|Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists|
8 March 2011 – 14 December 2011
|Preceded by||Michał Kamiński|
|Succeeded by||Martin Callanan|
|Member of the European Parliament|
1 May 2004
30 March 1963 |
Civic Democratic Party
Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
|Alma mater||Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague|
Jan Zahradil (born 30 March 1963) is a Czech politician and Member of the European Parliament with the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). He is the Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, a position that he has held since 8 March 2011. He is also the President of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists.
A scientific researcher by profession, Zahradil entered politics during the Velvet Revolution. He was a member of the Federal Assembly of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, before becoming an adviser to Prime Minister Václav Klaus. In 1998, he was elected to the national Chamber of Deputies. Three years later, he became Vice-Chairman of the ODS. Following an unsuccessful attempt to become Chairman in 2002, he was appointed First Vice-Chairman.
He was appointed an MEP on the Czech Republic's accession to the EU, in May 2004, and was elected at the top of the ODS's list at the June 2004 election. He was elected head of the Civic Democrats' delegation in the European Parliament, in which capacity he led the negotiations that founded the European Conservatives and Reformists. He was re-elected in 2009, and became Vice-Chairman of the newly founded ECR. In March 2011, Zahradil was elected Chairman, replacing Michał Kamiński. He also sits on the Parliament's Committee on Development.
Zahradil was educated at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, and after graduating in 1987, he became a scientific researcher until 1992. He speaks Czech, Slovak, English, Russian, German and Polish. He is married and has two children.
From 1990 until 1992, Zahradil was a Member of the Federal Assembly of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. From 1995 until 1997 Zahradil was a foreign policy adviser to the Prime Minister, Václav Klaus. In 1998, Zahradil was elected as a Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, and held that position until 2004.
In 2001, he was elected a Vice-Chairman of the ODS, and between 2002 and 2004, was the First Vice-Chairman.
In 2004, he was elected a Member of the European Parliament, and was the Chairman of the ODS in the European Parliament. Between 2004 and 2009, ODS MEPs sat with the EPP-ED grouping in the European Parliament, but after the 2009 elections, several members of the EPP-ED left to join the newly formed European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) grouping, which was based on the Movement for European Reform, an alliance between ODS and the British Conservative Party. In his capacity as Chairman of ODS in the European Parliament, Zahradil reportedly led negotiations in forming the new group.
He was elected Vice Chairman of the ECR, sitting on the group's Executive. In March 2011, he was elected to replace Michał Kamiński as chairman of the group, defeating Timothy Kirkhope by 33 votes to 18.
Viewed as being an ideological protégé of current Czech President Václav Klaus, Jan Zahradil is a strong eurosceptic and sceptic on the issue of climate change. He actively promoted The Great Global Warming Swindle and warns against expensive actions that would bring no results. He has been described as Anglophile, Atlanticist and libertarian, and holds liberal viewpoints on immigration and gay marriage.
- Movement for European Reform
- European Conservatives and Reformists
- Václav Klaus
- Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jan Zahradil.|
- Jan Zahradil website
- Personal profile of Jan Zahradil in the European Parliament's database of members
- Declaration (PDF) of financial interests (Czech)
|Party political offices|
|Chairman European Conservatives and Reformists