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The candidature of Despina Chatzivassiliou Tsovilis to the post of Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly is a real chance for its members and, more generally, the development of the Council of Europe! With her impressive legal training, her deep experience in working with different bodies of the Council of Europe, her capacity to work with people from different political and cultural backgrounds, her team leadership skills and her ability to orientate work towards solutions, without forgetting her human warmth and communicative enthusiasm, Despina is the right person, in the right job at the right moment to enable the Parliamentary Assembly to respond to the various challenges she is facing.

Finally, her candidature makes it possible to elect a woman to this post, the first one after more than 70 years, and to do so not because she is a woman but because she is the Secretary General that the Assembly needs!

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Honorary President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

December 2020,

Endorsement of the candidature of Dr. Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis

With this letter I confirm my endorsement of Dr. Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis as candidate to the position of Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Dr. Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis has extensive experience from the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly, having dedicated her career to various positions in our organisation. As a member of the Assembly since 2009, and especially as a member of the Political Committee from 2013, I have had the pleasure of getting to know the work of Dr. Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis first hand. She is dedicated, knowledgeable and with legal expertise and insights of the intricacies of our Rules of Procedure crucial to us as members of the Assembly. As Chair of the Rules Committee I have seen how important such expertise is for the smooth running of our Assembly. The challenges the pandemic will continue to impose on us for months to come have shown the importance of our rules of procedure and expert guidance from the secretariat, especially the Secretary General.

I believe that Dr. Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis is the right person to further improve the work of our Assembly; reduce the gender gap in the secretariat and work with us to look into how we can have more equal representation of men and women in our Assembly; review the monitoring mechanisms of our Assembly, with the Monitoring Committee at its core; ensure that political groups have a strong framework for their work so that they can play their essential role in our organisation. Not least I am convinced that she is the right person to reform the way we work so that our Assembly maintains and increases its political relevance, and visibility.

I fully support Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis as candidate to the position of Secretary General of our Assembly. I strongly encourage you to vote for her.

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Ingjerd SCHOU

Chairperson of the Norwegian parliamentary delegation to PACE (EPP/CD)

Dear Despina, 

I would like to express my satisfaction regarding your candidature to the position of Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 

An eminent member of our Spanish delegation had told me, years ago, about your qualities and dynamism. This member was Luís María de Puig, who was President of this Assembly. After all those years of working with her, I can only agree with him. 
You don’t only have the skills, but also the necessary enthusiasm and empathy to assume the responsibilities of the post of Secretary General of the PACE for which you are a candidate. 


I welcome and I am overwhelmed about your candidature and wish you every success.

Antonio Gutiérrez

Antonio Gutiérrez Limones

Senator - Chairperson of the Spanish parliamentary delegation to PACE (SOC)



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