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Mrs. Androula Vassilliou elected new Public Health Commissioner

Brussels, 9 April 2008. The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Cypriot Androula Vassiliou as the European Commission's new Commissioner for Public Health, Food Safety, Animal Health and Welfare. Mrs Vassiliou replaces her compatriot Markos Kyprianou, who left the post last March to become foreign minister of the new Cypriot government.

Following the resignation of Kyprianou, Mrs Vassiliou was nominated by the Cypriot government. The Council of the EU had already given its support to her nomination, awaiting final approval from the European Parliament.

Mrs Vassiliou, 64, will be in office at least until the appointment of a new European Commissioner for Public Health after the June 2009 European Parliament elections.

Curriculum Vitae of Mrs Androula Vassiliou

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 available at

During the Parliamentary hearing, Mrs Vassiliou described her priorities as mental health, cross border health and involving young people more in decisions on alcohol, tobacco, obesity etc.

As for mental health, she stated that this was a personal priority for her and she spoke of the "hidden peril" and the need to discuss this more. She spoke about ",” which the Commission is organising for 13 June 2008 in Brussels. She also referred to four key action fields that will be the focus of the conference: EU High-Level Conference on Mental

  • prevention of suicide,
  • mental health in youth and education,
  • mental health in workplace environments,
  • elderly people.