Mr. Angel Gurría

Parallel Session 2A: Women in the Judiciary and the Legal Profession

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Parallel Session 2A: Women in the Judiciary and the Legal Profession

Ms. Viviane Reding

Vice President of the European Commission and Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Commissioner, European Commission

Viviane Reding is one of the most prominent personalities of Europe, completing 3 terms as member of the European Government, currently first Vice-President of the European Commission.

Viviane Reding was born in 1951 in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

After obtaining a PhD degree (University Sorbonne, Paris), she acted as professional journalist during 20 years. In 1999, having served 10 years in the Luxembourg Parliament and 10 years in the European Parliament, she became European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. In her first term she pushed through the "Erasmus World" Programme, expanding the co-operation between universities and the exchange of students worldwide. She also strengthened the MEDIA programme for the promotion of European films. In 2004, she became EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, winning a major battle against telecom companies by capping mobile roaming charges by 70%. She was instrumental in the reform of the European telecom sector, opening the internal market to competition. In that period, she also reformed the European research area, reinforcing the technological research platforms. In 2010, she became first Vice-President and EU Commissioner responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. She put in place a truly EU Justice policy, launching a series of ground-breaking proposals in the field of civil, commercial, consumer and criminal law, creating thus the basis for a European area of justice. She initiated the chapter "Justice for growth", enabling both businesses and consumers to benefit fully from their rights in the European single market. This chapter includes proposals in the field of consumer rights, cross border recovery of debts and recognition of documents, women on boards, a common European sales law and the reform of the EU data protection rules. Viviane Reding also created the basis for a "fundamental rights culture" across the European institutions and initiated a new EU framework to strengthen the rule of law. In order to reach out to the general public, she launched the Europe-wide "Citizen Dialogue" – series, ahead of the EU-Elections. Viviane Reding was awarded numerous national, European and cultural awards as well as a number of "Honoris Causa" degrees by Universities. She published many articles, mainly on the reform of European Institutions, on the development of the European Union into a Federal Political Union as well as on economic and financial governance.

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