Berlin • London • Washington • Beijing • HongKong

George V. Vassiliou

Former President of the Republic of Cyprus

Born on 20 May 1931 in Famagusta, Cyprus.

Degree and Doctorate in Economics from the University of Economics in Budapest. He subsequently specialised in marketing and market research in London.

Founder of MEMRB International, 1962; Founded Institute of Directors (Cyprus Branch); Member of the Executive Committee of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce, 1970-1986; Member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Bank of Cyprus, 1981-1988; Member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Church of Cyprus, 1982-1988; Member of the Educational Advisory Council, 1983-1988; Chairman of the WIDER/UNU (World Institute for Development Economic Research of the UN University) Helsinki, 1995-2000.

1988 - 1993
President of the Republic of Cyprus

1993 - today

  • Leader of United Democrats
  • Chairman of MEMRB International in the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe
  • Chairman of Ledra Advertising Company
  • 1998 - today
    Head of the Republic of Cyprus Negotiating Team for the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. In this capacity he is also responsible for co-ordinating the harmonisation process within the country.

    Dr. Vassiliou is also an active participant in international fora and is a member of the following international organisations.

    • Member of the Trilateral Commission - Europe,
    • Member of the InterAction Council - Tokyo,
    • Member of the Board of Governors of the Shimon Peres Institute for Peace,
    • Member of the Board of Governors of the Centre for European Policy Studies - Brussels,
    • Visiting Professor of the Cranfield School of Management in the UK.


    • Marketing in the Middle East
      Graham & Trotman, London 1976
    • The Middle East Markets up to 1980
      Prognos Ltd, Basle 1977
    • Moyen Orient: Le Consomateur des annees '80
      Revue Francaise du Marketing 1980/83
    • Towards the solution of the Cyprus Problem
      Kastaniotis, Athens 1992
    • Modernisation of the Civil Service
      Public Information Office, 1992
    • Overcoming Indifference
      Edited with Klaus Schwab, New York University Press, 1994
    • Tourism and Sustainable Development
      WIDER Helsinki 1995
    • Towards a larger, yet more effective European Union
      Philip Morris Institute, Brussels, 1999

    Honorary Doctorates
    He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Athens, the University of Salonica, the University of Economic Sciences in Budapest, the University of Economic Studies in Belgrade and the Cyprus International Institute of Management.

    Honours and Decorations
    Decorations bestowed on George Vassiliou include:

    • The Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Cyprus;
    • The Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, France;
    • The Grand Cross of the Saviour, Greece;
    • The Grand Cross of the Holy Sepulchre of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem;
    • The Standard (Flag) Order of the Hungarian People's Republic decorated with diamonds;
    • The Grand Collar of the Nile, Arab Republic of Egypt;
    • The Grand Cross of the Order of the Republic of Italy;
    • The Order of the Yugoslav Great Star, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;
    • The Grand Omayyad Necklace, Syrian Arab Republic;
    • The Grand Collard of the Order of Infante D. Henrique, Portugal;
    • The Grand Star of the Federal Republic of Austria.

    In addition to his native Greek, Dr. Vassiliou is fluent in English, French and Hungarian and has a limited knowledge of German, Italian and Russian.