Kyiv Security Forum


Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chamber of Deputies; Minister for Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic (2007-2009; 2010-2013)

Karel Schwarzenberg is a Czech politician, former leader of TOP 09 party and its candidate for President of the Czech Republic in the 2013 election. Currently, Mr. Schwarzenberg serves as a member of parliament for Prague and as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Chamber of Deputies, lower house of the Czech Parliament.

Mr. Schwarzenberg served as a Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic from July 2010 to 10 July 2013. Nominated originally by the Green Party, he was Foreign Minister already from 2007 to 2009. He served as Senator from Prague 6 from 2004 to 2010.

In May 2010, Mr. Schwarzenberg was elected as a Member of Parliament, gaining the largest number of preference votes. He was candidate for President of the Czech Republic in the 2013 presidential election, and qualified for the second round. He ultimately finished second, receiving 45.19% of the votes.

From 1948 to 1990, Mr. Schwarzenberg lived in Austria (where he was known as Karl Schwarzenberg), where he was involved in politics for the Austrian People's Party and became a noted critic of human-rights violations in the eastern bloc, chairing the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. Following the fall of communism, he became a close adviser to Václav Havel and relocated to Prague.

He is married to Therese Hardegg and they have three children.