Javier Solana is one of the world’s most prominent diplomats and one of the most significant political figures in the international arena for his vital role in the development of international relations for over two decades. Javier Solana is president of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, where he focuses on the evolution of the global society and study the global economy.
He is distinguished fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings Institution, senior fellow at the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin), chairman of the Aspen Institute Spain, and advisor to the Institute of Modern International Relations of Tsinghua University.
Javier Solana is also member of the board of the International Crisis Group, the European Council on Foreign Relations, as well as visiting professor at the London School of Economics, where he was awarded an Honorary Degree in December 2010.
Solana was first elected to the Spanish Parliament in 1977. Between 1982 and 1995, he held several cabinet posts in four governments headed by Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez. In July 1992, Solana became minister of foreign affairs, a post he held until 1995 when he was named Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Solana took office as NATO’s ninth Secretary General in December 1995. As chairman of the North Atlantic Council – NATO’s highest decision-making body comprised of representatives from the 16 NATO member countries – Solana coordinated the organization’s policy-making process. Within days of Solana’s arrival at NATO, the organization deployed a multinational force (IFOR). In Bosnia to enforce military aspects of the Dayton Peace Accord.
Solana shepherded NATO and Europe through several challenging years. He is credited for reorganizing NATO’s political and military structure and reforming its basic strategies, and leading the Alliance’s enlargement to include the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. He was the organization negotiator of the Founding Act between NATO and Russia. The Act defined the goals and mechanism of consultation, cooperation, joint decision-making and joint action that was to constitute the core of the relations between NATO and Russia.
In October 1999, Solana left NATO to become Secretary General of the Council of the European Union (EU) and its first High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, position that he held until December 2009. In that position, Solana put forth ideas and policy options that allowed the EU member states to generate common foreign and security policies.
From 2003 to 2009, Solana was the EU head negotiator for the negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program. He was also the EU representative in the negotiations of the Middle East Quartet. During his office, the EU had in place over 20 missions and operations in conflict areas.
In addition, Javier Solana has been unanimously elected new President of the Royal Board of the Prado Museum. Member since 2009, he becomes the 10th President of the Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum since 1980, the year in which this body was reconstituted, originally created in 1912.