Harlem Désir was appointed as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media on 18 July 2017 for a period of three years. Prior to this position, Désir (France) was French Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, since April 2014.
Harlem Désir was a Member of the European Parliament for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2014. He was a member of the Committee on Industry, Energy and Research, the Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Development. He was also Vice-President of the Delegation for relations with the United States (2002-2004), member of the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly (2002-2009) and member of the Delegation for relations with India (2009-2014). Désir served as Vice-President of the Socialist Group of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009 and as First Secretary of the French Socialist Party from 2012 to 2014.
In October 1984, Harlem Désir co-founded the French not-for-profit association “SOS Racisme”, whose objective is to fight against racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of discrimination. In 1989, he also co-founded the international federation of “SOS Racisme”. Désir was President of both “SOS Racisme” France and of the eponymous international federation. Harlem Désir holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from the Paris I Sorbonne University. He has been awarded the Olof Palme Prize (Sweden, 1990) and the Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix (Greece, 2016).