Carlos Westendorp

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Carlos Westendorp
Westendorp in 2005
Spain Ambassador to the United States
In office
12 August 2004 – 21 August 2008
Preceded byJavier Rupérez
Succeeded byJorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo
Member of the European Parliament
In office
20 July 1999 – 10 June 2003
High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
18 June 1997 – 17 August 1999
MonarchJuan Carlos I
Prime MinisterJosé María Aznar
Preceded byCarl Bildt
Succeeded byWolfgang Petritsch
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
18 December 1995 – 5 May 1996
Prime MinisterFelipe González
Preceded byJavier Solana
Succeeded byAbel Matutes
4th Secretary of State for the European Union
In office
16 March 1991 – 23 December 1995
Preceded byPedro Solbes
Succeeded byEmilio Fernández-Castaño
1st Permanent Representative of Spain to the European Union
In office
31 December 1985 – 16 March 1991
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byCamilo Barcia García-Villamil
Personal details
Carlos Westendorp y Cabeza

(1937-01-07) 7 January 1937 (age 86)
Madrid, Spain
Political partySpanish Socialist Workers' Party
SpouseAmaya Westendorp
OccupationDiplomat, politician

Carlos Westendorp y Cabeza (born 7 January 1937)[1] is a Spanish diplomat and former politician. He is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and also served as High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina succeeding Carl Bildt and was powered with upholding the Dayton Peace Agreement.


Born in Madrid on 7 January 1937, Westendorp joined the Spanish Diplomatic Service in 1966.[2] Following several assignments abroad (from 1966 to 1969: Deputy Consul General in São Paulo, Brazil;[1] from 1975 to 1979: Commercial and Economic Counselor at the Spanish Embassy in the Hague, the Netherlands) and in Spain (1969–1975: Head of Economic Studies at the Diplomatic School; Director of Technological Agreements in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Industry) he dedicated a great part of his professional career to the process of integration of Spain into the European Communities.

Between 1979 and 1985 at the Ministry of European Affairs, he successively served as Adviser to the Minister, as Head of the Minister’s Private Office and as Secretary General, presiding over the technical team in charge of the accession negotiations. In 1986, when Spain joined the European Communities, he was appointed its first Ambassador Permanent Representative.[1] He chaired the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) during the first Spanish Presidency of the EEC in 1989.

From 1991 to 1995 he was Spain’s Secretary of State for the European Union.[2] He was centrally involved in the Spanish Presidency of the EU in 1995, which coincided with the adoption of the Euro, the launching of the Barcelona process and the signing of the transatlantic agenda. In this last capacity, he chaired the Reflection group set up to prepare the negotiations on treaty change which led to the Treaties of Amsterdam and subsequently, Nice.

In December 1995, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and served in that capacity until the end of the last government presided by Felipe González.[1] In May 1996 he was appointed Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations in New York.[1]

From 1997 to 1999 he served as the 2nd High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[2] Under the so called "Bonn Powers" his role gave him the authority to take the necessary decisions to implement the Dayton Agreement.[3] His first act with these new powers was laws on citizenship,[3] and later imposed a new flag and national anthem.[4][5] He was involved in removing Nikola Poplašen from power despite Poplašen being elected president.[6]

In 1999 he was elected Member of the European Parliament representing the PSOE.[1] He served as Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Trade, Energy and Research until 2003.[1] In 2003 he was elected Member of the Madrid Regional Assembly and Speaker on Economy of the Socialist Group.

He was co-founder and executive vice-president of the Toledo Center for Peace and is now a member of its board. After the elections of 2004 he was appointed Ambassador to the United States of America, a position he occupied until 2008.[1][2] In April 2010, he was appointed Secretary-General of the Club de Madrid.[7]

He is currently principal advisor to Felipe González, Chairman of the Reflection Group established by the EU Heads of State and Government to assist the European Union to anticipate and meet the challenges facing in the period 2020 to 2030.

He is president of Westendorp International S.L., a private consulting company. He has addressed conferences and lectures and has written articles and books mostly on European Affairs, for which he was awarded the Salvador de Madariaga Prize of Journalism. He has been awarded various Spanish and foreign decorations, including the Great Cross of the Order of Charles III and Officier de la Légion d’Honneur.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Carlos Westendorp short bio". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Spain). Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  2. ^ a b c d "Carlos Westendorp - short bio" (PDF). European Union. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  3. ^ a b Niels van Willigen (2013). Peacebuilding and International Administration: The Cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 9781134117185.
  4. ^ "New flag imposed on Bosnians". BBC News. 1998-02-04. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  5. ^ "Decision imposing the Law on the National Anthem of BiH". Office of the High Representative. 1999-06-25. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  6. ^ Chris Bird (1999-03-06). "Bosnian Serb president is sacked by the West". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  7. ^ EP (2010-04-21). "El Club de Madrid elige como secretario general al embajador Carlos Westendorp". Cadena SER (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-01-18.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
18 December 1995 – 5 May 1996
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 June 1997 – 17 August 1999
Succeeded by