April, 2024

202408Apr14:3015:30European Elections: the future of the UnionA conversation with former European Commissioner Ms. Anna Diamantopoulou14:30 - 15:30

Event Details

When: Monday, April 8, 2024 | 14:30-15:30

Where: ACG Arts Center Amphitheater (Aghia Paraskevi Campus)

Organized by: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Deree Scholars Organization

Supported by: The Office of Admissions

About the event

SNF Scholars Organization invites former European Commissioner, Ms. Anna Diamantopoulou to an interactive discussion with Deree students, about the opportunities and challenges of the European Union, in anticipation of the upcoming European elections. Key issues that will be addressed are: geopolitics, the fourth industrial revolution, migration, green transition and digital transformation.

The event is free and open to the ACG Community.

For more information contact the Deree SNF Scholars Organization, [email protected].

About the speaker


Anna Diamantopoulou was Βorn in 1959 in Kozani, Νorthern Greece. She is married to Giannis Savalanos, a civil engineer. They have one son, Haridimos.



University Studies

– Degree from the Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki- Civil Engineering Department.
– Postgraduate studies in Regional Development at the Panteion University of Athens.
– Fisher Family Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project, Harvard Kennedy School.

Political Career

– Her political career began in Local Administration, when appointed as Prefect (Governor) of Kastoria. She was the youngest ever Prefect at the age of 25.
– Appointed President of the Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium-Sized Undertakings and Handicrafts (EOMMEX) in 1993.
– Elected to Greek Parliament in 1996 for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), representing Kozani. Appointed Deputy-Minister for Development in charge of privatisation and industrial restructuring.
– European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities; September 1999-2004.
– Elected to Greek Parliament, 2004 and 2007 elections (State representation, and representing District A of Athens, respectively).
– Elected to Greek Parliament, 2009. Appointed Minister for Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs; October 2009-March 2012.
– Minister for Development, Competitiveness and Shipping; March 2012-May 2012
– Currently: President of “Diktio” Network for Reform in Greece and Europe

European Activities

– Praesidium member, since 2005, “Friends of Europe”. A Brussels-based think tank that aims to stimulate thinking on the future of the EU.
– Steering Committee member, 2008, 2009, 2012; “Notre Europe”. A Paris-based think tank founded by Jaques Delors, dedicated to European integration and unity.
– Chairperson of the Party of European Socialists’ Forum on the “European Dimension of New Social Europe”.

During her mandate as Commissioner


– EU adoption for “Agenda for Social Policy”. Series of strategies and programs aiming at securing equal opportunities for men and women, improving working conditions, legislating against discrimination at work and the fight against social exclusion.
– Completion of the European Health Card (considered as one of the most important steps towards a Social Europe).
– Promoted agreement on the White Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility.
– Initiated and institutionalized the regular issuance of EU-guidelines for a “European Strategy for Employment”.

During her mandate as Minister of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs


– Major legislative reform of Higher Education overhauling the existing system.
– Legislation of reforms for primary and secondary education ranging from rationalization of resources to educational content.
– Introduction of “Digital School” in all levels of education system.
– Legislation and introduction of new Framework for Lifelong Learning.
– Initiation and preparation of legislation for reforming Vocational training and the Research-Development and Innovation landscape.

During her mandate as Minister of Competitiveness, Development and Shipping

– Negotiated and finalized Agreement between Greek Government and the European Investment Bank for creation of a Special Fund for supporting Small and Medium Enterprises.
– Passed “Competitiveness Bill”. Legislation for removing existing barriers for entrepreneurship, exports, tourism and other economic activities.
– Liberalization of cruise ships legislation for facilitation of sea tourism.

University Lectures and Speeches around the world

– In Europe, she has presented at the universities of Bocconi in Milan, the University of Frankfurt, the London School of Economics, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Athens, University of Modena among others.
– In the United States: Harvard University, MIT, New York University, Boston University, Queen’s College.
– In China: Beijing, CASS (Institute of European Studies, Chinese Academy of Social sciences).

Books, Book chapters, articles:

She has given interviews, published opinion pieces and contributed to greek and European think tank Reports on European issues-social policy, integration, unification and political union, women’s issues. Among others:
– Greece’s Age of Monsters, Europe’s Age of Mutation. Friends of Europe, June 2012.
– The Role of Education in Greece’s Economic Recovery. Friends of Europe, March 2011.
– Achieving women’s full participation in the knowledge society: a top priority. In: “Europe through Women’s Eyes”, Party of European Socialist-Women 2008.
– Europe’s social model-Building for the future. European Business, 2002.
– Intelligent Greece (in Greek), Livanis Press, Athens, 2006.
– European Integration and Governance: A comparison with the US model in Transatlantic Relations: Cooperation or Competition, Sotiris Ntalis (Ed), Papazisis Press, Athens, 2004.


– Officer of the Légion d’honneur, in recognition by the President of the French Republic of her contribution in the social realm and especially in lifelong learning and combating youth unemployment.
– Honored by the Confederation of Danish Industrialists for the creation of the White Paper and the program on Corporate Social Responsibility.
– Medal of the Holy Cross of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem for supporting the Patriarchate and its educational activities.