of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Andreas Kiefer was elected Secretary General of the Congress on 17 March 2010 and took office on 1 April 2010 for a 5-year mandate.
Andreas Kiefer studied Law and Economics at the Universities of Salzburg and Linz and holds a doctorate of Law. He completed professional training programmes in management, leadership, gender mainstreaming, languages, IT and interpersonal skills development and is – in addition to his German mother tongue - fluent in English and French.
After his studies he worked as Chef de Cabinet of Land Salzburg's Vice-president and later President Hans Katschthaler (1984 – 1995). Andreas Kiefer was Director of the European Affairs Service of Land Salzburg regional government from 1996 until 2010, and has long standing experience in staff management, implementation and monitoring of budgets as well as in media relations.
He was the first national co-ordinator of the Austrian delegation to the Committee of the Regions (1995 -1996) and established a swift system of sharing information within the delegation and among the assistants, a method which is still applied today.
In terms of concrete cross-border co-operation, he played a key role in establishing the EuRegio Salzburg - Berchtesgadener Land - Traunstein in 1995 with nearly 100 municipalities.
In the Council of Europe he has worked for all Congress members from Land Salzburg since 1995 –from different political backgrounds - and as common representative of the Austrian Länder in the Congress working group 'Regions with legislative powers' since 1999.
Andreas Kiefer has been a member of the CoE's Committee of Experts on local and regional government institutions and co-operation (LR-IC) and was elected vice-president
in 2009. As a contribution to the intergovernmental work of the Council of Europe he organized the first CDLR workshop on local and regional democracy dedicated to the representation of regions at national and European level on 1-2 December 2008 in Salzburg (Austria).
From 2000 to 2009 he represented the Austrian Länder in the EU's Intergovernmental Conferences (IGC) negotiating the Treaty on a Constitution for Europe and the Lisbon Treaty at working level and served as Secretary General of the Conference of Presidents of Regions with Legislative Powers (REGLEG) in 2003.
From 2006 to 2010 he was responsible for setting up the scheme for monitoring subsidiarity and proportionality by the Länder.
At municipal level Andreas Kiefer served as chairman and member of municipal electoral committees for municipal, regional, federal and European elections and initiated a citizens' participation project to integrate new residents and to create a municipal mission statement in the municipality of Kuchl (Dorferneuerung).
He is a member of the authors’ network of the European Centre for Research on Federalism and a member of the board of the Salzburg Institute for Education (Salzburger Bildungswerk).
Andreas Kiefer has been a speaker at a number of international conferences and has given lectures at universities and post graduate courses. He has published widely about local self government, regionalism, federalism, interregional and cross-border co-operation, regions with legislative powers, the Austrian political system, about the local and regional dimension in the Council of Europe and the Committee of the Regions.
Andreas Kiefer was born on 6 October 1957 in Salzburg, Austria. He is married to Carmen Kiefer. She is a PR manager and has been 1st deputy mayor of the municipality of Kuchl since 1999; they have three children.