Pedro Solbes

Spanish Minister of Economy and the Treasury (2004-2009). European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs (1999-2004)

To be more effective, we need to boost and unify the internal market.

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One of the pivotal and most respected figures on the European political scene, Pedro Solbes began his political career in Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Trade in 1968. In 1973 he was appointed Commercial Counsellor of the Spanish Mission to the European Community, and then served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Relations with the European Community. He subsequently became Director General of Commercial Policy at the Ministry of Economics and Trade. Solbes then took up the post of General Secretary at the same ministry and in that capacity took part in the negotiations for Spain’s accession to the European Community.

In 1999 he became European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. During his time at the European Commission, Solbes was responsible for overseeing the rules that were to underpin the introduction of Europe’s single currency. He has been a board member of the energy group Enel and is a European business advisor for Barclays Bank as well as a board member of its Spanish subsidiary.
Prior to his appointment as European Commissioner in 1999, Solbes held several ministerial posts in Spain and was a member of the Spanish Parliament. In 1985, he was appointed Secretary of State for Relations with the European Community and chaired the Internal Market Council during Spain’s first presidency of the EC. He was Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and subsequently, of Economy and the Treasury, when he took charge of guiding Spain out of the crisis.

In 2004 he took up that post again in President Rodríguez Zapatero’s government and was also second Vice-president of the government until 2009. He currently chairs the Supervisory Board of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), whose mission is to advise the European Commission on the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards and the financial data that companies must provide. He is now President of FRIDE, a European think tank for global action.

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