Personal Details

NAME                                                   Patrick PENNINCKX

DATE OF BIRTH                                     25 October 1959

NATIONALITY                                        Belgian

Professional Experience

2014 – now                  Head of Information Society Department of the Council of Europe – areas of responsibility: Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Media; Internet Governance; Artificial Intelligence; Cybercrime and Data Protection. He is also responsible for projects related to public-private partnerships and cooperation with business partners.

                                    His professional focus encompasses areas such as freedom of expression, safety of journalists, sound internet governance, international standards in data protection, action against cybercrime and the impact of AI on human rights.


2009 – Nov 2014         Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group (Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs) – and Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Organisational Development and Reform on the strategic planning and implementation of the reform process of the Council of Europe;

2005 – February 2009 Special Adviser to the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe;


2003 – August 2005    Head of the Human Resources Policy and Development Division of the Council of Europe;

2002 – June 2003        Chair of the Staff Committee (on full time secondment) of the Council of Europe;

2000 - 2001                 Directorate General of Political Affairs – Directorate of Political Advice and Co-operation – Political Advisor and External Relations – Relations with International Organisations (United Nations and OSCE);

1989-2000                   Subsequently Tutor, Administrator and Head of Section – Education and Training – Directorate of Youth and Sport, Council of Europe, Strasbourg;

                                    Departmental Training Officer

1984-1989                   Regional, and subsequently European Secretary General of the International Young Christian Workers, Brussels, Belgium.

Other Professional Experience

Module convenor andvisiting professor on the module "Social, Community and Youth Intervention in Europe : emerging trends" in the M.A. Comparative European Social Studies of the University of North London, UK and the Hogeschool Maastricht and visiting professor on the module “Introduction to European Institutions and Policy” at the Greater London Metropolitan University and the Hogeschool Zuyd (Netherlands) ia. On Total Quality Management and Assessment.

Academic Qualifications

Master in Social and Political Sciences (with honors) – (1981–1984)– Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) – one of the key institutions in Belgium for the education and training of high government officials and civil servants. Major in Public Administration (management in the public service), International Labour Law and European Institutions.

Dissertation: “Information and Consultation of Workers in Multinational Companies, The Vredeling-Directive and the position of the ETUC.”

Social and Community Development Worker (with honors) - (1978-1981) - Sociale Hogeschool voor Kristene Arbeiders, Heverlee (Belgium). High ranking institute for human resources managers, trade union officials, cultural, youth and social Workers.

Dissertation: “Tasks of the Youth and Community Development Worker in Training for the Unemployed”.

Post-Graduate Pedagogical Diploma (with high honors) – (1983-1986) – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)


Dutch (mother tongue)

English and French (working languages); German and Spanish (fluent)



Mid-Term Evaluation for Humanitarian/Development Initiatives in Central/Eastern Europe, "The Saphir Initiative", Strasbourg, 1993, 120 p.

Non-governmental Organisation Development in Russia and the Newly Independent States, Strasbourg, 1994, 62 p.

Developing Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe, "The Saphir Initiative"

Strasbourg, 1994, 42 p.

For the Youth Directorate:

Cooperation in the publication of Training Course Resource Files and Thematic Files, namely on Intercultural Learning (simulation games and exercises) and Multi-cultural Society.

Coordinator of the publication of 'The European Labyrinth', an informative game about the European Youth Structures, 1992.

Co-ordination of publications on the educational and policy aspects of European Youth Worker training on Organisational Management; Project Management; Intercultural Learning

University/College publications:

Tasks of the Youth and Community Development Worker in Training for the Unemployed, Sociale Hogeschool Heverlee, 1981, 80 p.

Information and Consultation of Workers in Multinational Companies, The Vredeling-Directive and the position of the ETUC, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 1984, 102 p.

Patrick Penninckx