Curriculum vitae

MIROSLAV LAJČÁK
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic


Miroslav Lajčák


Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Hlboká cesta 2
833 36 Bratislava 37
Slovak Republic
Tel.:
+ 421 2 5978 3001
+ 421 2 5978 3002
Fax: + 421 2 5978 3009
E-mail: kami@mzv.sk

 

Miroslav Lajčák (53) is a career diplomat who has spent his whole professional life working in diplomatic service – both of his own country and in international institutions. His personal credo is professionalism and responsibility. He considers dialogue and respect to be the main instruments of diplomacy. He believes in co-operation and inclusiveness.


He is known as an attentive listener, determined mediator and capable manager, who has experience with conflict resolution and conflict prevention at national and international level. He is a strong believer in multilateralism and respect for rules. During his career, he played an active role in mediating the post-conflict crises in the Western Balkans and in the transformation of his country (which was established after the split of Czechoslovakia), as well as in building the diplomatic service of the EU.
He is currently serving as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

National Diplomatic Career 

He is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. After completing his university studies by obtaining a law degree at the Comenius University in Bratislava, he joined the Foreign Service of the then Czechoslovakia in 1988. In 1991 he was posted to the Czechoslovak Embassy in Moscow as an Assistant to the Ambassador. When Czechoslovakia split in 1992, he continued in the same position at the Slovak Embassy in Moscow.
Upon his return to Slovakia in 1993 to the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, he took an active part in forming the national Foreign Service. He became Director of the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister and later on, Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. 
In 1994 he was appointed Slovak Ambassador to Japan, becoming the youngest-ever top diplomat of Slovakia.  At 31 years old, he was the youngest foreign ambassador in Japan. 
After his posting to Japan he returned to the Foreign Ministry to become the Director of Foreign Minister’s Cabinet again (1998-2001). Then he was appointed Slovak Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2001-2005). During this time, he deepened his knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the Western Balkans. In recognition of his active engagement in this complex region, he was awarded the highest state award of the former Yugoslavia.  
Following his term in Belgrade he was named Political Director at the Foreign Ministry (2005-2007). During this period, he was also designated Head of the Secretariat preparing the Summit of the Presidents of Russia and the USA, held in Bratislava in February 2005. In this capacity, he was in charge of liaising and coordinating – on behalf of the Slovak state authorities - with both presidential administrations and making sure that the Bush-Putin Summit in Slovakia was well prepared in terms of organisation and logistics.

Government Experience

In January 2009, he was called - as a career diplomat not affiliated to any political party - to join the Slovak coalition government in the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs. He held the post until July 2010. 
From April 2012 to March 2016, during the term of office of the next government, he held the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs – again as a professional diplomat with no party affiliation. In addition, he became Chairman of the Government’s Council for Human Rights. He successfully headed and completed an unprecedented and inclusive process of preparing and adopting the first-ever nationwide Strategy for Supporting and Protecting Human Rights in Slovakia, managing a consensus of minority and disadvantaged groups among various interests from human rights and minority representatives, political parties and churches.
In March 2016, he was elected as a Member of Parliament and received the 6th highest number of preferential votes in the whole country. On 23 March 2016 he was re-appointed Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, holding this government portfolio for the third time. 

International Career

His international engagements started in 1999 when he served as the Assistant to the United Nations Secretary–General´s Special Envoy for the Balkans, Eduard Kukan (until 2001).
In 2006 he was - on behalf of the EU - in charge of organizing and supervising the referendum on the independence of Montenegro in 2006. In a highly polarized environment with a divided public and an antagonized political scene, he negotiated and designed the rules for the referendum. He did this in an inclusive dialogue with all the parties and in a transparent manner. This led to the only process of the establishment of national independence on the territory of former Yugoslavia under direct EU auspices in a consensual and democratic way, without the bloodshed or conflicts so frequent in that region. The result was neither rejected nor questioned by anyone. 
In 2007 he was appointed High Representative of the International Community and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He had to help to steer a country paralyzed by ethnic divisions and mutual distrust among its entities. He managed an extensive, multi-national staff of several hundred people and a multi-million-dollar budget. With a mandate from the UN Security Council, he liaised regularly with the United Nations and reported periodically to the Security Council. During his tenure, BiH signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU - the most remarkable integration success of the country for many years to come. He also launched activities to reach out to the population including speaking tours and a website for dialogue with citizens. His concerted efforts in BiH earned him the title Personality of the Year, awarded to him independently in all three BiH entities, in 2007. He left BiH in January 2009 after being nominated to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.
In 2010-2012 he served as Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia in the newly-formed diplomatic service of the EU - European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels. Again, he took an active part in building up a completely new service – this time an international one. He was engaged in setting the rules for its operation and managing numerous multi-national staff. In this position, he participated in forming EU policy and the EU´s ties with important neighbours to the East and South-East. One of his first political missions was to mediate the political crisis in Albania and bring the governing and opposition parties to the negotiating table in order to de-escalate tensions after deadly clashes in Tirana in early 2011. In parallel to the position of the EEAS Managing Director, he also acted as the EU´s Chief Negotiator for the Association Agreements of the EU with Ukraine and with Moldova, as well as being the EU Representative in the “5+2” Talks on Transnistria Settlement.

Public Profile

He is active in the academic world, as well as in the traditional and social media. He is often invited to give lectures or participate in discussions at leading international universities (e.g. John Hopkins University, University of Berkeley, Moscow Institute of International Relations, Chinese Diplomatic Academy, LSE, Bocconi University Milan, etc.), think-tanks or foundations (Atlantic Council, GMF, Friends of Europe Brussels, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Berlin, International Peace Institute, IFRI Paris, etc.).

His opinions and comments are asked for, published or quoted in international media (Wall Street Journal, FT, Economist, Der Spiegel, Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Diplomatico – Portugal, Daily Nation – Kenya, etc.).

He speaks English, Russian, German, French, Slavic languages of the Balkans, Bulgarian.
He is married and has 2 daughters. His wife Jarmila, a popular TV journalist, dedicates a lot of her time to charities.

Professional Career

March 23, 2016 – present
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
April 2012 – March 2016
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
December 2010 – April 2012
Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service, Brussels
January 2009 – July 2010
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
July 2007 – January 2009
High Representative/European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo
2006
Personal Representative of the European Union High Representative for Common and Security Policy to facilitate the referendum on the independence of Montenegro
2005 – 2007
Director General for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava
2005
Head of the Permanent Secretariat for the Organization of the Summit of Presidents of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the United States of America, George W. Bush, held in Bratislava in February 2005
2001 – 2005
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later Serbia and Montenegro), Republic of Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
1999 – 2001
Assistant to the United Nations Secretary–General´s Special Envoy for the Balkans, Eduard Kukan
1998 – 2001
Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
1994 – 1998
 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to Japan
1993 – 1994
Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic
1991 – 1993
Embassy of Czechoslovakia in Moscow, Russian Federation (from January 1st, 1993 Embassy of the Slovak Republic)
1988 – 1991
Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia, Prague

Education

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Faculty of International Relations 
Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Law 
College of International and Security Studies George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies, Garmisch - Partenkirchen, Germany 


Foreign Language Skills

English, Russian, German, French, Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian/Montenegrin, Bulgarian


Honours & Awards

Order of the Yugoslav Star, 1st Class (2005)
Order of Honour of the Republic of Moldova (2014)


Activities

European Council on Foreign Relations – Council Member
Friends of Europe (FoE) / Les Amis de l’Europe – Board of Trustees Member