Anne Brasseur (Luxembourg, ALDE), has been elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). She obtained an absolute majority in the first round of voting with 165 votes to 125 for the other candidate Robert Walter (United Kingdom, EDG). The President's term of office is one year, renewable once.
She succeeds Jean-Claude Mignon as the 27th President of PACE since 1949, the first Luxembourger and the second woman to take up the post.
"Sixty-nine years ago on this day the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated, and as we commemorate the Shoah, we bow our heads to acknowledge the suffering of all the victims of the atrocities committed by the nazi regime. Now, more than ever before, we have a duty to fight for our goals and values and emphasise that they are inalienable and not negotiable. Human rights, democracy and the rule of law know no frontiers and nor must they ever know them,” said the new President in her opening address to the PACE.
"The Parliamentary Assembly is a unique platform for inter-parliamentary dialogue. All our Organisation's member States are represented in it on an equal footing, irrespective of their size, geographical location, date of accession or whether or not they are members of the European Union," she said.
"Today, at a time when our Organisation faces enormous challenges – the rise of extremism and terrorism, trafficking in human beings, violence against women and children, or dangers linked to new technologies, to cite just a few – our role is to give political impetus to the action of the Council of Europe by making effective use of the tools at our disposal. Let us capitalise on what unites us and not what separates us", concluded Ms Brasseur.
Born on 19 May 1950 in Luxembourg, Anne Brasseur is a psychology graduate of the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and Mannheim University and also studied Senior Management in Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She was elected to the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg in 1979 and served as Minister for National Education, Vocational Training and Sports from 1999 to 2004. She then returned to Parliament where she has been a member since 2004. She also held the post of Municipal Councillor of the city of Luxembourg from 1976 to 1981 and of Alderman from 1982 to 1999 and from 2005 to 2009.
Anne Brasseur has chaired PACE’s ALDE group since 2009, and also chaired the Committee on Culture, Science and Education from 2008 to 2010. As a member of PACE from 1993 to 1999 and from 2004 to the present day, she has prepared no fewer than 15 reports for PACE, including ‘The religious dimension of intercultural dialogue’, ‘Political transition in Tunisia’, ‘the fight against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance’ (opinion) and ‘Protection and reinforcement of the human rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe’.