Josef Zieleniec CV
Doc. Ing. Josef Zieleniec, CSc.
Born on: 28 April 1946
Education: School of Nuclear Technology, University of Economics, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Ph.D. in Economics)
Josef Zieleniec spent the greater part of his professional career working as an economist. Prior to the fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989 he worked first in the Institute of Research in Engineering Technology and Economics Research, and later at the Institute of Economics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science. Apart from research in microeconomic theory, he dealt with problems of economic transition from a centrally planned to market economy. The study „Czechoslovakia at the crossroads”, based on his research had a significant impact on discussions of economic reforms after 1989.
At the beginning of 1990 Josef Zieleniec founded The Center of Economic Research and Education (CERGE), the first American-style economics Ph.D. program in Central and Eastern Europe, at the Charles University in Prague. He became it’s first director, was also appointed senior lecturer in economics and was a member of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University.
He is the co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and acted as the Vice Chairman of the party since 1991. After the elections in 1992 Josef Zieleniec became Minister of International Relations of the Czech Republic (still part of the Federation), and was one was one of the negotiators of the separation of the Czechoslovak Federation.
After the split of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993 Josef Zieleniec was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the independent Czech Republic, and after the elections in 1996 also held the position of Deputy Prime Minister. As Minister of Foreign Affairs he opened and led negotiations that culminated in the Czech-German Declaration, the historical reconciliation between the two countries.
In October 1997 Josef Zieleniec refused to accept a controversial decision on financing of the Civic Democratic Party and resigned from his governmental and party functions.
After leaving the ODS he founded JZP, a consultancy dealing with investment banking and EU-related problems.
In the spring of 2000 Josef Zieleniec agreed to run in the elections to the Senate as an independent candidate with the support of the ‘Quad Coalition” (a coalition of four Czech political parties). He was elected to represent the Prague 4 district in the first round with 52,11% of votes. In the Senate he was a member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security.
During his term in the Senate he focused his efforts on European Integration-related topics and fighting against corruption (he prepared, in co-operation with Transparency International, a draft new conflict of interest law). In 2002 he became a delegate of the Senate to the Convention on the Future of Europe. He worked in the Convention throughout its existence until July 2003 and participated in the preparation of the draft EU Constitution.
In the June 2004 European elections Josef Zieleniec led the list of candidates of SNK – the Association of Independents and European Democrats. The coalition won 11,02% of the vote and he became a Member of the European Parliament. He was a member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and a substitute member of the Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs. He served also a substitute member in the Delegation for Relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Together with 13 other Czech MEP´s, he was, until the end of his mandate in 2009 a member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats.
Josef Zieleniec currently teaches at the New York University.