The Hon. Cyril Svoboda

Former Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic; Former Foreign Minister

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Biography

The Hon. Cyril Svoboda is a Czech lawyer, politician, and member of the Christian Democratic Union- Czechoslovak People’s Party.

Mr. Svoboda completed his Bachelors of Law at Charles University in Prague, before undertaking further study at the Pan American Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University in Washington D.C. Prior to entering politics, Mr. Svoboda worked in the legal department of the companyTransgas, and also served as a notary and special adviser to the Czech government for human rights, relations between state and church, and the law on extrajudicial rehabilitations from 1990 to 1992.

Throughout his political career, Mr. Svobodo has held several prestigious posts, serving as Deputy Minister of Justice between 1992 and 1996, and later working as Vice-Chairman of the European Commission for Democracy through Law, where he led the delegation for negotiations on the agreement on the Czech Republic’s accession to the European Union. In 1998, Mr. Svobodo was appointed Minister of Interior before being elected as Chairman of Christian Democrats in 2001. Between 1998 and 2002, Mr. Svoboda also served as Chairman of the Petitions Committee of the Chamber of Deputies. His most notable role to date has been that of Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position held from 2002 to 2006. Between 2002 and 2004, Mr. Svoboda also assumed the post of Deputy Prime Minister. He subsequently served as Minister without Portfolio and Chairman of the Government’s Legislative Council from 2007 to 2009, and Minister for Regional Development in 2009.

Mr. Svoboda has addressed numerous global forums and conferences, providing deep insight into issues ranging from international security and conflict to education, the environment, and development.  Since 2001, he has been the Director of the Diplomatic Academy in Prague, where he also teaches European integration and public expression.