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ON 26 JANUARY 2021

Date of Birth: 
Born on 28 February 1967, in Athens (Greece)
Married, two children
English (fluent), French (fluent), Italian (fluent), Greek (mother tongue)
COE logo & ParliamentaryAssembly2.png
COE logo & ParliamentaryAssembly2.png



>>> Watch the interview of Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis

  • Youtube

Source : Council of Europe



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Dear Members of the Parliamentary Assembly,

I am putting myself forward for the position of the Secretary General of our Assembly. My wish is to continue working with you all to bring about necessary positive changes in order to further enhance the impact of our Assembly within the 47 member States and in wider contexts within Europe and globally.

To do this, we will need to further improve and build on synergies with national Parliaments; make better use of the whole Organisation’s potential, as well as modernise working methods to adapt our common response to today’s political, health, social, environmental and technological challenges.

If the Assembly is the heart of European Democracy, it can only continue beating thanks to the energy of the national Parliaments. In representing them, you may have diverse and sometimes even diverging positions, but striving, through dialogue and on the basis of common values, for better understanding and common respect.

I have worked with determination, passion and enthusiasm for more than two decades with hundreds of Parliamentarians from different cultures, traditions and political orientations. I believe I have forged close working relationships of trust. In facing a number of challenges, I have put at their disposal my legal knowledge, political flair and creativity to provide solutions. Such challenges have included the Organisation’s enlargement in the 1990s through the development of strategies for the accession of new member States and monitoring, fact-finding missions, as well as responding to older and more recent crises. I am a rigorous thinker, who can react fast and make tough decisions, when necessary.

Throughout my years in the Parliamentary Assembly, I believe I have proved my resilience and determination. I now seek to put these gathered experiences and skills to work with you all, in facing current and future challenges, in full respect of the rules, ethical conduct and diversities of culture, lifestyle, religion and gender. I am a staunch supporter of the values of Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights which I sworn to serve.

I had the privilege of working for many years in the Assembly’s Committees on Political Affairs and Democracy, Legal Affairs and Human Rights as well in the Monitoring Committee. I am therefore totally familiar with the daily functioning of Committees, Assembly Rules of Procedure and main administrative and managerial challenges. My work experience in the Committee of Ministers and the European Commission of Human Rights, allowed me to familiarise also with the working methods of the intergovernmental sector and of an international jurisdictional body.

I am respected for my integrity, impartiality, empathy and ability to listen. I am a dynamic team builder who believes in working collaboratively, respecting and promoting the talents and contributions of others. I have the conviction that it is only by working together that we can make a difference.

Last but not least, by electing me, you will allow the Assembly to translate its commitment to equality into action, as I will be the first woman in the Assembly’s 71-year long history to become its Secretary General. 

I strongly believe that I have the experience, commitment, determination and qualities to steer change and development in our Assembly, with your help and support, in these challenging but motivating times.



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