Íñigo Méndez de Vigo

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Iñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo,
9th Baron of Claret
Iñigo Méndez de Vigo visita la radio escuela municipal M21 - 02.jpg
Minister of Education, Culture and Sport
Assumed office
25 June 2015
Preceded by José Ignacio Wert
Spokesperson of the Government
Assumed office
4 November 2016
Preceded by Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría
Secretary of State for the European Union
In office
23 December 2011 – 26 June 2015
Preceded by Diego López Garrido
Succeeded by Fernando Eguidazu Palacios
Member of the Congress of Deputies
Assumed office
13 January 2016
Constituency Palencia
Member of the European Parliament
In office
19 October 1992 – 23 December 2011
Constituency Spain
Personal details
Born (1956-01-21) 21 January 1956 (age 61)
Tetuan, Morocco
Nationality  Spain
Political party Partido Popular
Parents Lieutenant-Colonel Íñigo Méndez de Vigo y del Arc;
Paloma de Montojo y de Icaza y de León y Sureda, 2nd Countess of Areny
Residence Madrid, Spain
Religion Roman Catholic
Website www.mendezdevigo.com

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo, 9th Baron of Claret (born 21 January 1956 at Tetuan, Morocco) is a Spanish politician and the current Minister of Education, Culture and Sport in the Spanish Government since 26 June 2015. He is also the Spokesperson of the Spanish Government since 4 November 2016.

Childhood and education[edit]

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,[1] and via his maternal grandmother, the novelist Carmen de Icaza,[2] he succeeded, in 1980, to her title as 9th Baron de Claret.[3]

Méndez de Vigo has a brother, Pedro, an army officer, and two sisters, Beatriz and Valeria, one who works for Spain’s ministry of defence, and the other for a non-governmental organisation.[4]

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.

Following the completion of his military service with the rank of lieutenant and after passing the public exams, he became legal advisor to the Cortes Generales in 1981.

Career[edit]

Political career[edit]

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, a position he held until December 2011. He also served as a Member of the People's Party's National Steering Committee.

Méndez de Vigo served as the European People's Party co-ordinator on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs from 1994 and on its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (2009-2011), as well as:

  • 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. In 2009 he was appointed President of the College of Europe.

After his appointment to the Spanish Government in December 2011 by Mariano Rajoy Brey, Méndez de Vigo served as Secretary of State for the European Union. In June 2015 he was appointed Minister of Education, Culture and Sport in replacement of José Ignacio Wert.[5] In November 2016, in the Second Rajoy Government, he was also appointed Spokesperson of the Government.

Academic career[edit]

  • 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)

Other activities[edit]

Publications[edit]

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[edit]

Coronet of a Spanish baron

Honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Speaker at the College of Europe Opening Ceremony
2013
Succeeded by
Mariano Rajoy