Meglena Kuneva served as an EU Ambassador 2018-2022 at The Council of Europe. Prior to joining the European External Action service, she held positions as the Minister of Education and Science, Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the Bulgarian Presidency of EU, coordination with EU and Foreign Affairs. From 2001 until 2006 Meglena was Bulgaria’s first Minister of European affairs and Chief Negotiator responsible for Bulgarian accession to the EU with her 600-strong team of officials. She coordinated Bulgarian positions throughout the whole process of negotiations with all the Ministries and presented them to the social partners, the media and the Parliament. She represented the country at the Council and with the Commission’s negotiating team. She became Bulgaria’s first EU Commissioner after the country’s accession to the EU in 2007, responsible for Consumer Policy adding for the first time Consumer services and Digital users to the existing scope of the portfolio. During her tenure, she introduced 4 Consumer protection directives, negotiated standards for Consumer safety with the USA and China, coordinated the activities of European Consumer centers. For her efforts Meglena was recognized as Commissioner of the Year and European politician of the Year by two Brussels outlets – EU Observer and European Voice – based on votes of EP members and those of broad readers. Before engaging in politics, she served for 11 years as senior legal advisor to eight successive Bulgarian governments. She was primarily engaged with civil law, environmental protection and human rights. She also has media experience as an anchor of a legal talk show broadcast on the national radio for four years. She wrote the plot for an award-winning documentary movie against the death penalty that still existed in Bulgaria at the time. Apart from her professional and political careers Kuneva was also engaged with the civil society as Chair of the European policy Center in Brussels, American University in Bulgaria Member of the Board, Honorary president of the European Citizens Action Sevice, Chair of the High level group of Governance of the future, Lisbon Council, vice president of European Movement International, member of the European Commission Committee of Eminent persons and recently with Jean Monnet Institute in Paris, France. She was awarded with numerous distinctions on national grounds, such as Politician of the Year (2007), Media Award for best communication, Golden Laurel of the Ministry of foreign affairs. She was also awarded with Officer of Legion d’Honneur and Ordre Nationale de Merits by the President of France, order Pro Merito Melitensi – Malta, Order of the Star of `Italian Solidarity – Italy and Order of Civil merits – Spain. Meglena Kuneva is a lawyer, she is a PhD in Law.
Former EU Commissioner, EU Ambassador to CoE, Chief Negotiator and Minister for Europe, Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria