Joaquín Almunia is European Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs.
Mr. Almunia graduated in Law and Economics from the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) and then continued his studies at L’École Pratique des Hautes Études de Paris. He also took part in the ‘Senior managers in Government’ programme at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Almunia was later an Associate Lecturer on Employment and Social Security Law at the University of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid).
Since 26 April 2004, Mr. Almunia has been a member of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs. Prior to this, he was leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) (1997-2000), and nominated as socialist candidate for Prime Minister in 2000. He was also a member of the Spanish Parliament between 1979 and 2004.
As a member of the Federal Committee of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Mr. Almunia held different government positions between 1982 and 1997, first as Minister of Employment and Social Security (1982-1986), then as Minister of Public Administration (1986-1991), and finally as Spokesperson for the Socialist Parliamentary Group (1994-1997). Previously, Mr. Almunia was Chief Economist at UGT, a Spanish trade union (1976-1979) and Economist at the Council Bureau of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Brussels (1972-1975).
Mr. Almunia was also director of the research programme on ‘Equality and redistribution of income’ at the Fundación Argentaria (1991-1994). In 2002, he founded the progressive think tank ‘Laboratorio de Alternativas’ of which he became director. He has published several books and numerous articles.