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Pedro  Solbes

Pedro Solbes

European Politician & Finance Expert

Pedro Solbes

European Politician & Finance Expert


One of the pivotal and most respected figures on the European political scene, Pedro Solbes began his political career in Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Trade in 1968. In 1973 he was appointed Commercial Counsellor of the Spanish Mission to the European Community, and then served as Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Relations with the European Community. He subsequently became Director General of Commercial Policy at the Ministry of Economics and Trade. Solbes then took up the post of General Secretary at the same ministry and in that capacity took part in the negotiations for Spain’s accession to the European Community.

In 1999 he became European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. During his time at the European Commission, Solbes was responsible for overseeing the rules that were to underpin the introduction of Europe’s single currency. He has been a board member of the energy group Enel and is a European business advisor for Barclays Bank as well as a board member of its Spanish subsidiary.

Prior to his appointment as European Commissioner in 1999, Solbes held several ministerial posts in Spain and was a member of the Spanish Parliament. In 1985, he was appointed Secretary of State for Relations with the European Community and chaired the Internal Market Council during Spain’s first presidency of the EC. He was Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and subsequently, of Economy and the Treasury, when he took charge of guiding Spain out of the crisis.

In 2004 he took up that post again in President Rodríguez Zapatero’s government and was also second Vice-president of the government until 2009. He currently chairs the Supervisory Board of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), whose mission is to advise the European Commission on the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards and the financial data that companies must provide. He is now President of FRIDE, a European think tank for global action.

Speaker Videos

The Key Challenge of the G20

Speech Topics

The Euro & Its Integration

The European model of economic integration has turned into an unavoidable reference for any integration process. In this keynote presentation, Solbes uses his experience overseeing the integration of the Euro as an example for other world regions to use as a mirror when enacting economic or political change.

The European Union: Facing the Future

The future of the European Union depends on the cohabitation of 25 very different states in a Union that is constantly becoming more heterogeneous. Although being a democratic regime and accepting the financial rules are the main conditions to acceptance into the EU, the question is whether there is a future beyond this economic union. Which bonds will bring these countries together to create a greater Union that must face the challenges of the future?

Economy & Energy: A Double Challenge

The productivity and competition of any economy depends on energy. Europe is the world’s second largest energy consumer, yet there are no unifying principles for energy use and creation among member of the EU.

In this keynote presentation, Solbes raises many questions and provides plausible solutions. How should the Spanish green model be defined compared to other European nations? How will the entrance of large countries like India and Brazil into the world economies affect the consumption and production of fossil fuels?

The role of the renewable energies is essential in the energy mix of the future but, is it possible to maintain the challenge of the economic growth and the sustainable energy development?

The Rules of Business in the EU

In this informative keynote speech, Solbes outlines some basic rules for non-European countries wishing to do business in the European Union.

Economic Outlook after the Crisis

This keynote speech provides an experienced and informative analysis of the global economy. He discusses current global economic trends, their impact on Europe, the United States, and Asia, and the benefits that can be obtained in this dramatic economic landscape.

A New Common Financial Regulation

The European Union has undertaken a new process of accountant harmonization that culminates with the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards for the State Members. In this keynote speech, Solbes discusses how companies are contributing and adapting to the adoption of these new regulations.