"I am proud to be the president of an Assembly which brings together 324 parliamentarians from 47 European countries, representing 820 million people.
To benefit from this diversity, we must not only foster permanent dialogue and mutual respect but also make the effort to understand others, taking account of their backgrounds, their history, their culture, their sensitivities and their political opinions. Our role is to work together to defend our values with determination and resolve, while making clear that these values are non-negotiable.
Human rights, democracy and the rule of law know no borders and never should.
The challenges awaiting us are enormous. They range from the rise of extremism and terrorism to trafficking in human beings, violence against women and children and the dangers associated with new technologies, to cite just a few. We must therefore react rapidly and effectively to crisis situations in our member states and in neighbouring countries.
Let us highlight what unites us, not what separates us. What unites us are the objectives of the Council of Europe, namely strengthening human rights, democracy and the rule of law while remembering always that our values cannot be taken for granted, and that we must defend them each and every day."
Born on 19 May 1950 in Luxembourg
Responsibilities in the Parliamentary Assembly since 1993
- President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since January 2014
- President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in 2009-2014
- President of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education in 2008-2010
- Rapporteur : has prepared 15 reports, including on "The religious dimension of intercultural dialogue", "Political transition in Tunisia", "Fight against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and intolerance" (opinion), and "Protection and reinforcement of the human rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe"
- Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1979-1999 and since 2004
- Minister of Education and Sport in 1999-2004
- Echevin (Vice-Mayor) of the city of Luxembourg in 1982-1999 and in 2005-2009
- Municipal Counsellor of the city of Luxembourg in 1976-1981
- Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 1993-1999 and since 2004
- Bureau Member of the ALDE Party since 2009
- Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) since 2004
- Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU) in 2004- 2009
- Member of the North Atlantic Parliamentary Assembly in 1979-1993
- Former President of the Association of Liberal Women of Luxembourg
- Volunteer for charity organisations
- French, English, German, Luxembourgish : fluent
- Italian : basic
- The Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and the University of Mannheim: BA in psychology
- Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Program for Senior Managers in Government