Simone Veil

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©UNESCO/M. Ravassard

Simone Veil, French lawyer and politician, is a law graduate of the Institute for Political Studies in Paris. With her family, she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she liberated on 27 January 1945. She pursued a career as a high public officer in the field of justice and was appointed Minister of Health in 1974. She has also been a Member of the European Parliament and, from 1979 to 1982, was the first elected President of the European Parliament. In 1993, she served as Minister for Social Affairs, Health and the Cities. Former Member of the Constitutional Council from 1998 to 2007, she was elected to the Académie Française in 2008.

Her actions on behalf of human rights, gender equality, European integration and the environment, among many other causes, have won her public recognition, awards, prizes and honorary doctorates in several countries around the world.