Joaquín Almunia

  (Redirected from Joaquín Almunia Amann)

Joaquín Almunia Amann (born 17 June 1948) is a Spanish politician and formerly, prominent member of the European Commission. During his tenure in the two Barroso Commissions, he was European commissioner responsible for economic and monetary affairs (2004-2009) and, subsequently, vice-president and the European Commissioner for Competition (2009-2014).[1] Previously, he had been Spanish Minister for Employment (1982-1986) and Public Administrations (1986-1991). From 1997 to 2000, he was the leader of the opposition as secretary general of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, standing in and losing the 2000 Spanish general election against the then incumbent Spanish prime minister, José María Aznar.

Joaquín Almunia
Joaquin Almunia Mercosul.jpg
European Commissioner for Competition
In office
9 February 2010 – 1 November 2014
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byNeelie Kroes
Succeeded byMargrethe Vestager
European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs
In office
24 April 2004 – 9 February 2010
Served with Siim Kallas
PresidentRomano Prodi
José Manuel Barroso
Preceded byPedro Solbes
Succeeded byOlli Rehn
Leader of the Opposition
In office
14 May 1999 – 1 July 2000
Prime MinisterJosé María Aznar
Preceded byJosep Borrell
Succeeded byJosé Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
In office
22 June 1997 – 24 April 1998
Prime MinisterJosé María Aznar
Preceded byFelipe González
Succeeded byJosep Borrell
Minister of Public Administrations
In office
26 July 1986 – 12 March 1991
Prime MinisterFelipe González
Preceded byFélix Pons Irazazábal
Succeeded byJuan Manuel Eguiagaray
Minister of Labor and Nacional Health Service
In office
1 December 1982 – 26 July 1986
Prime MinisterFelipe González
Preceded bySantiago Rodríguez Miranda
Succeeded byManuel Chaves González
Personal details
Born
Joaquín Almunia Amann

(1948-06-17) 17 June 1948 (age 71)
Bilbao, Spain
Political partySocialist Workers' Party
Alma materUniversity of Deusto
Practical School for Advanced Studies
Harvard University

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Bilbao on 17 June 1948 to a bourgeois family, son to an engineer (father) of Valencian origin and a cultivated mother daughter of a Jewish physician of German ancestry.[2] His grandfather Isaac Amann was one of the promoters of the Bilbao–Getxo railway.[2] Almunia attended the Jesuit School of Indautxu in Bilbao.[2] He graduated with degrees in economics and law in 1971 and 1972, respectively, from the also Jesuit University of Deusto in Bilbao, and completed follow-up studies at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris, from 1970 to 1971. He also completed a program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for senior managers in government in 1991. He was an associate lecturer on employment and social security law at the University of Alcalá de Henares from 1991 to 1994.[3]

CareerEdit

Parliamentary and Government postsEdit

 
Almunia in May 1990

Almunia was chief economist of the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), a trade union linked to the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), from 1976 to 1979. He was economist at the Council Bureau of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Brussels from 1972 to 1975.

Almunia was a member of the Congress of Deputies from 1979 to 2004, representing Madrid. He served as Minister of Employment and Social Security of the Government of Spain from 1982 to 1986 and as Minister of Public Administration from 1986 to 1991. He was replaced by Juan Manuel Eguiagaray in the latter post.[4] He was also the PSOE spokesperson from 1994 to 1997.

Socialist party leaderEdit

Upon the resignation of Felipe González after being defeated in the 1996 elections, the PSOE Convention (Congreso federal) appointed Almunia as the party leader (Secretary-General), a position he held from 1997 to 2000.

 
Almunia received by PM José María Aznar in 1997 at La Moncloa.

In 1998, fellow party member and former minister Josep Borrell decided to run against Almunia,[5] in the first national primary election ever held in the PSOE since the Second Republic,[6] intended to determine who the party would nominate as its prime ministerial candidate vis-à-vis the 2000 general election. Borrell ran as the underdog, campaigning as the candidate of the socialist base againtst the party establishment, which largely supported Almunia, including former Prime Minister González.[7][8][9][10][11] Unexpectedly, Borrell won the primary election,[12] commanding 114,254 of the member's votes (54.99%), versus the 92,860 (44.67%) obtained by Almunia.[13][14] Thus began an uneasy relationship and power-sharing —the "bicefalia" (duumvirate)— between the official party leader, Almunia, and the prime ministerial candidate elected by the members in the primaries, Borrell.[15][16][17][18] However, in May 1999, a fraud investigation affecting two former officials appointed by Borrell several years earlier while he was at the Ministry of Finance, led to his resignation as Prime Ministerial candidate.

In 2000, Almunia was therefore the PSOE candidate for prime minister. The party was again defeated by incumbent Prime Minister José María Aznar of the conservative PP, suffering its worst result in a general election since the Spanish transition to democracy, which resulted in an absolute majority for Aznar. As a result, Almunia resigned as PSOE leader.

Almunia was the director of the research program on "equality and redistribution of income" at the Fundación Argentaria from 1991 to 1994. In 2002 he founded and served as director of a progressive think tank called Laboratorio de Alternativas (Fundación Alternativas).

European CommissionerEdit

 
Almunia in October 2009 next to Latvian PM Valdis Dombrovskis.

He first joined the Prodi Commission on 26 April 2004 as a successor to Pedro Solbes (who had resigned to join the new Zapatero government) and was reappointed by Barroso in November 2004.

As EU Commissioner for Competition, Almunia was responsible for initiating in 2014 investigations under State aid (European Union) rules into the tax planning practices of Apple, Starbucks and Fiat,[19] as well as Amazon.[20]

He is an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge.[21]

Other activitiesEdit

International organizationsEdit

Non-profit organizationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Barroso names new EU commission team". Euronews. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Ordaz, Pablo (13 February 2000). "El candidato que reescribió su propio guión". El País.
  3. ^ "CV Joaquín Almunia". European Commission. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  4. ^ M. Cejudo, Guillermo (March 2007). New Wine in Old Bottles: How New Democracies Deal with Inherited Bureaucratic Apparatuses. The Experiences of Mexico and Spain (PDF). CIDE. p. 36. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  5. ^ País, Ediciones El (22 March 1998). "Borrell anuncia que disputará a Almunia la candidatura a la presidencia del Gobierno". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  6. ^ País, Ediciones El (22 March 1998). "Tribuna | ¿Quien teme a las primarias?". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  7. ^ País, Ediciones El (22 March 1998). "El verbo radical de Borrell reta al sobrio liderazgo de Almunia". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  8. ^ País, Ediciones El (20 April 1998). "Borrell ve "curioso" que "todos los altos cargos" del PSOE apoyen a Almunia". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  9. ^ País, Ediciones El (24 April 1998). "Tribuna | El efecto Borrell". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  10. ^ País, Ediciones El (2 May 1998). "Tribuna | Borrell". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  11. ^ Alcaide, Soledad (24 May 2011). "Las otras primarias". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  12. ^ País, Ediciones El (25 April 1998). "Borrell gana y trastoca la situación del PSOE". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  13. ^ País, Ediciones El (7 May 1998). "Borrell gana por 21.394 votos a Almunia en las primarias". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Borrell gana por 21.394 votos a Almunia en las primarias". El País. 7 May 1998.
  15. ^ País, Ediciones El (28 April 1998). "Borrell exigirá a Almunia el control sobre la maquinaria electoral y el programa socialista". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  16. ^ País, Ediciones El (26 April 1998). "Borrell será el portavoz socialista en el Congreso y hablará en el debate del estado de la nación". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  17. ^ País, Ediciones El (1 May 1998). "El PSOE concede a Borrell el papel de líder de la oposición y evita el congreso extraordinario". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  18. ^ Garea, Fernando (20 May 2017). "Por un puñado de votos, con sorpresas y con heridas". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  19. ^ Colombani, Antoine; Ren, Yizhou (11 June 2014). "State aid: Commission investigates transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Apple (Ireland) Starbucks (Netherlands) and Fiat Finance and Trade (Luxembourg)". European Commission. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  20. ^ Colombani, Antoine; Ren, Yizhou (7 October 2014). "State aid: Commission investigates transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Amazon in Luxembourg". European Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Mr Joaquín Almunia". St Edmund's College. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  22. ^ 2005 Annual Report European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  23. ^ Minutes of the 2165thmeeting of the Commission held in Brussels (Berlaymont) on 20 April 2016 European Commission.
  24. ^ Minutes of the 2135th meeting of the Commission held in Brussels (Berlaymont) on 15 July 2015 European Commission.
  25. ^ Strategic Council European Policy Centre (EPC).

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Jesús Sancho Rof
Minister of Labor and Nacional Health Service
1982–1986
Succeeded by
Manuel Chaves González
Preceded by
Félix Pons Irazazábal
Minister of Public Administrations
1986–1991
Succeeded by
Juan Manuel Eguiagaray
Preceded by
Felipe González
Leader of the Opposition
1997–2000
Vacant
Title next held by
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Preceded by
Pedro Solbes
Spanish European Commissioner
2004–2014
Succeeded by
Miguel Arias Cañete
European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs
2004–2010
Served alongside: Siim Kallas
Succeeded by
Olli Rehn
Preceded by
Neelie Kroes
European Commissioner for Competition
2010–2014
Succeeded by
Margrethe Vestager
Party political offices
Preceded by
Carlos Solchaga
Leader of the Socialist Group in the Congress of Deputies
1994–1997
Succeeded by
Juan Manuel Eguiagaray
Preceded by
Felipe Gonzalez
Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
1997–2000
Vacant
Title next held by
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero