Drawing on decades of experience, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the EU Commissioner for Health & Food Safety, will deliver a lecture on his areas of expertise (title to be decided). In his role as EU Commissioner, Dr. Andriukaitis focuses on modernizing and simplifying EU food safety policy, ensuring the Commission is prepared to support the EU’s capacity to deal with crisis situations in food safety or pandemics, and helping address the challenge of increased calls on national health services, among other responsibilities.
Dr. Andriukaitis was appointed the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety in November 2014.
He was born on 9 August 1951 in Kyusyur in Siberia, where his family was deported in 1941 from Lithuania. He returned to Lithuania in 1957 together with his mother and two brothers. His father was permitted to return one year later.
He went on to graduate from medical school in 1975 and was a practicing surgeon, gaining specialisation in cardiovascular surgery in 1989, for more than 20 years. He also holds a degree in History from Vilnius University acquired in 1984.
From 1969 onwards the Commissioner was active in the anti-Soviet movement, with his political career beginning in earnest in 1976. In 1990 he was elected to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania which preceded Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament), and was a co-author and a signatory of the Independence Act of Lithuania on 11 March 1990. He was also one of the co-authors of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania adopted in 1992, and one of the founders of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party.
Dr. Andriukaitis was a Member of the Lithuanian Parliament for six terms. During that time he served as a Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, including during the country’s accession to the EU in 2004; as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; as a Vice- and later President of Social Democratic Party; and as a Deputy Speaker of the Parliament. The Commissioner was also the Head of the Lithuanian delegation to the Convention on the Future of Europe. From 2012 to 2014 Dr. Andriukaitis was a Minister for Health in the Lithuanian Government.