Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis on Tuesday became the first woman ever elected as the next Secretary-General of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). 

“I am greatly honoured by the confidence of the members and their large mobilisation – I am up to the challenge!,” the Greek lawyer and long-time employee of PACE told the Assembly members upon her election, which had a massive participation rate of 96.46%.

Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis, a Doctor in Law, holding a PhD on the European Convention of Human Rights from the European University Institute in Florence, has been working at PACE for 21 years, with her first post being at the at the European Commission of Human Rights. She will replace Wojciech Sawicki as of March 1, 2021 for a five year term.

During her election campaign, Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis had stressed the need to “further improve and build on synergies with national Parliaments” as well as to “make better use of the whole Organisation’s potential and to modernise the body’s methods to adopt to the new socio-political, environmental and technological realities. 


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