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angle-left null 1989 - First woman Secretary General takes office
Event's background
Secretaries General of the Council of Europe
01 June 1989

First woman Secretary General takes office

France France

French socialist Catherine Lalumière was the first woman to hold the post of Secretary General. She began her political career as a member of the French National Assembly (1981-1989), where she also held the offices of Secretary of State for the Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Secretary of State in charge of Consumption, and Secretary of State for European Affairs. Following the fall of the Iron Curtain, she concentrated on establishing and maintaining contacts with countries in the process of democratising to allow for their quick accession to the Council of Europe. She became a member of the European Parliament of the European Union in 1994 for ten years and continues to be active on European issues.