Stavros Dimas

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Stavros Dimas
Σταύρος Δήμας
Stavros Dimas Senate od Poland.JPG
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
11 November 2011 17 May 2012
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos
Preceded by Stavros Lambrinidis
Succeeded by Petros Molyviatis
Deputy Leader of New Democracy
Assumed office
2 July 2010
Leader Antonis Samaras
Preceded by Position established
European Commissioner for the Environment
In office
22 November 2004 9 February 2010
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Margot Wallström
Succeeded by Janez Potočnik
European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs
In office
18 February 2004 22 November 2004
President Romano Prodi
Preceded by Anna Diamantopoulou
Succeeded by Vladimír Špidla (Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities)
Personal details
Born (1941-04-30) 30 April 1941 (age 77)
Klenia, Greece
Political party New Democracy
Alma mater University of Athens
New York University

Stavros Dimas (Greek : Σταύρος Δήμας, Greek pronunciation:  [ˈstavros ˈðimas] ; born 30 April 1941) is a Greek politician who was European Commissioner for the Environment from 2004 to 2009. From November 2011 to May 2012, he served in the government of Greece as Minister for Foreign Affairs. The New DemocracyPASOK coalition government nominated him for the post of President of Greece in December 2014, but he failed to achieve the necessary votes, forcing the dissolution of parliament.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

European Commission executive institution of the European Union

The European Commission (EC) is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, and the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, and then appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament.

Contents

Early life and education

Stavros Dimas was born in 1941 in the village of Klenia, Corinthia. [1] Dimas studied law at the University of Athens and went on to earn a Master of Laws from New York University.

Corinthia Regional unit in Peloponnese, Greece

Corinthia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Peloponnese. It is situated around the city of Corinth, in the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula.

The Masters in Law is a postgraduate academic degree, pursued by those either holding an undergraduate academic law degree, a professional law degree, or an undergraduate degree in a related subject. In some jurisdictions the "Masters in Law" is the basic professional degree for admission into legal practice.

New York University private research university in New York, NY, United States

New York University (NYU) is a private research university spread throughout the world. Founded in 1831, NYU's historical campus is in Greenwich Village, New York City. As a global university, students can graduate from its degree-granting campuses in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, as well as study at its 12 academic centers in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C.

Career

In 1968 he began working as a lawyer for a firm on Wall Street, moving to the World Bank the following year, where he worked on investments in Africa and the Middle East. [1] In 1975 he returned to Greece to take up the post of deputy governor of the Hellenic Industrial Development Bank (ETVA), while also being a member of the committee preparing Greek accession to the EEC. [1]

Wall Street street in Manhattan

Wall Street is an eight-block-long street running roughly northwest to southeast from Broadway to South Street, at the East River, in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry, or New York–based financial interests.

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

Entry into politics

From 1977 he was active in Greek politics as a member of the conservative New Democracy party, being elected as an MP on the nationwide list. [1] He was elected to the Greek parliament ten consecutive times from that year.

New Democracy (Greece) Greek political party

The New Democracy, also referred to as ND (ΝΔ) by its initials, is a liberal-conservative political party in Greece. In modern Greek politics, New Democracy has been the main centre-right political party and one of the two major parties along with its historic rival, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Having spent two and a half years in government under the presidency of Antonis Samaras, New Democracy lost its majority in the Hellenic Parliament and became the major opposition party after the January 2015 legislative election.

The politics of Greece takes place in a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Greece is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Hellenic Parliament. Between the restoration of democracy in 1974 and the Greek government-debt crisis the party system was dominated by the liberal-conservative New Democracy and the social-democratic Panhellenic Socialist Movement.

He went on to hold a variety of ministerial and other political positions: [1]

Council of Europe International organization for defending human rights

The Council of Europe is an international organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. Founded in 1949, it has 47 member states, covers approximately 820 million people and operates with an annual budget of approximately half a billion euros.

European Commission

Dimas served briefly in the Prodi Commission. He was appointed European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs in March 2004, taking over the role from the previous Greek Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou. A major focus of his work during this time involved making it more difficult for states to opt out of the Working Time Directive. The Greek government nominated Dimas for the incoming Barroso Commission which took office on 22 November 2004.

In a speech to a committee of the European Parliament Dimas announced four main priorities for his term in office: climate change, biodiversity, public health and sustainability. He emphasised the importance of the Kyoto Protocol, the Natura 2000 project, the REACH directive, and the need to better enforce existing EU environmental legislation.

Selection hearing

EPP convention on climate change in Madrid between 6-7 February 2008. Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN MADRID (6-7 FEBRUARY 2008) (460).jpg
EPP convention on climate change in Madrid between 6–7 February 2008.

Concerns were raised in advance by MEPs and many NGOs that by appointing a former Wall Street lawyer and industry minister to the environment post the EU had signalled a decreased commitment to environmental issues in favour of promoting economic competitiveness. However, after some months time, the environment unions quickly endorsed his programme and publicly congratulated him for being able to support the positions of the environmental organizations with great success within the Commission. Dimas' role was vital especially since the President, Mr Barroso, was ready to disregard the effects to the environment due to the need to improve economic development.

Questioned by the European Parliament, Dimas took the view that preserving the environment and promoting competitiveness went hand in hand, and that environmental policy could provide a stimulus for technological innovation. Among other statements, he said that GM residues in seeds should be the lowest technically feasible.

Following his hearing Dimas received a sceptical response from most MEPs. Many believed him to have insufficient experience to fulfill the role. Karl-Heinz Florenz, chair of the Environment Committee and a member of the conservative EPP-ED, said that European environment policy needed, "more than just declarations of intention.... If Commission President-designate Barroso puts the Lisbon Strategy on top of the agenda, this must not mean that the primacy of economic over environment policy gets cemented." However, he stressed the need to give Dimas time to 'grow into' his role. The Socialists gave him a qualified approval but criticised his plans as too vague. The Greens and the left-wing GUE/NGL opposed his appointment outright, with the Greens naming him as one of the three "incompetent" Commissioners-designate who prompted them to vote against the Commission as a whole. Representatives of industry and the business community welcomed his appointment to the environment post.

In a dramatic change of stance, the Greens endorsed the programme plan by Commissioner Dimas and have argued that their cooperation in environmental issues is harmonic.

Stance on climate change

Foreign Minister of Greece Stavros Dimas (right) meeting with the Ambassador of Cyprus, Joseph Joseph, in 2011 Sunantese UPEKs S. Dema me Presbe Kupriakes Demokratias I. Ioseph (15.11.11).jpg
Foreign Minister of Greece Stavros Dimas (right) meeting with the Ambassador of Cyprus, Joseph Joseph, in 2011
Stavros Dimas discussing with Martin Bursik and Andreas Carlgrenin the House of Sweden in September 2011 Flickr - boellstiftung - Stavros Dimas, Martin Bursik, Andreas Carlgren.jpg
Stavros Dimas discussing with Martin Bursik and Andreas Carlgrenin the House of Sweden in September 2011
Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel Daniel Ayalon with Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas of Greece in November 2011 Sunantese UPEKs S. Dema me ton UPhUPEKs tou Israel D. Ayalon (22.11.2011).jpg
Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel Daniel Ayalon with Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas of Greece in November 2011

Dimas led the EU in its tough line on climate change during the first weeks of the new Commission. At UN talks on climate change in Buenos Aires in December 2004 he attempted to negotiate a new system of mandatory emissions reductions to follow the expiration of the initial Kyoto targets in 2012. This approach met with fierce opposition from the U.S., representatives of which refused to even discuss the matter. The Italian environment minister Altero Matteoli broke EU ranks on the issue, proposing voluntary targets after 2012, and saying that it was, "unthinkable to go ahead without the US, China and India."

In response to the refusal of countries to sign Kyoto, such as the United States and Australia (the latter of which exchanged viewpoints with the EU on the matter), [2] the EU has been looking to tax products imported from those countries not taking low-carbon policies on board (Border Tax Adjustments). [3]

When defending the Commission's new proposals to climate change in 2007, he claimed "It is clear that the fight against climate change is much more than a battle. It is a world war that will last for many years." [4]

Dimas oversaw the introduction of the EU's emissions trading scheme, that took effect on 1 January 2005, despite emissions reduction plans from Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Greece not having been approved on time. He also sought to include companies operating aircraft under the emissions trading regime.

In February 2007 the Commissioner put forward his plans to increase fuel efficiency standards of cars so that emissions are no more than 130g of CO2 per km, down from 162g/km in 2005. This caused anger from the European car industry [5] which was stoked by the Commissioner requesting a Japanese car, a Toyota Prius, instead of a European make due to the Toyota's better environmental standards. [6]

Return to Greece

In July 2010 the president of New Democracy Antonis Samaras appointed Stavros Dimas as vice-president of the party with responsibility for economic and social affairs. From 11 November 2011 to 17 May 2012 he served as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Lucas Papademos interim cabinet. [1]

On 9 December 2014, Prime Minister Samaras announced the candidacy of Dimas, jointly supported by New Democracy and PASOK, for the Presidency of Greece, [7] which took place in three ballots on 17, 23 and 29 December. [8] He failed to achieve the necessary votes, forcing the dissolution of parliament.

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References

Political offices
Preceded by
Anna Diamantopoulou
Greek European Commissioner
2004–2010
Succeeded by
Maria Damanaki
European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs
2004
Succeeded by
Vladimír Špidla
as European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
Preceded by
Margot Wallström
European Commissioner for the Environment
2004–2010
Succeeded by
Janez Potočnik
Preceded by
Stavros Lambrinidis
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Petros Molyviatis