Androulla Vassiliou

Who is Androulla Vassiliou?

BPW Europe most particularly congratulatesMrs Androulla Vassiliou for her nomination as European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

Mrs Androulla Vassiliou has been nominated for the second time by the government of the Republic of Cyprus to participate in the European Commission
—she was first nominated Commissioner for health in February 2008.

And... Was the founding President of BPW Cyprus from 1996 to 2000.
She participated at the BPW Europe Presidents Meeting in Galway, Ireland and attended many conferences of BPW Europe and BPW International.
1st Vice President Gabriella Canonica met with Androulla Vassiliou on December 11 in Brussels at the European Commission and over brought the congratulations from all European Presidents and from BPW International Executive Board.
The exchange of ideas, discussion about the actual situation for Women in the Business World, was very interesting and fruitful. More casual meetings are planned in the next year. BPW is very proud of Androulla!


Androulla Vassiliou 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 (1968-1988). During this period she acted as Legal Advisor to The Standard Chartered 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 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. She was also a Permanent Member of the delegation of the Cyprus Parliament to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
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 Androulla Vassiliou 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, from which post she resigned upon her nomination as EU Commissioner in February 2008.
Married to Dr. George Vassiliou, former President of the Republic of Cyprus (1988-1993) 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 speaks French, moderately. Her hobbies are: listening to music, walking, swimming and reading.