Dr. F.J. (Javier) Solana Madariaga

foto Dr. F.J. (Javier) Solana Madariaga vergrootglas
bron: European Commission Audiovisual Library

Javier Solana (1942) was Secretery-General of the Council of Ministers and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU from 1999 to 2009. Prior to the office he held in the EU Solana was Secretary-General of the NATO. He was judged a quiet diplomat, working from behind-the-scenes. He received much criticism in his time as the EU's chief diplomat, not all of it legitimate. Similarly, he has received high praise as well.

Before Solana embarked on his international career he had been Minister of Foreign Affairs (1992-1995) as well as Minister of Culture (1982-1988) and Minister of Education and Science (1988-1992). He also held a seat in the Spanish parliament. Before his poltical life he was professor of physics.


Personal data

Name and surname

Francisco Javier (Javier) Solana Madariaga



Date of birth

July 14th 1942

Place of birth

Madrid (Spain)



Two children

Selected honours and distinctions

Several knighthoods in Spain

Carnegie-Wateler Peace-Prize, October 2006

Charlemagne Prize, 2007


Political affiliation

PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party), since 1964



  • professor of physics at the Complutense University of Madrid
  • member of Congress of Representatives (Cortes), 1977 to 1995
  • minister of Culture, December 2nd 1982 to July 11th 1988 (Gonzalez I-II cabinets)
  • minister of Education and Sciences, June 23d 1992 to December 1995 (Gonzalez III-IV cabinets)
  • Secretary-General at NATO, December 1995 to 1999
  • Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union and High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, October 18th 1999 to December 1st 2009
  • Secretary-General of WEU (West European Union), November 25th 1999 to December 1st 2009
  • head of the European Defense Agency, January 2005 to December 1st 2009


Selection of additional functions

  • Member of the Spanish representatives at the Club of Rome


Selection political achievements

  • Present in parliament during the 18 hour armed occupation of parliament in the failed coup of 1981
  • Is rumoured to have been candidate to lead the PSOE in the closing months of 1995
  • Received criticism for civilian causulties Serbia suffered during NATO's campaign in the Kosovo war
  • As the EU High Commissioner Solana was heavily involved in the politics surrounding the post-war landscape of former Yugoslavia. Amongst other he presented plans on further expansion of the EU and the role of the EU in Kosovo in December 2005, July 2006 and March 2007, and presented a rapport on a stronger involvement of the EU in Bosnia-Herzegovina in October 2006
  • During his entire time in office as the EU High Commissioner, Solana made numerous attempts to support and/or revitalise the Middle-East peace process, and played a significant role in setting up the "Roadmap for Peace"
  • Presented plans on better cooperation between EU-member States on the field of diplomacy, embassies, missions and the influence of Europe on global politics in 2000
  • Presented reports on the challenge of an effective European policy on conflict-prevention and a framework for European Crisis-management in December 2000
  • Presented EU-strategy plans against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Presented a rapport on Peace- and Safety aspects of a global strategy for Africa and the possible EU contribution in October 2005
  • Presented a rapport on EU-coordination for disasters in the EU
  • Played an important role in the establishment of a treaty between Turkey and Armenia to improve their relations in 2009