This program is sponsored jointly by the Forum on Contemporary Europe, International Law Society, and Stanford Law School.
José María Aznar was born in Madrid in 1953. He is:
- Executive President of FAES Presidente Ejecutivo de FAES
(The Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis).
- Distinguished Scholar at the University
of Georgetown where
he has taught various seminars on contemporary European politics at the Edmund A. Walsh School since the
of the Board of Directors of News
of the Global Advisory Board of
J.E. Robert Companies y Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Latin American division
of the International Advisory Board
of the Atlantic Council of the United Status.
of the Advisory Board of
- Advisor of Falck SPA
He became Prime Minister of Spain in 1996,
following the electoral victory of the Partido Popular. With the party's
subsequent electoral victory in the year 2000, this time with an absolute
majority, he led the country again for a new term. His time as Prime Minister
lasted up until the elections of 2004, when he voluntarily chose not to run for
Throughout his two terms as Prime Minister of
the Government he led an important process of economic and social reform.
Thanks to various liberalisation processes and the introduction of measures to
promote competition, along with budgetary controls, rationalised public
spending and tax reductions, almost 5 million jobs were created in Spain. The
Spanish GDP figure grew each year by more than 2%, at an average of 3.4% in
fact, featuring an aggregate increase of 64% over eight years. Throughout this
average income increased from 78% to 87% of the average income of the European
Union. The public deficit decreased from an alarming 6% of GDP to a balanced
budget. Furthermore, the first two reductions in income tax that democratic Spain has ever
known took place during his two terms in office.
One of José María Aznar's most serious concerns
is the battle against terrorism. He is in favour of a firm policy, one that is
against any kind of political concession, combined with close international
cooperation between democratic countries. He is a strong supporter of the
Atlantic Relationship and the European Union's commitment to freedoms and
He is the Honorary Chairman of the Partido
Popular, a party he chaired between 1990 and 2004. Until the year 2006 he was
the President of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI) and Vice-President
of the International Democrat Union (IDU), the two international organisations
that bring together the parties of the Centre, along with Liberals, Christian
Democrats and Conservatives throughout the world.
He forms part of the committees of various
organisations, including the committee for the initiative known as "One Laptop
Per Child (OLPC)" and the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba (ICDC).
José María Aznar began his political career in
the political party known as Alianza Popular, in 1979. In 1982 he was elected a
Member of Parliament for Ávila. He then went on to become the Regional Chairman
of Alianza Popular in Castile-Leon and the Head of the Regional Government of
Castile-Leon between 1987 and 1989. In 1989, following the re-founding of the
Partido Popular, he was chosen as a party candidate for Prime Minister in the
general elections of 1989. The following year he was elected Chairman of the
Party. He led the Partido Popular in the elections of 1993, 1996 and the year
2000. Throughout these four legislatures, he served as a Member of Parliament
Between 1989 and 1996 he was the Leader of the Opposition.
José María Aznar graduated in law at the Complutense University. He qualified as an Inspector
of State Finances in 1975.
written the following books: Cartas a un Joven Español (2007), Retratos
y Perfiles. De Fraga a Bush (2005) ("Portraits and Profiles: From Fraga to Bush"), Ocho años de
Gobierno (2004) ("Eight Years in Government"), La España en que yo creo (1995) ("The
Spain I Believe in"), España: la segunda
transición (1994) ("Spain:
The Second Transition") and Libertad y Solidaridad (1991) ("Freedom and Solidarity").
José María Aznar has been awarded honorary
doctorates by Sophia University in Tokyo
(1997), Florida International
University (1998), Bar-Ilan University
in Israel (2005) Ciencias Aplicadas
University in Perú (2006), Andrés Belló
University in Chile (2006), Francisco
(2006) and by Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Milán (2007).
He is married to Ana Botella, with whom he has
three children and three grandchildren.
A video recording of this event can be viewed at: http://www.law.stanford.edu/calendar/details/2201/#related_information_and_recordings.