Eduard Kukan

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Eduard Kukan
Member of the European Parliament from Slovakia
In office
14 July 2009 – 2 July 2019
Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic
In office
4 July 2006 – 14 July 2009
In office
13 December 1994 – 30 October 1998
7th Foreign Minister of Slovakia
In office
30 October 1998 – 4 July 2006
Prime MinisterMikuláš Dzurinda
Preceded byZdenka Kramplová
Succeeded byJán Kubiš
3rd Foreign Minister of Slovakia
In office
16 March 1994 – 13 December 1994
Prime MinisterJozef Moravčík
Preceded byJozef Moravčík
Succeeded byJuraj Schenk
Slovak ambassador
to United Nations
In office
Czechoslovak ambassador
to United Nations
In office
1990 – 31 December 1992
Personal details
Born(1939-12-26)26 December 1939
Tornóc, Hungary (now Trnovec nad Váhom, Slovakia)
Died10 February 2022(2022-02-10) (aged 82)
Bratislava, Slovakia
Political partySDKÚ-DS(2000–2016)
Democratic Union (1995–2000)
SpouseZdenka Kukanová

Eduard Kukan (26 December 1939 – 10 February 2022) was a Slovakian politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1998 to 2006.[1] He was a candidate in the presidential election held on 3 April 2004, and although pre-election polls had suggested he would come first, he actually came in third behind the eventual President Ivan Gašparovič and former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, thus preventing him from contesting the run-off. He was elected Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in 2009, a position he held until 2019.

In 1999, Kukan was appointed United Nations Special Envoy on Kosovo by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, a role he held alongside Carl Bildt.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Kukan graduated from The Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1964, where he also gained a strong knowledge of the Swahili language. After graduation he received a Doctorate in Law from the Faculty of Law of the Charles University in Prague.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Since then his employments have included:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia in Prague (began on 1 August 1964)
    • Headquarters in the Department of Sub-Saharan Africa (1964–1968)
    • Secretariat of the Minister (1973–1977)
    • Director of the Department of Sub-Saharan Africa (1981–1985)
    • Director of the Department of Latin America (1988–1990)
  • Czechoslovak Embassy in Lusaka (1968–1973)
  • Czechoslovak Embassy in Washington as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Ambassador (1977–1981)
  • Czechoslovak Embassy in Addis Ababa as Ambassador (1985–1988)
  • Permanent Representative of Czechoslovakia to the United Nations in New York (1991)
  • Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the UN (1993)
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia (March 1994 – December 1994)
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia (October 1998 – 2006)
  • Special Envoy for the Balkans (1991–2001)

Member of the European Parliament, 2009–2019[edit]

Kukan has been a Member of the European Parliament since the 2009 European elections. In the election campaign, he led the list of candidates of the centre-right Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).[3]

Kukan has since been serving on the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In addition, he was a member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights between 2009 and 2014. In 2014, he moved to the Subcommittee on Security and Defence.

In 2010, Kukan joined the Friends of the EEAS, an unofficial and independent pressure group formed because of concerns that the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton was not paying sufficient attention to the Parliament and was sharing too little information on the formation of the European External Action Service.[4]

Kukan led the parliament's monitoring mission during the Ugandan general elections in 2016.[5]

Other activities[edit]

  • Global Panel Foundation, Member of the Board of Advisors[6]
  • He was a teacher at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Law, Department of International Law and International Relations.[7]

Personal life and death[edit]

Kukan was married and had two adult children. In addition to his native tongue and Swahili, he spoke English, Russian, and Spanish. In 1993, he was awarded an honorary law degree by the Upsala College in New Jersey.

He died from a heart attack in Bratislava on 9 February 2022, at the age of 82.[8]


  1. ^ "Eduard Kukan". European Parliament. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  2. ^ Jane Perlez (8 May 1999), Clinton Seeing Bosnian Model For Kosovo Use The New York Times.
  3. ^ Toby Vogel (3 March 2010), MEPs struggle to influence creation of diplomatic corps European Voice.
  4. ^ Toby Vogel (3 March 2010), MEPs struggle to influence creation of diplomatic corps European Voice.
  5. ^ EU EOM Uganda 2016 European External Action Service.
  6. ^ "Global Panel Foundation | Meeting the World in Person". Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Zamestnanci". (in Slovak). Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  8. ^ Zomrel Eduard Kukan, trojnásobný minister zahraničných vecí

External links[edit]