Anna Diamantopoulou (Άννα Διαμαντοπούλου, born 1959 in Kozani, Greece), is a Member of Parliament in Greece for the main opposition party, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). She is also a former EU Commissioner, for Employment and Social Affairs, in the Prodi Commission, a post she held between 1999-2004.
A civil engineer
by training, Diamantopoulou's political career began early. As one of the youngest Prefects
in Greek history, Diamantopoulou served the Prefecture of Kastoria
for two years ending in 1986 with her appointment as Secretary General for Adult Education and later for Youth. She was appointed President of the Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium-Sized Undertakings and Handicrafts (EOMMEX) in 1993 and left the position to become Secretary-General for Industry.
Anna Diamantopoulou's parliamentary career began in 1996 when she was elected to represent the district of Kozani
. She was appointed as Deputy-Minister for Development in charge of privatisation and industrial restructuring, a position she left in order to become European Commissioner. Following her return to Greece, she is an Opposition MP with responsibilities ranging from External Affairs and Defence to Development Policies. She was in charge of PASOK's political platform for the 2007 elections. Today she is Shadow Minister for Education and a Member of Parliament for Athens' First Electoral District.
Anna Diamantopoulou's political and policy proposals are often ahead of their time. She is known for insightful analyses and bold proposals which challenge stereotypes and conventional knowledge.
In 2001, Diamantopoulou, then European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, proposed instituting of English also as an official language in Greece It was a proposal based on Greece's preparedness for the rising multiculturalism and multilingualism and the reality it represents paricularly within an EU context. The proposal sparked an interesting and lively debate within Greek society which is still going as Greece has yet to formulate a consistent and effective answer to the challenges of globalisation. Anna is also a firm believer in Greece's ability to join the frontrunning countries in the knowledge economy by 2020. She has consistently supported social policies and approaches designed to protect and assist people in time of need but has never underestimated the need for intelligence, savviness and wits in all endeavours. She is the author of a book called 'Exipni Ellada' which means Intelligent Greece and which bring forth the need for innovation, goal-oriented endeavours and professional approaches as the key prerequisites for social and economic progress.
Diamantopoulou has been very active in European affairs both from her position at the European Commission
and since her return to Greece
. A champion of women's issues and a staunch supporter of stronger, more competitive Europe
, Anna Diamantopoulou continuously stresses the importance of balancing economic efficiency with social justice. She is currently Chair of the Party of European Socialists
' Committee on the European Dimension of Social Europe and an active participant in Europe-wide debates on the future of European competitiveness, the constitutional treaty and social issues.