President of the Spanish Government (1982-1996)
Date and Place of Birth:
5 March 1942, Seville (Spain).
Felipe Gonzalez holds a Law Degree from the University of Seville (1965).
Mr. Gonzalez practiced Labor Law in Seville for many years.
Felipe Gonzalez entered politics when he joined the underground group Socialist Youths of Seville in 1962. In 1964, he joined the clandestine Socialist Labor Party of Spain (PSOE) and became Secretary General of the Party in 1974 at the Congreso de Suresnes in France. In the 1977 general elections after the death of Franco he was elected to the Spanish Parliament for Madrid. In 1978, he became Vice-President of the Socialist International, a position he held until 1999.
In 1982, the PSOE gained a majority in Parliament and Mr. Gonzalez was elected President of the Government, where served three consecutive terms until leaving office in 1996. His government presided over the reconstruction of Spanish industry and the modernization of the education, healthcare and social security systems. One of Gonzalez’ most important achievements while in office was the entrance of Spain into the European Union in 1986.
He was Special Representative of the EU to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1998 and currently chairs the World Progressive Commission of the Socialist International. He is also a member of the Circle of Montevideo, the InterAction Council and the Shimon Peres International Council for Peace.
On 27 July 2007 the Spanish Government appointed him as plenipotentiary and extraordinary ambassador for the bicentenary celebrations in commemoration of the independence of Latin America. The celebrations will begin in September 2010 in Mexico.
On 14 December 2007 heads of state and governments of European Union members appointed Gonzalez as chairman of a think tank on Europe's future, consisting of up to nine prominent personalities, and given the task of writing a report, by June 2010, on the challenges the European Union will face from 2020 to 2030. It will also look at how to achieve a closer understanding between citizens and the Union.
Felipe González has been awarded numerous national and international prizes, among them the Charlemagne Prize, the Necklace of the Order of Isabel the Catholic and the Great Cross of Gold from the Republic of Austria. He is the author of many books and articles, including Un discurso ético (co-author, 1982), El Socialismo (1997), El futuro no es lo que era (co-author, 2001). And Memorias del futuro (2003).