Brussels, 28 February 2008
The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, has today written to the President of the Council and to the President of the European Parliament, transmitting the resignation of Mr Markos Kyprianou as a member of the European Commission, and President Barroso's agreement with the nomination by the Republic of Cyprus of Mrs Androula Vassiliou as a member of the Commission. Mrs Vassiliou will take over the "Health" portfolio.
In the letter to the President of the Council, President Barroso has asked the Council to put in place as soon as possible the procedure foreseen by the Treaty for the replacement of Mr Kyprianou.
In the letter to the President of the European Parliament, President Barroso informs that following the Council's appointment and in accordance with the Framework Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission, Mrs Vassiliou will be available to appear before the Parliament, in full compliance with the prerogatives of the institutions.
Mrs Vassiliou started her career as a lawyer. She was an elected Member of the House of Representatives of Cyprus for two terms (1996-2001 and 2001-2006). She served among others on the European Affairs Committee and on the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Cyprus and the EU. She was an Alternate Representative of the Cyprus Parliament to the Convention for the Future of Europe (2001-2003). She was also Vice President of the European Liberal Democrats and Reform Party (ELDR, 2001-2006) and as such chairperson of the European Liberal Women's Network. Since 2002, she serves as chairperson of the board of trustees of the Cyprus Oncology Centre. She was also President of the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women.
A full Curriculum vitae of Mrs Vassiliou is attached.
A photograph of Mrs Vassiliou meeting President Barroso is available at http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/president/index_en.htm
Article 215 of the Treaty establishing the European Community
"Apart from normal replacement, or death, the duties of a Member of the Commission shall end when he resigns or is compulsorily retired.
A vacancy caused by resignation, compulsory retirement or death shall be filled for the remainder of the Member's term of office by a new Member appointed by the Council, acting by a qualified majority. The Council may, acting unanimously, decide that such a vacancy need not be filled.
In the event of resignation, compulsory retirement or death, the President shall be replaced for the remainder of his term of office. The procedure laid down in Article 214(2) shall be applicable for the replacement of the President.
Save in the case of compulsory retirement under Article 216, Members of the Commission shall remain in office until they have been replaced or until the Council has decided that the vacancy need not be filled, as provided for in the second paragraph of this Article."
Article 4 of the Framework Agreement between the European Commission and the European Parliament
"Where it becomes necessary to arrange for the replacement of a Member of the Commission during his or her term of office pursuant to Article 215 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the President of the Commission shall immediately contact the President of Parliament in order to reach agreement on the manner in which the President of the Commission intends to ensure the presentation of the future Member before Parliament without delay and in full compliance with the prerogatives of the Institutions. Parliament shall ensure that its procedures are conducted with the utmost dispatch, in order to enable the President of the Commission to be informed of Parliament’s position in due time before the Member is called upon to exercise duties as the Commission’s representative."
Curriculum Vitae of Mrs Androula Vassiliou
Androula Vassilou. studied Law at Middle Temple Inn of Court, London (1961-1964) and International affairs at the London Institute of World Affairs, (1964-1966).
She practiced Law in Cyprus for twenty years(l 968-1988). During this period she acted as Legal Advisor to The Chartered Standard Bank and later, to the Bank of Cyprus. She had also been on the Board of many public and private companies.
She gave up her legal practice in 1988, upon her husband's election to the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus.
As First Lady she had been very active in the social, cultural and other fields. A.V. was for many years actively involved in the work of the United Nations Association of Cyprus and was elected President of the Association for four consecutive terms. As such, she participated in many international and regional conferences especially in the field of Human Rights.
In 1991, she was elected President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations and she was re elected to this position for two terms. On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the U.N. she had been appointed member of the select international group for the world wide celebrations of this important anniversary, by the Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali.
Upon the expiration of her Presidency of WFUNA she was unanimously elected Honorary President of the Federation.
In 1996 she was elected President of the Cyprus Federation of Business and Professional Women and she was re elected to this position for two terms.
In the year 1996 she was elected Member of the Cyprus House of Representatives representing the Movement of United Democrats, and in 2001 she was re elected for a second term of five years.
During her parliamentary years she served on the following committees:
Foreign Affairs Committee, Legal Affairs Committee, Committee on Education and Culture, Committee on Environment and the European Affairs Committee.
As a Member of the European Affairs Committee, she participated very actively in the harmonization process of Cyprus with the Aquis Communautaire .
During this period she was also a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Cyprus and the EU.
She was an Alternate Representative of the Cyprus Parliament to the Convention for the Future of Europe (2001-2003) and she participated actively in the whole process.
She has been Vice President of the European Liberal Democrats and Reform Party (ELDR) (2001-2006) and as such she was the chairperson of the European Liberal Women's Network.
In 2002, the Cyprus Government jointly with the Board of Directors of the Bank of Cyprus appointed Androula Vassihou Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Oncology Centre, a non profit making institution offering a wide range of treatment to cancer patients, a position she still holds.
Married to Dr George Vassihou, former President of the Republic of Cyprus (1988-1993) and Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the E.U. She has three children.
In addition to Greek, her mother tongue, she is fluent in English and speaks French, moderately. Her hobbies are: listening to music, walking, swimming and reading.