of Estonia and the Hellenic Republic. Greece recognised Estonia on May 19, 1922. Greece never recognised the Soviet annexation of Estonia. Both countries re-established diplomatic relations on October 2, 1991. In April 1997, Estonia has established an embassy in Athens. The Greek embassy in Tallinn opened in January 2005. Estonia has also 3 honorary consulates in Patras, Piraeus and Thessaloniki.
Both countries are full members of NATO and the European Union.First Cabinet of Kostas Karamanlis
Kostas Karamanlis served as a Prime Minister of Greece for two consecutive terms. During his incumbency, the period 2004-2009, he formed two cabinets. The first Karamanlis Cabinet succeeded the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) cabinet of Costas Simitis after the 2004 elections, and was followed by Karamanlis' Second Cabinet after the 2007 elections.HARDtalk
Hardtalk (styled as HARDtalk) is a BBC television and radio programme broadcast on the BBC News Channel, on BBC World News, and on BBC World Service.
Broadcast times and days vary, depending on your broadcasting platform and your geographic location. HARDtalk is also available on BBC iPlayer.Juncker Commission
The Juncker Commission is the European Commission in office since 1 November 2014 and is due to serve until 2019. Its president is Jean-Claude Juncker, who presides over 27 other commissioners (one from each of the states composing the European Union, except Luxembourg, which is Juncker's state). In July 2014, Juncker was officially elected to succeed José Manuel Barroso, who completed his second five-year term in that year.Konstantinos Koukidis
Konstantinos Koukidis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Κουκίδης) was the alleged Greek Evzone on flag guard duty on 27 April 1941 at the Athens Acropolis, at the beginning of the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. After the first Germans climbed up the Acropolis, an officer ordered him to surrender, give up the Greek flag and raise the Nazi swastika flag in its place. Koukidis instead supposedly chose to stay loyal to his duty by hauling down the flag, wrapping it around his body and jumping from the Acropolis rock to his death. A commemorative plaque near the spot marks the event.
During a television programme on 26 April 2000, the then mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos, stated that there was no specific documentary evidence on Koukidis or his deed. It was noted that a heroic legend of this nature had been important in maintaining national morale under a harsh occupation. On the same occasion, Lieutenant General Ioannis Kakoudakis, Director of the Department of the History of the Army, reported that an investigation had failed to confirm the existence of this soldier. The Daily Mail original article about Koukidis in 1941 as well as relevant discussion is available online.Leonidas Kouris
Leonidas Kouris (Greek: Λεωνίδας Κουρής) (born in Athens, 1949) is a Greek politician; former mayor of Athens and prefect of eastern Attica.Maria Damanaki
Maria Damanaki (Greek: Μαρία Δαμανάκη) is a Greek politician, including former president of the Synaspismos party of the left and former state member of the Hellenic Parliament within the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). She currently serves as the Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy. In this capacity leads a global team focused on how the world manages its oceans, including sustainable fisheries management, large-scale protection and restoration of coral reefs and other ecosystems, coastal resilience, and mapping and quantification of the full value of the world’s oceans to people.Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou
Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou (Greek: Μαριλίζα Ξενογιαννακοπούλου, Greek pronunciation: [mariˈliza ksenoʝanakoˈpulu]) (born 1963) is a Greek politician and lawyer. She was Minister for Health and Social Solidarity (2009-2010), Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, responsible for European Affairs (2010-2012), Member of the Greek Parliament (2007-2012) and of the European Parliament (2004-2007). She served as Secretary of the National Committee of PASOK -Panhellenic Socialist Movement, member of the Party of European Socialists (2005-2006).
On 10 February 2012, she resigned from the government, citing objections with the terms of the second EU-IMF bailout for Greece.
On 1 November 2012, she resigned her membership of PASOK, expressing her objections on the new austerity measures adopted by the Greek coalition government, stating that the party no longer represented her "ideologically and politically".Minister for National Defence (Greece)
The Minister for National Defence of Greece (Greek: Υπουργός Εθνικής Άμυνας) is a government minister responsible for the running of the Ministry of National Defence. The current minister is Evangelos Apostolakis in the Second Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras.Ministry of Tourism (Greece)
The Ministry of Tourism (Greek: Υπουργείo Τουρισμού) is a former government department of Greece in charge of tourism. Known previously as the Ministry of Touristic Development (Υπουργείο Τουριστικής Ανάπτυξης), it was merged with the Ministry of Culture on 7 October 2009 but re-established as a separate department on 21 June 2012.Movement of Free Citizens (Greece)
The Movement of Free Citizens (Greek: Κίνημα Ελευθέρων Πολιτών, ΚΕΠ), also known by its acronym KEP, was a short-lived, right-of-center political party in Greece. It was a personality-driven party, founded and led by Dimitris Avramopoulos. After resigning from the diplomatic corps in 1993, Avramopoulos began his political career within the conservative New Democracy. First a member of the Hellenic Parliament and then Mayor of Athens, Avramopoulos became one of the most popular Greek politicians.
In 2001, the conservative New Democracy party was suffering from many internal problems, notably the continuous conflict between its president Costas Karamanlis and the former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, and its opposition to the government of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) seemed ineffective. In this somewhat stagnant situation for the conservative right, Avramopoulos decided to step forward and create a party of his own. His personal appeal drove many new people by his side. However, it was clear that KEP's main asset was Avramopoulos' own charisma, who was attracting most of the publicity. Other famous people involved in KEP were Eliza Vozenberg, a lawyer who served as the party's spokeswoman, and the coroner Mattheos Tsoungas. The first polls targeting the Greek voters revealed that KEP's percentage in an election would be as high as 24%, something extraordinary and unusual for a new party in Greece. In newer polls, though, the party's percentage went on a free fall, and much of the initial enthusiasm quickly faded away.
To his supporters' annoyance and surprise, in 2002, Avramopoulos unexpectedly terminated KEP's existence as a party, pointing at its financial shortcomings as an excuse. He announced that KEP would continue operating as a think tank, and this effectively marked Avramopoulos' return to New Democracy. Few of KEP's members opposed its president's decision and stated that they would continue working towards their political goals inside the party and without Avramopoulos. However, all attempts to revive KEP were unsuccessful. Most of the party's members followed Avramopoulos' return to New Democracy, few of them went to PASOK, while some others have remained politically inactive ever since, overwhelmed by disappointment.New Europe (newspaper)
Founded in 1993 by Basil Coronakis, the former ambassador of the Regional Cooperation Council, as an independent English weekly newspaper, New Europe is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the de facto capital of the European Union.The paper reports on the activities of the European Union institutions, including the European Commission, European Parliament, and Council of Ministers, as well as NATO. The paper is available to the European Union Institutions free-of-charge and can be bought via subscription or by direct sale from newsstands in Brussels, Belgium. The paper edition can also be found in hotels and universities in Belgium.Nikitas Kaklamanis
Nikitas M. Kaklamanis (Greek: Νικήτας Κακλαμάνης; born April 1, 1946 in Andros) is a Greek New Democracy (ND) politician and former Mayor of Athens. He is also a former Minister for Health and Social Solidarity. In the Greek local elections of 2010 he lost the position of mayor after being defeated by Giorgos Kaminis.Panos Panagiotopoulos
Panos Panagiotopoulos (Greek: Πάνος Παναγιωτόπουλος; born 11 December 1957) is a Greek politician from the New Democracy who was Minister for Culture and Sport from June 2013 to June 2014, having previously been Minister for Defence from June 2012 to June 2013.
Panagiotopoulos was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1999 to 2009. He was the spokesman for the Hellenic Government (2007) as well as for New Democracy party (November 2009 - January 2011). In the past he has served as the Minister of Employment and Social Protection in Kostas Karamanlis's 2004 cabinet.Petros Molyviatis
Petros G. Molyviatis (Greek: Πέτρος Γ. Μολυβιάτης; born 12 June 1928) is a Greek politician and diplomat who, from 28 August 2015 to 23 September 2015, was the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the caretaker cabinet of Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou. He had previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 17 May to 21 June 2012 in the caretaker cabinet of Panagiotis Pikrammenos, and from 10 March 2004 to 15 February 2006 in the first cabinet of Kostas Karamanlis.Rómulo Roux
Rómulo Alberto Roux Moses (born at Panamá City, 8 January 1965) is a Panamanian politician, chairman of the party Democratic Change since January 2018. He is the party's candidate for 2019 general elections.
He has served as the Minister of External Affairs.
|First Hellenic Republic|
|Kingdom of Greece (Wittelsbach)|
|Kingdom of Greece (Glücksburg)|
|Second Hellenic Republic|
|Kingdom of Greece (Glücksburg)|
|Third Hellenic Republic|
§ variously as Chief Secretary/General Secretary of State
† officially considered the first foreign minister of independent Greece
Juncker Commission (2014–present)