Pedro Solbes, a prominent politician and economist, had a long and impressive career in the Spanish government and the European Union. He played a crucial role in negotiating Spain’s accession to the EU and later served as Minister of Agriculture and Economy in the government of President Felipe González. He was also appointed as the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, where he was responsible for supervising the introduction of the euro as the single currency in twelve countries. As a result, he was known as “Mister Euro” in community circles.
Later, Solbes returned to the Spanish government again to serve as Minister of Economy and Vice President of the Government with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Throughout his career, Solbes was a dedicated civil servant and an expert in European economics and trade policy. His contributions to negotiating Spain’s entry into the European Community and his role in the introduction of the euro were both critical moments in Spain’s integration with the rest of Europe.
Born in Pinoso, Spain, in 1942, Solbes had a doctorate in Political Science, a Law degree, and a degree in European Economics from the Institute of European Studies of the Free University of Brussels. He began his career as a state commercial technician in 1968 and worked in various positions related to Europe, including serving as commercial adviser to the Spanish Mission to the European Communities in Brussels and General Director of Trade Policy. In 1999, he was appointed as the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, a position he held until 2003.
Pedro Solbes was a distinguished and respected figure in Spanish and European politics, and his contributions to the development of the European Union were significant. He passed away in March 2021, leaving a legacy of public service and dedication to Europe.