Miroslav Lajčák (born in 1963) served as the foreign and European affairs minister under three terms of the Smer government: first between January 2009 and July 2010, replacing Ján Kubiš, who left the cabinet of Robert Fico for a UN job, and then in the 2012-2016 cabinet of Robert Fico, followed by the 2016-2020 cabinet (PM Robert Fico was replaced by PM Peter Pellegrini in 2018).
Lajčák graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He speaks English, Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian and German.
His professional career started in 1988 in the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the former Czechoslovakia. He was an assistant to the ambassador at the Moscow Embassy. He returned to Slovakia in 1993 after the Slovak Republic was established and started working at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
One year later, in 1994, he became the Slovak ambassador to Japan. At the age of 31, he was Slovakia’s youngest ambassador at the time.
After he returned from Japan, he worked at the ministry again. He also served as the assistant to the UN Secretary General Special Envoy for the Balkans (1999-2001). After that, he was named the Slovak Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Albania and Macedonia with a seat in Belgrade, serving from 2001 to 2005.
In 2005, back at the ministry, he prepared a summit of presidents of the US and Russia that took place in Bratislava in February 2005.
He was the personal representative of the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy to facilitate the referendum on the independence of Montenegro (2006).
Lajčák’s primary diplomatic focus has been in the Balkans. He held the post of the High Representative and the EU Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (2007 – 2009).
Afterwards, Lajčák worked at the Brussels-based European External Action Service as its managing director for Europe and Central Asia (2010-2012).
Lajčák has never become a member of the ruling party Smer, but his name has been associated with the party ever since he took up the ministerial post, and particularly after he ran on Smer’s slate in the 2016 elections. One of his main tasks in 2016 was to prepare Slovakia for the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
During the last term of the cabinet, where he was the minister, he became Slovakia’s first ever President of the United Nations General Assembly.
In 2019, Smer tried to persuade Lajčák for several months to run in the presidential election as the party’s candidate. However, Lajčák refused and Smer chose Maroš Šefčovič instead.
During the last term of his ministerial position, Slovakia held a presidency in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The crisis in Ukraine and its development was one of the main topics of OSCE; Lajčák personally visited Ukraine several times.