Yannis Vardakastanis (President)

Yannis Vardakastanis

Ioannis Vardakastanis was born on the Greek island of Zakynthos in 1957. He is a political scientist.

Throughout his life he has been a human rights campaigner, active at national, European and international level.

His involvement in social movements started from the Greek movement of the blind.

In 1986, at the early age of 29, he was elected President of the Panhellenic Association of the Blind, whereas from 1992 to 2013 he was the head of the international relations department of the same Association. He is the President of the National Confederation of Disabled People of Greece (N.C.D.P.), which is the umbrella organization of the Greek disability movement, since 1993.

He is the President of the European Disability Forum (EDF), the umbrella organization of the European disability movement since 1999. He was also a member of the Board of the European Blind Union (EBU) from 1996 to 2011. 

Since 2007, he is the European Disability Forum's representative at the International Disability Alliance (IDA) where from 2010 to 2012, he held the position of the Vice-Chair, and from 2012 to 2014, the position of the Chair. He has held the office of IDA Treasurer since 2014.

Ioannis Vardakastanis is also a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) representing the N.C.D.P. in Group III (since 2010). He is one of the Vice-Presidents of this Group.  Moreover, he is a member of the Economic and Social Council of Greece as well as a member of the National Commission for Human Rights of Greece.