Íñigo Méndez de Vigo
|Iñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo,
9th Baron of Claret
|Minister of Education, Culture and Sport|
25 June 2015
|Preceded by||José Ignacio Wert|
|Spokesperson of the Government|
4 November 2016
|Preceded by||Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría|
|Secretary of State for the European Union|
23 December 2011 – 26 June 2015
|Preceded by||Diego López Garrido|
|Succeeded by||Fernando Eguidazu Palacios|
|Member of the Congress of Deputies|
13 January 2016
|Member of the European Parliament|
19 October 1992 – 23 December 2011
21 January 1956 |
|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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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. In November 2016, in the Second Rajoy Government, he was also appointed Spokesperson of the Government.
- 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)
- ELCANO – Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies, Member of the Board of Trustees
- European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), Member
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
- Museo Picasso Málaga, Honorary Member of the Board of Trustees
- Universal Forum of Cultures, Honorary Member of the Board of Trustees
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
- Genealogía de hoy
- Martin Banks (April 10, 2002), PROFILE – Master of the game: Íñigo Méndez de Vigo European Voice.
- Elisabeth O'Leary (June 25, 2015), Spain PM names new education minister as election ripples linger Reuters.
- Board of Trustees ELCANO – Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies.
- Members European Council on Foreign Relations.
- Board of Trustees Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
- Board of TrusteesMuseo Picasso Málaga.
- Board of TrusteesUniversal Forum of Cultures.
|Speaker at the College of Europe Opening Ceremony