Members of the Government

13. 7. 201010:29

Karel Schwarzenberg

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Personal Details

Born 10 December 1937 in Prague- Bubeneč as the oldest son of Karel Schwarzenberg and his wife Antonie. In 1948 he had to leave the Czech Republic and take refuge abroad. His hobbies include politics, ancient and modern art, especially modern architecture.


Studied law in Vienna and Graz and forestry in Munich. Due to the early death of his adoptive father, Jindřich Schwarzenberg, he had to cut short his studies and start to manage the family's holdings in Austria and Bavaria.

Professional and Public Activity

Especially as the chairman of the International Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the 1980s, Karel Schwarzenberg pushed for adherence to human rights in Europe. He met on issues of human rights in the former USSR, Bulgaria, Kosovo and also in the Czech Republic.

In his family seat in Bavaria, he, together with Vilém Prečan, founded the Czechoslovak Documentation Center in support of Czechoslovak exiles and dissent (an archive of then-forbidden literature). The collection is now part of the National Museum and is stored in Prague.

In the fall of 1989 he returned to his homeland and on 10 July 1990 was named chancellor to the president of the Czech Republic. In 1992 he led the first OSCE delegation to Nagorno-Karabakh after the outbreak of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. He left the position of chancellor in 1992 in connection with the abdication of president Václav Havel.

From 1992 to 2004, Karel Schwarzenberg managed his family company, mainly in forestry and the maintenance of the landmarks entrusted to him. He continued to serve on a number of foundations, committees and societies, where he put to use his experience from long years of work in international relations.

He unsuccessfully ran in the senate elections in 2002 in the Strakonice district, and in November 2004 was elected as a senator in the Prague 6 electoral district, nominated by the parties US-DEU and ODA.

On 9 January 2007, Karel Schwarzenberg was named foreign minister of the Czech Republic, nominated to the government by the Green Party. It was in this position on 8 July 2008 that he signed an agreement with American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the placement of a United States radar base on the territory of military area at Brdy.

In June 2009, Karel Schwarzenberg, together with Miroslav Kalousek, founded the TOP 09 party. At the national founding congress of the party, held on 27 and 28 November 2009, he was elected chairman of TOP 09.

Karel Schwarzenberg has been the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs since 13 July 2010.

Personal Website