Hon. Jan Zahradil MEP
Jan Zahradil is President of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists and was elected Ex Officio Vice Chairman of IDU in August 2012. Elected to the European Parliament from 2004, representing the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of the Czech Republic, he has been a leading member of the European Conservative and Reformist Group since it was formed in 2009.
He graduated from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, specializing in water and environmental technology. Afterwards he worked as a researcher. During 1990 – 1992 he was a member of the Federal Assembly and soon after he became advisor for foreign and political affairs to the Czech Prime Minister. Then he led the Department of European Integration within the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.
In 1998 Jan Zahradil became member of the Czech Parliament where he was the Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2001 he was elected to the position of the First Vice-Chairman of the ODS (Civic Democratic Party). In 1998-2006 he was the Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and in 2002 he was elected as representative of the Czech Republic to the Convention on the Future of the EU. He acted as the Co-Chair of the EU-Czech Republic Joint Parliamentary Committee during 1998-2004.
After election to the European Parliament in June 2004 he became the Head of the Czech Delegation in the European People´s Party – European Democrats Group and Chairman of the ODS Delegation in the European Parliament.
In the 2009 European Parliament elections he was successfully re-elected as head of the ODS candidates list. As one of the co-founders he became Vice-Chairman of the new European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), and was also its Chairman with an interim mandate between March and December 2011. He is currently the First Vice-Chairman of ECR.