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H.E. Karel Schwarzenberg

Minister of Foreign Affairs

‚ Czech Republic


Karel Schwarzenberg is a politician of the Czech Republic, the leader of TOP 09 party and the current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country. He took office as Foreign Minister in July 2010. In the 1960s, Schwarzenberg was active in the conservative Austrian People's Party and contributed to reforming the party before the Austrian legislative election in 1966. Between 1984 and 1990 he chaired the International Helsinki Committee, trying to improve the human rights situation in Eastern bloc countries. In 1989, he received, the Council of Europe Human Rights Prize, together with Lech Wałensa, who was later elected as the president of Poland. In 1990 he was appointed a member of the Advisory Board of the first Czech president Václav Havel. Later that year, he became his Counselor until 1992, when he was assigned to lead the first OSCE Delegation in Nagorno-Karabakh after the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out. After a longer pause between 1992 and 2004, he became Member of the Senate of the Czech Republic, Member of the Committee on EU Affairs and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security (2005 – 2007). In the meantime, he served as a member of the Permanent Delegation of the Czech Republic in the CE Parliamentary Assembly (since 2005), and later as a member of the Czech Permanent Representation in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly until 2007, when he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs for the first time.