Íñigo Méndez de Vigo
|Iñigo Méndez de Vigo
|Member of the European Parliament
19 October 1992
21 January 1956 |
|Political party||Partido Popular|
|Parents||Lieutenant-Colonel Íñigo Méndez de Vigo y del Arc;
Countess Paloma de Montojo y de Icaza y de León y Sureda
Íñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo, 8th Baron of Claret (born 21 January 1956 at Tetuan, Morocco) is a Spanish politician and Minister for European Affairs in the Spanish Government since December 2011.
Since 1992, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo has represented the Spanish People's Party as Member of the European Parliament and presently is a Bureau Member for the European People's Party. In 2009 he was appointed President of the College of Europe.
Childhood and education
Méndez de Vigo was born on 21 January 1956 in Tetuan (Morocco), then a Spanish Protectorate, where his father was serving as a Lieutenant in the Infantry. He is descended, amongst others, from the Marquesses of Cubas, the Dukes of Riánsares and María Cristina de Borbón, princesa de las Dos Sicilias, and via his maternal grandmother, the novelist Carmen de Icaza, he succeeded, in 1980, to her title as 9th Baron de Claret.
He completed his schooling at the German School in Madrid, as well as studying French language at the Académie française and learning English at the British Institute School. He graduated in Law from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1978.
In 1982, at the age of 26, Méndez de Vigo was appointed director of interparliamentary relations for the Cortes Generales. In 1984 he accepted the position of special advisor to then-secretary general of the Council of Europe, Marcelino Oreja.
He joined the People's Party at its founding Conference in 1989, and stood unsuccessfully in that year as one of its candidates at the European election. In October 1992 he was elected a Member of the European Parliament, and has been returned to Brussels ever since. He has also served as a Member of the People's Party's National Steering Committee since 1992.
- Chairman of the EP Delegation to the Convention drafting the Charter of Fundamental Rights (1999–2000);
- Chairman of the EP Delegation to the European Convention (2003–04);
- EP representative to the IGC (2004);
- Parliament's rapporteur (with Richard Corbett MEP) on the Treaty establishing a European Constitution (2004);
- Parliament's rapporteur (with Richard Corbett MEP) on the Treaty of Lisbon.
Between 2006 and 2007, Méndez de Vigo served as member of the Amato Group, a group of high-level European politicians unofficially working on rewriting the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe into what became known as the Treaty of Lisbon following its rejection by French and Dutch voters.
After his appointment to the Spanish Government in December 2011 by Mariano Rajoy Brey, Barón Méndez de Vigo served as Secretary of State for the European Union.
- Lecturer in Constitutional Law (UCM, 1981–1984)
- Lecturer in Community Law (1989–1991)
- Jean Monnet Chair in European Institutions (UCM, 1999–2004)
- Honorary Jean Monnet Chair (2004)
Méndez de Vigo has written numerous books and articles on Europe:
- Una Reforma Fiscal para España, with José Manuel García-Margallo (Ed. Lid, 1996)
- Financiación de las Comunidades Autónomas y Corresponsabilidad Fiscal, with José Manuel García-Margallo and Vicente Martínez-Pujalte (Fundación Bancaixa, 1996)
- La Apuesta Europea: de la moneda a la Unión Política, with José Manuel García-Margallo (Ed. Política Exterior, 1998)
- Europa paso a paso (2002)
- El rompecabezas. Así redactamos la Constitución europea (Ed. Biblioteca Nueva and Real Instituto Elcano, 2005)
- ¿Por qué una Constitución para Europa? 25 respuestas, with Marcelino Oreja and Juan Antonio Carrillo Salcedo (Ed. Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas, 2005)
- Alegato por Europa (Ed. Biblioteca nueva, 2006)
- Coordinator: ¿Qué fue de la Constitución europea? (Ed. Planeta, 2007)
- Editor: Liber Amicorum Marcelino Oreja Aguirre (Ed. Cinterco, 2010)
Méndez de Vigo also writes for ABC, and is an online contributor for El Economista.
Honours and awards
- 2001: Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit of Spain
- 2008: Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity
- 2010: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 2011: Knight of the Legion of Honour of the French Republic
- 2011: Medal of the Spanish Order of Constitutional Merit
- 1999: Salvador de Madariaga European Journalism Prize
- 2001: Silver Medal of the Royal Institute of European Studies
- 2002: Medal of Honour of the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores
- 2002: Gold Medal of the Foundation of European Merit
- 2003: Prize to the MEP of the year by the Association of Parliamentary Journalists
- 2007: Gold Medal of the Committees of Action for European Union
- 2009: Prix Capalbio - European Special Award
|Speaker at the College of Europe Opening Ceremony