The Hon. Jan Figel
Former Vice President of the National Council of Slovakia; Former European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth
BiographyJán Figeľ is a Slovakian politician who has been heavily involved with Slovakian and European Affairs. The Former European Commissioner for Education, Training & Culture, Mr. Han Figel has also held other notable positions such as State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was the Chief Negotiator for Slovakia's accession into the EU.
Mr. Figel started his career when he joined the Christian Democratic Movement party in 1990 and was elected two years later as an MP to the National Council of the Slovak Republic, serving on its Foreign Affairs Committee and becoming a member of Slovakia's delegation to the Council of Europe.
In 1998 he left his parliamentary seat and was appointed State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is at this post that he but led Slovakia's accession negotiations with the European Union. As State Secretary, Mr. Figel was also the representative of the Slovak government in the European Convention which drafted the European Constitution.
From 2004 to 2009 Mr. Figel served with the European Commission as Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism, with a brief stint as Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society.
Mr. Figel stepped down from his Commission post in 2009 following his election as the leader of Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia. Currently he holds the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Construction and Regional Development.