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Valdis Dombrovskis

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Valdis Dombrovskis
Dombrovskis in 2023
Executive Vice President of the European Commission for An Economy that Works for People
Assumed office
1 December 2019
PresidentUrsula von der Leyen
Preceded byOffice established[1]
European Commissioner for Trade
Assumed office
12 October 2020
Acting: 26 August 2020 – 12 October 2020
PresidentUrsula von der Leyen
Preceded byPhil Hogan
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union
In office
16 July 2016 – 12 October 2020
PresidentJean-Claude Juncker
Ursula von der Leyen
Preceded byThe Lord Hill of Oareford
Succeeded byMairead McGuinness
20th Prime Minister of Latvia
In office
12 March 2009 – 22 January 2014
PresidentValdis Zatlers
Andris Bērziņš
Preceded byIvars Godmanis
Succeeded byLaimdota Straujuma
Minister of Finance
In office
7 November 2002 – 9 March 2004
Prime MinisterEinars Repše
Preceded byGundars Bērziņš
Succeeded byOskars Spurdziņš
Personal details
Born (1971-08-05) 5 August 1971 (age 52)
Riga, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
Political partyNew Era Party (2002–2011)
Unity (2011–present)
Other political
European People's Party
SpouseĀrija Dombrovska
Alma materUniversity of Latvia
Riga Technical University
University of Maryland, College Park

Valdis Dombrovskis (born 5 August 1971) is a Latvian politician serving as Executive Vice President of the European Commission for An Economy that Works for People since 2019 and European Commissioner for Trade since 2020. He previously served as European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union from 2016 to 2020 and Prime Minister of Latvia from 2009 to 2014.

Dombrovskis served as Minister for Finance of Latvia from 2002 to 2004.[2] He then served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the New Era Party from 2004 to 2009. He became the Prime Minister of Latvia 2009, serving until his resignation in 2014.[3] He was Vice-President of the European Commission for the Euro and Social Dialogue from 2014 to 2019. Following the resignation of Lord Jonathan Hill,[4] Dombrovskis served as European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union from 2016 to 2020. Following the resignation of Phil Hogan, it was announced that he would take over the portfolio for Trade.[5]

Education and science career[edit]

Born in Riga to a family with Polish roots (the original Polish surname is Dąbrowski), Dombrovskis earned a bachelor's degree in economics for engineers from Riga Technical University in 1995 and a master's degree in physics from the University of Latvia in 1996.[6] He worked as a laboratory assistant at the Institute of Physics of the University of Mainz in Mainz, Germany, from 1995 to 1996, as an assistant at the University of Latvia's Institute of Solid-State Physics in 1997, and as a PhD student at the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park for electrical engineering in 1998.[6]

Political career[edit]

Career in national politics[edit]

In 2002, Dombrovskis became a board member of the New Era Party. He was Minister of Finance from 2002 to 2004 and a Member of the Latvian Parliament during its 8th parliamentary term (2002–2004). Then he was Observer at the Council of the European Union (2003–2004).[7]

Member of the European Parliament, 2004–2009[edit]

As Member of the European Parliament, Dombrovskis was a member of three European Parliament Committees: Committee on Budgets, Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly. He is also a Substitute at Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Committee on Budgetary Control and delegation to the EU-Kazakhstan, EU-Kyrgyzstan, and EU-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees, and for relations with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia.[8]

Dombrovskis was also one of six Members of the European Parliament participating in the European Union's observer mission in Togo for the October 2007 Togolese parliamentary election.[9]

Prime Minister of Latvia, 2009–2014[edit]

Dombrovskis meets with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt in Riga, 28 October 2011
Dombrovskis meets with President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso in Brussels, 13 March 2013

On 26 February 2009, following the resignation of Ivars Godmanis, President Valdis Zatlers nominated Dombrovskis to succeed Godmanis as Prime Minister.[3] It was believed that his government would consist of three of the four previously governing parties (all but Godmanis' LPP/LC), his own New Era Party, and a smaller right-wing party (the Civic Union); the government was approved on 12 March 2009.[10]

Dombrovskis resigned as Prime Minister on 27 November 2013 following the Zolitūde shopping centre roof collapse in which 54 people were killed. He announced that a new government is needed with strong support in the parliament after the tragedy, considering all related circumstances. His spokesman said that "the government takes political responsibility for the tragedy".[11] He denied the president had urged him to step down, stating that he had considered the decision for days and that the country needs government with strong support in parliament in the moment of crisis.[12]

Member of the European Commission, 2014–present[edit]

In February 2014, Dombrovskis officially lodged his application to be the candidate of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) for the presidency of the European Commission;[13] shortly after he withdrew his candidacy to endorse Jean-Claude Juncker instead.[14] The Latvian government later nominated Dombrovskis to be the country's European Commissioner.[15]

Dombrovskis served as European Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue from 2014 to 2019. From July 2016, he was also in charge of the financial services portfolio formerly overseen by British Commissioner Jonathan Hill, who resigned after the Brexit vote.[16] In addition, he has been serving as co-chair of the EPP Economic and Financial Affairs Ministers Meeting – alongside Petteri Orpo (2016-2019) and Paschal Donohoe (since 2019) – which gathers the center-right EPP ministers ahead of meetings of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN).[17]

Following the 2019 European election, Dombrovskis was nominated by the coalition government of Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš for a second term as Latvia's European Commissioner.[18] He subsequently decided to relinquish the seat he won in the election; he was succeeded by Inese Vaidere.[19] Ursula von der Leyen has since proposed that Frans Timmermans, Margrethe Vestager and Dombrovskis all serve as Executive Vice-Presidents of the commission with Dombrovskis having responsibility for an "Economy that Works for People". As Vice-Presidents of the commission, Dombrovskis has been a co-chair of the Trade and Technology Council since its creation in 2021.[20]

Dombrovskis (red tie) speaking to Antony Blinken and Stavros Lambrinidis next to Katherine Tai speaking to Margrethe Vestager before the inaugural U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) meeting, 2021
Dombrovskis with China's Minister for Commerce Wang Wentao, 24 April 2023

Supporter of the University of Latvia Foundation[edit]

Dombrovskis is a supporter of the University of Latvia Foundation. In 2018, he donated 1,500 euros, awarding 3 one-time Valdis Dombrovskis Excellence Scholarships to Bachelor of Science students of the University of Latvia.[21]

Other activities[edit]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Ārija Dombrovska. The two have no children. Dombrovskis plays basketball and goes skiing in his freetime.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Valdis Dombrovskis". European Commission. 20 November 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  2. ^ "History". Finanšu Ministrija.
  3. ^ a b "Dombrovskis chosen as Latvian PM". BBC News. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2009.
  4. ^ Rankin, Jennifer (25 June 2016). "UK's European commissioner quits in wake of Brexit vote". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Mairead McGuinness named as Ireland's European commissioner, given 'important financial portfolio'". The Irish Times. 8 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b Dombrovskis, Valdis (2014). "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). European Parliament.
  7. ^ Turner, Barry, ed. (2017). The Statesman's Yearbook 2011. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 771. ISBN 9781349586356.
  8. ^ Latvia: Country Study Guide. International Business Publications USA. 2012. p. 69. ISBN 9781438774817.
  9. ^ "Arrivée à Lomé des députés européens", Republicoftogo.com, 11 October 2007 (in French). Archived 17 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Supermarket Tragedy Leads To Resignation Of Latvian Leader". www.wbur.org. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  11. ^ Latvian government falls over Riga supermarket disaster, BBC News, 27 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Dombrovskis uzņemas atbildību par traģēdiju Zolitūdē - krīt valdība" (in Latvian). delfi.lv. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  13. ^ Dombrovskis seeks EPP nomination for Commission presidency European Voice, 19 February 2014.
  14. ^ Dave Keating (6 March 2014), Dombrovskis withdraws from EPP candidate race European Voice.
  15. ^ Andrew Gardner (5 June 2014), Dombrovskis gets Latvia's nod European Voice.
  16. ^ Jim Brunsden (30 June 2016), Brexit gives Valdis Dombrovskis big sway over banks Financial Times.
  17. ^ Council of the EU and Ministerial meetings European People's Party (EPP).
  18. ^ Bjarke Smith-Meyer (11 June 2019), Latvia to send Dombrovskis back to Commission Politico Europe.
  19. ^ Bjarke Smith-Meyer (20 June 2019), Dombrovskis gives up MEP seat to remain commissioner Politico Europe.
  20. ^ "EU Eyes May In-Person Meeting of U.S. Technology Council". Bloomberg.com. 27 January 2022. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  21. ^ "Valdis Dombrovskis". www.fonds.lv.
  22. ^ Board of Governors European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  23. ^ Voice, European (1 April 2009). "Valdis Dombrovskis – The young pretender". POLITICO.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Latvia
Succeeded by
Preceded by European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
Succeeded by
Preceded by Latvian European Commissioner
Preceded byas European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro European Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue
Preceded by European Commissioner for Trade