Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, Greece Politician
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Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou Early Life

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, the daughter of a Supreme Court judge, was born in Thessaloniki in 1956. In 1982 she was appointed as Assistant Judge at the Supreme Administrative Court (Council of State).

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou became Associate Councillor in 1988 and served at the Third Chamber of the Court, before being promoted to Councilor of State in 2000 and served at the Fifth Chamber. In October 2015 she was appointed Vice-President and assigned to the Third Chamber, as Deputy President before promoted to President of the Court three years later in October 2018.

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou Biography

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, born 30 May 1956, the daughter of a Supreme Court judge, she completed postgraduate studies at Paris’ Sorbonne university. Sakellaropoulou not being affiliated to any political party breaks tradition. She has regularly published academic journals and is known to be sensitive towards civilian liberties, minority and refugee rights.

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Who is Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou?

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, a trailblazing judge, expert in environmental and constitutional law, a four-decade justice veteran, has since 2018 headed the Council of State. Sakellaropoulou, from the northern city of Xanthi, was also the first woman to head the Council of State, Greece’s top administrative court, taking on that role in 2018 with the support at the time of the government led by the leftist Syriza party, which lost power to New Democracy in an election in July last year.

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou Career

  • Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou was elected president of the Association of the Council of State Judges (1993-1995 and 2000-2001).
  • Secretary General (1985-1986) and Vice President (2006-2008).
  • She also served as a member of the Central Legislative Bill Drafting Commission (1993-1995).
  • Taught Environmental Law at the National School of Judges (2005-2014).
  • From 2013-2015, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou was president of the Disciplinary Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Since March 2015, the Judge has also been the President of the Hellenic Society for Environmental Law and actively worked on major cases such as the diversion of the Acheloos River in Thessaly and the preservation of the refugee buildings on Alexandras Avenue in Athens.

Education

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou graduated from the Faculty of Law from the University of Athens in 1978. She also completed her legal training during a leave of absence from her Council of State (Greece’s Supreme Court) duties at the Sorbonne, Paris II University between 1989 and 1990.

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou Language Skill

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou is fluent in English and French.

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou Greece First Woman President

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou is the candidate for “unity” and “progress” thus presented by the head of the Conservative government, who skillfully chose her for this position because it transcends traditional partisan divisions. No sooner did her name appear on January 15 during a solemn television address by Kyriakos Mitsotakis than the candidate immediately made consensus in a society, however singularly patriarchal, at the bottom of the European peloton in terms of parity.

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On January 22, 2020, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has nominated top female judge Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou to become the country’s next president. A cross-party majority of 261 of the 294 MPs voted in favour of 63-year-old Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, parliament chief Costas Tassoulas said. Backed by the main opposition leftist Syriza and socialist KINAL parties, Sakellaropoulou’s candidacy secured one of the highest vote counts in parliament history. Past presidents have often been senior party figures, such as former ministers.

“I accept the proposal and, if elected, I will devote all my efforts to serving this high duty, as set out by the constitution,” the jurist said, adding that she will abstain from active legal duties as of now.

Greek lawmakers backed Katerina Sakellaropoulou as the new head of state, making her the first woman’s president in the country’s history.

“The time has come for Greece to open up to the future,” Mr Mitsotakis said in a televised address, emphasising that the ­selection breaks with tradition not only because Justice Sakellaropoulou is female, but also because­ she is not a member of a political party.

He said the choice “embodies unity and progress”.

Justice Sakellaropoulou told the state news agency ANA that the nomination was “an honour”. She thanked the Prime ­Minister and said she was ready to “devote herself with all her might to this high duty”.

Liberal daily Kathimerini commentator Elias Maglinis welcomed the decision to nominate Sakellaropoulou.

It had, he wrote, “brought about a spirit of consensus, which is absolutely necessary during such a crucial time in foreign policy” referring to ongoing tension with Turkey over energy exploration, Aegean territorial rights and migration.

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou Quick Facts

  • Sakellaropoulou was born in Thessaloniki in 1956.
  • Sakellaropoulou was promoted to head of the Council of State in October of 2018, proposed by the ruling SYRIZA administration of that time.
  • She has also been criticized for defending a controversial investment project by a Canadian mining company in the north of the country.
  • She has extensive experience in teaching, as well as an educational and Foreign Ministry consultant, and as an officer of the judges’ union.
  • The longtime judge has served as President of the Hellenic Society for Environmental Law since 2015, and has actively worked on large cases involving the environment, including the diversion of the Acheloos River in Thessaly and the preservation of the historic refugee buildings on Alexandras Avenue in Athens.
  • An author of several books, the distinguished jurist also speaks English and French.
  • She also completed her legal training during a leave of absence from her Council of State (Greece’s Supreme Court) duties at the Sorbonne, Paris II University between 1989 and 1990.
  • Sakellaropoulou defended the rights of refugees, minorities and civil liberties.

Family

Regarding her personal life, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou is divorced and a mother of one.

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou Biography and Profile

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