Walter Schwimmer

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Walter Schwimmer (* 16 June 1942, Vienna) is a former politician and diplomat from Austria.

After being a member of the Austrian Parliament (National Council) for 28 years, serving as chairperson of several committees (Justice, Health, Housing and Construction) and deputy leader of his political group (ÖVP - Austrian People's Party), he was elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Schwimmer held this post from September 1, 1999 until September 1, 2004. At the beginning of his term, The Economist accused him of being a "timid moral policeman" over his treatment of the Chechnya conflict.In June 2004 his attempt to be elected to a second five-year term as secretary general failed, like all his predecessors of whom no one was reelected.

He currently works as a consultant on international relations and European affairs, based in Klosterneuburg near Vienna.

He is (honorary) Secretary General of the Maison de la Méditerranée/Fondazione Mediterraneo (Naples) and Chairman of the International Coordination Committee of the World Public Forum - Dialogue of Civilisations.

On April 15, 2010 he became president of Megatrend University, the largest private university in Serbia.

Honours and awards

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