Miroslav Lajčák is the European Union Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues, a position he assumed on 2 April 2020.
Having dedicated his professional life to diplomacy, representing both the Slovak Republic and the international community, Miroslav Lajčák has more than 30 years of experience in foreign policy.
In his national capacity, Dr. Lajčák served as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for four mandates, a position he first held from 2009 to 2010. From 2012 to 2016, he served as both Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia. He was reappointed as Foreign Minister in 2016 and 2018 respectively, and left office in March 2020. He also was twice Slovak Ambassador, first to Japan (1994 – 1998), and then to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, FYROM and Albania (2001 – 2005).
A key figure in the mediation of the post-conflict crises in the Western Balkans, Dr. Lajčák served as Executive Assistant to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Balkans from 1999 to 2001. On behalf of the European Union, he negotiated, organized and supervised the referendum on the independence of Montenegro in 2006.
From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Lajčák served as High Representative of the International Community and European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During his tenure, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the landmark Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union.
From 2010 to 2012, Dr. Lajčák helped shape the newly formed diplomatic service of the European Union, the European External Action Service, as its first Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia. During this period, he was also the EU Chief negotiator for the Stabilization and Association Agreements with Ukraine and Moldova.
Representing the international community, he served as President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in 2017-2018. He also held the position of Chairperson-in-Office during Slovakia’s 2019 Chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Dr. Lajčák graduated with a master’s degree in international relations from the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). He also holds a doctor of law degree from the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia He is an alumni of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
In recognition of his contributions to international affairs, Dr. Lajčák received five honorary doctorates from foreign universities, namely UNWE University of National and World Economy (Bulgaria), University of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), MGIMO Moscow State Institute of International Relations (Russia), National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (Romania) and University of Montenegro (Montenegro). He regularly gives guest lectures about European foreign policy, peace-building and mediation, international relations and multilateralism at internationally renowned institutions such as John Hopkins University, College d’Europe, Harvard University, London School of Economics or Stanford University, as well as Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, Kuwait Diplomatic Institute, Diplomatic Institute of Qatar, ADA University in Azerbaijan, Institute of International Relations in Turkmenistan or Seoul National University.
Currently, he is a part-time professor at the European University Institute in Florence, where he teaches a course on EU Foreign and Security Policies in a post-Western World as part of the master program in transnational governance. He also is a frequent speaker at international conferences and events. Dr. Lajčák is a member of the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of Europe, and for several years closely cooperates with the World Economic Forum, Munich Security Conference and GLOBSEC.
He is an active user of social media, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and a keen follower of the latest developments in information and communication technologies.
Dr. Lajčák is born in 1963 in Poprad, Slovakia, and speaks English, Russian, Serbo-Croat, Bulgarian, German, Czech, and basic French.