Lambrinidis served as Greece’s foreign minister from June to November 2011. Earlier, he was elected to the European Parliament and headed PASOK’s MEPs in 2004-2011. He was also vice-president of the European Parliament during 2009-2011, while from 2004 to 2009, he served as vice-president of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
Lambrinidis will be the EU's first thematic Special Representative. His appointment follows the adoption on June 25, 2012 of the EU's Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy.