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Andris Piebalgs
European Commissioner for Development
Commissioner Andris Piebalgs is an experienced Latvian politician who has occupied key positions in both national and European political fields.
During the first Barroso Commission, starting in November 2004, he was the European Commissioner for Energy. In that capacity, he led the development of a more competitive, sustainable and secure European energy system, which is one of the crowning achievements of the Barroso I Commission.
He was instrumental in propelling EU energy issues into the centre of European policy-making, responsible for developing and securing the EU's pioneering "20-20-20" vision, which led to the EU's formal, legally binding and unilateral commitment to increase, by 2020, renewable energy to 20% of the EU's energy mix, improve energy efficiency by 20%, and reduce greenhouse gases by 20%.
In 2009 he was appointed EU Commissioner for Development, where he is busy modernising its aid policy and delivery mechanisms. In particular, he has led important initiatives in the areas of the Millennium Development Goals, education and health, and sustainable agriculture and energy. He has championed the emergence of "High-Impact aid" and the development of innovative financial instruments to leverage many-fold the effects of the aid of one of the world's largest donors.
Before joining the Commission, after beginning his professional life as a teacher and Headmaster, he pursued a political career, occupying strategic ministerial portfolios. He was also a high-ranking diplomat, helping Latvia to play its role in the EU.
Commissioner Piebalgs was born on 17 September 1957 in Valmiera, Latvia. He is a graduate in physics from the University of Latvia. In addition to Latvian, he speaks English, French, German and Russian. He is married and has three children.