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EESC elects Dimitris Dimitriadis as its new President by EuropeanUnion


									     European Economic and Social Committee

PRESS RELEASE No 99/2006                                               26 October 2006

             The European Economic and Social Committee
                 elects Dimitris Dimitriadis as its new
            On Wednesday, 25 October, Mr Dimitris Dimitriadis (Group Ι, Employers,
            Greece) was elected President of the EESC for the coming two years,
            winning 238 of a total of 249 votes. In his first speech to plenary, to
            which he gave the title "Entrepreneurship with a human face", the
            newly elected President touched on the modern challenges facing the
            European Union while stressing the role of the Committee in bringing
            the public closer to the Union.

            Mr Dimitriadis spoke of the time that Europe has wasted while the emerging
            economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China progress at pace. He affirmed,
            nevertheless, that "we have not reached an impasse. In Chinese, the word
            "crisis" has two ideograms: the first signifies "danger" and the other
            "opportunity"; Mr Dimitriadis preferred to think in terms of opportunity.
            However, he stressed, for the EU to make the most of this opportunity it would
            have to promote "entrepreneurship with a human face and not a facade",
            notably by cutting red tape and creating attractive jobs.

            Later in his speech, Mr Dimitriadis referred to small businesses and to people-
            centred business as a mind-set, an idea that springs from the old saying of the
            Greek philosopher Protagoras: "Man is the measure of all things". He pointed out
            that this was not the same as economic wealth and noted that businesses should
            make their goal innovation and not just profit. He also emphasised that the
            changes in working Europeans' attitudes, striving to improve their standard of
            living, could also contribute to the creation of a competitive and constantly
            changing professional environment.

            To end, the new President stated that the European Economic and Social
            Committee would play an active part in bridging the gap between the European
            public and the Community bodies, shaping a renewed strategy for sustainable
            development, and also developing an active network of civil society initiatives
            aimed at promoting the implementation of the Lisbon strategy.

            Mr Dimitriadis has been a member of the EESC since 1999 and a member of its
            Bureau since 2002. In October 2004 he was elected Vice-President of the EESC,
            with particular responsibility for the Committee’s Budget group.

            Born in Thessaloniki in 1957 and married with two children, he holds a degree in
            law and has worked as a lawyer as well as being President and CEO of a number
            of different companies in Greece. Mr Dimitriadis is a member of several Greek
            civil society organisations, notably he is First Vice-President of the National

        European Economic and Social Committee

                 Confederation of Hellenic Commerce and a member of the executive council of
                 Eurocommerce, Brussels.

                 His work in the EESC to date has comprised, among others, opinions on the
                 situation of civil society in the Western Balkans, the Multiannual programme for
                 enterprise and entrepreneurship, regional integration and sustainable
                 development, EU-China relations and the WTO.

                 For more information, consult a detailed CV:

                 Background information
                 The EESC’s presidency rotates among its three groups (employers, employees
                 and various interests). The President is elected for a two-year term. The Vice-
                 Presidents are elected from the two other groups. For the period 2006-2008,
                 Vice Presidents are Mr. Alexander Michael Graf von Schwerin (Group II,
                 Employees, Germany) and Ms. Jillian van Turnhout (Group III, Various Interests,

                  For more details, please contact:
                  Karel Govaert or Christian Weger at the EESC Press Office,
                  99 rue Belliard, B-1040 Brussels
                  Tel.: +32 2 546 9396/9586; Mobile: +32 475 75 32 02
                  Press Releases:

The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social
components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the
1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they
represent, to participate in the Community decision-making process. The Committee has 317
members, who are appointed by the Council of Ministers.

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