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Vladimir Spidla

Born on April 22, 1951 in Prague, Mr Špidla completed his secondary education in 1970 to enrolin the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague where he read history and prehistory.

Without party affiliation before 1989, Mr.Spidla is one of the founding members of the CSSD, the Czech Social Democratic Party. In 1990, Mr Špidla became Vice-Chairman of the Jindřichùv Hradec District National Committee responsible for education, health care, social affairs and culture. In 1991 - 1996, he served as director of the local job centre. In 1992, he became a member of the Presidium of the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), in March 1997 its statutory Vice-Chairman, and in April 2001 Chairman of the CSSD. In the Chamber of Deputies, to which he was elected in 1996, he served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Social Policy and Health Care Committee.

From July 22, 1998 to July 12 2002, he held the post of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs authorised by the Government to co-ordinate the departments of labour and social affairs, health care, education, youth and physical training, the environment, and culture. He was appointed as Prime Minister on July 12, 2002.

Between 2004-2009 Mr Spidla was European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

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