Dimitris Avramopoulos

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Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship

avramopoulos portrait

Dimitris Avramopoulos is the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship since November 2014.

Before becoming European Commissioner, Mr. Avramopoulos was Minister of National Defence of Greece (two terms), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Tourism Development, Minister of Health and Social Solidarity and Mayor of Athens (two terms). He was elected Member of the Parliament several times with the “New Democracy” party (1993, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2012). 

Mr. Avramopoulos served in the Diplomatic Service of Greece from 1980 until 1993. He was Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Greek Prime Minister and Consul of Greece in Liège (Belgium) and in Geneva (Switzerland). 

Mr. Avramopoulos completed his studies at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at the University of Athens and his postgraduate studies on International Organisation at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He is Honorary Professor of the State Academy of Technological Sciences of Moscow, Peking University (Beijing) and European College of Parma (Italy). He is Honorary Doctor of ADELPHI University (New York), DREXEL University (Philadelphia), KINGSTON University and DEREE College (Athens).

Mr. Avramopoulos has been bestowed awards and state decorations from many countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Vatican, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Lebanon. 

He is married to Vivian and has two sons, Filippos and Iasonas.

I. Political Career

1993-1994: Elected Member of the Greek Parliament (MP) with the “New Democracy political party. Elected member of the Central Committee of "New Democracy".
1995-2002: Mayor of Athens. Elected in October 1994.  Elected for a second term, in October 1998, from the first round, by landslide majority.
1995-1999: Chairman of the Central Union of Local Authorities of Greece.
1995: Founder and first President of the “Permanent Conference of the Mayors of the Capitals of Southeastern Europe”.
1996-2000: Vice President of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA).
1997-2002: Member of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union and Vice President of its Bureau (1997-2000).
2000-2001: President of the “Free Citizens Movement” Political Party.
2000-2002: President for a two years terms of the Summit Conference of the “Mayors of the World”. Its September 2002 ratified the “Cities’ Diplomacy”, one of his international initiatives during his Mayorship, which was officially approved by the UN Secretary General.
2001: Founder of the “Athens’ International Prize for Democracy”, under the auspices of UNESCO (Paris).
2002: Founder of the “World Union of Olympic Cities”, under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (Lausanne). 
Founder of the “World Institute of Global and Cities’ Diplomacy” (Rome).
2004: Elected MP with “New Democracy” party.
2004-2006: Minister of Tourist Development.
2006-2009: Minister of Health and Social Solidarity
2007: Elected MP with “New Democracy” party.
2009: President of the “New Democracy” International Relations Committee.
President of the Organising Committee of 2010 “New Democracy” Party Congress.
2010 - 2015: Vice President of «New Democracy» Party. 
President of «New Democracy» Committee for the Constitutional Reform.
2011-2012: Minister of National Defence.
2012-2013: Minister of Foreign Affairs.
2013-2014: Minister of National Defence.
2014-Today: Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.

II.  Diplomatic Career

1980-1993: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Athens).
1980-1981: Diplomatic Academy of MFA.
1981-1983: Central Administration of MFA.
1983-1988: Consul of Greece in Liège (Belgium).
1989-1991: Special Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the “New Democracy” Political Party Costas Mitsotakis.
1990-1991: Diplomatic Advisor to the Prime Minister Costas Mitsotakis.
1991-1992: Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (ECSC / Vienna). 
1992: Official Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens (MFA).
1992-1993: Consul General of Greece to Geneva (Switzerland).
1993: Director of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Greece, Costas Mitsotakis.

III.  Actual Occupations

Since January 2003: Honorary President of the Athens’ International Prize for Democracy, under the auspices of UNESCO (Paris).
Chairman of the Steering Committee of the “Cities´ Diplomacy”, established by the Glocal Forum (Rome) and the World Bank Institute (Washington D.C.).
President of the “World Institute of Glocal and Cities’ Diplomacy”, an independent NGO having its venue in Rome.
Executive President and lifelong honor president of the “World Union of Olympic Cities”, an NGO, according to the Olympic Charter, recognized by the IOC (Lausanne).

IV. Academic Degrees

1978: Bachelor of Arts in Public Law and Political Science from the Law School of Athens’ University.
1979-1980: Postgraduate Specialisation Course on International Organisation (Boston University / Brussels).
1986: Special lisence on European Studies (Institute of European Affairs of the “Université Libre de Bruxelles” (Brussels).
1995: Honorary Doctor of ADELPHI University (New York).
1997: Honorary Doctor of DEREE College (Athens).
2000: Honorary Doctor of DREXEL University (Philadelphia).
2000: Honorary Doctor of KINGSTON University
2002: Honorary Professor of the State Academy of Technological Sciences of Moscow.
2002: Honorary Professor of Peking University (Beijing).
2003: Visiting Fellow, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Institute of Politics, Harvard University. 
2016: Honorary Professor of European College of Parma (Italy).
Lecturer at Stanford University, Columbia University, Simon Fraser University (SFU) & University of South Florida.

V. Honorary Distinctions and Awards

He has been bestowed awards and state decorations from many countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Vatican, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Lebanon as well as from the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinopolis, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.

He has been awarded the "Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix" of the Hellenic Republic.
He has also been bestowed, in 2006, the “Vincitore Assoluto” Award of the Premio Internazionale “Giuseppe Sciacca”.
He has been presented with highest distinctions from many foreign cities and Municipalities: Famagusta, Barcelona, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Boston, Brooklyn N.Y., Bucharest, Caracas, Chicago, Florence, Genova, Jakarta, Havana, Istanbul, Kiev, Krotone, 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 also been bestowed the Honorary Citizenship of 40 Greek 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.

Avramopoulos has received numerous honors from European States as well as many countries around the world for his diplomatic, public and charitable service:

GRE Order of the Phoenix - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross, Order of the Phoenix (Greece)

Order of Civil Merit (Spain) GC.svg Grand Cross, Order of Civil Merit (Spain)

BEL Kroonorde Grootkruis BAR.svg Grand Cross, Order of the Crown (Belgium)

BEL Order of Leopold II - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross, Order of Leopold II (Belgium)

SWE Order of the Polar Star (after 1975) - Commander Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross, Order of the Polar Star (Sweden)

FIN Order of the Lion of Finland 1Class BAR.png Grand Cross, Order of the Lion (Finland)

POR Ordem do Merito Gra-Cruz BAR.svg Grand Cross, Order of Merit (Portugal)

EST Order of the White Star - 1st Class BAR.png 1st Class, Order of the White Star (Estonia)

POL Order Zaslugi RP kl3 BAR.png Commander, Order of Merit (Poland)

LUX Order of the Oak Crown - Commander BAR.png Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Couronne de Chêne (Luxembourg)

AUT Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria - 8th Class BAR.png Grand Decoration, Honour for Services to the Republic (Austria)

MLT National Order of Merit BAR.svg Companion, National Order of Merit (Malta)

Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg Officer, Legion d'Honneur (France)

LUX Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg - Officer BAR.png Officer, Order of Merit (Luxembourg)

Ordre national du Merite Chevalier ribbon.svg Knight, National Order of Merit (France)

GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 4 GrVK.svg Commander, Order of Merit (Germany)

Order of the Cedar - Grand Cordon (Lebanon) Ribbon.png Grand Cordon, National Order of the Cedar (Lebanon)

Bg1ocm.png 1st Class, Order for Civil Merit (Bulgaria)

Order of Makarios III (Cyprus) - ribbon bar.gif Knight, Order of Makarios III (Cyprus)

Order of Red Banner ribbon bar.png Grand Cross, Order of Diego de Losada (Venezuela)

Order of the Yugoslavian Great Star Rib.png 1st Class, Order of the Star (Yugoslavia)

And, from the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Patriarchate of Alexandria:

VI. Personal Information

Born in Athens in 1953.
Military service in the Greek Air Force (1978-1980).
Married to Vivian, two sons, Filippos and Iasonas.
Fluent in English, French and Italian.

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