Rumiana Ruseva Jeleva Bulgarian: Румяна Русева Желева (born on April 18, 1969 in the village of Zagortsi) was Bulgaria's minister of foreign affairs (July 2009 – January 2010), the third woman to hold this office after Irina Bokova and Nadezhda Mihailova. Jeleva was a key figure in the "Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria" (GERB) political party which won the 2009 parliamentary elections. From 2007–2009 she served as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and headed the Bulgarian delegation in the EPP Group. She was nominated by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov as Commissioner in the "Barroso II Commission" and was affiliated with the European People's Party (EPP). However, an article in the German newspaper Die Welt accused her husband of links with the Russian mafia.
The Bulgarian pronunciation of the name Jeleva is [ˈʒɛlɛvɐ], with the [ʒ]-sound of English pleasure (voiced palato-alveolar fricative). According to the current official standards for the Romanization of Bulgarian, her name should be transliterated as "Zheleva". Because of this confusion, some people erroneously pronounce the name with a y-sound, [j].
Failure in EC hearings and end of political career
Jeleva was Bulgaria's nominee for European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. During her January 2010 confirmation hearing, she repeatedly failed to answer questions regarding allegations over her financial interests. She also failed to demonstrate sufficient competence in the areas she was to oversee. Her defensive and seemingly arrogant attitude and her poor language skills further jeopardized her candidacy. Аs an MEP she appointed as her counsel the German of Jewish descent Benjamin Oberman. Facing a storm of disapproval at home, on January 19, 2010, Jeleva sent a letter of resignation to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, stepping down as both commissioner-designate and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and putting an end to her political career. She was replaced as commissioner-designate by Kristalina Georgieva and as Minister of Foreign Affairs by Nikolay Mladenov.
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- "Barroso gets new EU Commission team", BBC News, 25 November 2009; accessed November 28, 2009
- "Barroso II: 13 EPP Commissioners receive key portfolios", European People's Party, 27 November 2009; accessed November 28, 2009
- Bulgaria backpedals on Turkey compensation claim, EUObserver, 2010-01-08
- Your MEPs : Introduction : Rumiana JELEVA
- "Jeleva remains Barroso's weakest link" from europeanvoice.com, retrieved January 2010
- "Bulgaria nominee for EU Commission steps down from BBC NEWS retrieved January 19, 2010
- Letter from Dr. Jeleva to the prime minister Boiko Borissov (in Bulgarian)
|Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria