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Rumiana Jeleva: Wikis


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Rumiana Jeleva

Rumiana Ruseva Jeleva (born on April 18, 1969 in Nova Zagora) is Bulgaria's current minister of foreign affairs, the third woman to hold this office after Irina Bokova and Nadezhda Mihailova. Jeleva is a key figure in the "Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria" (GERB) political party which won the 2009 parliamentary elections. From 2007-2009 she served as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and headed the Bulgarian delegation in the EPP Group. She was nominated by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov as Commissioner in the "Barroso II Commission" and is affiliated with the European People's Party (EPP).[1][2] However, an article in the German newspaper, Die Welt, accused her husband of links with the Russian mafia.[3]

Jeleva holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Sofia (1995) and a PhD in sociology from Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg (2003)[4].


Correct pronunciation of the name

English-speaking people have trouble pronouncing her family name Jeleva. The correct name in English should be Zheleva. Most prounounce it as ['yeleva] as in Yellowstone, which is incorrect. In Bulgarian the first sound of her family name is [z] - there is no corresponding phoneme in English but the correct pronunciation should be ['zeleva], signalled by the letters 'Zh' as in Todor Zhivkov.

Failure in European Commission hearings

Mrs. Jeleva was Bulgaria's nominee for European commissioner responsible for disaster management and humanitarian aid. She spoke broken English in her January 2010 hearing and failed to answer questions about allegations over her financial interests. She also faced accusations that she lacked the right experience to be the commissioner in charge of humanitarian aid. During the course of a rowdy hearing, she failed to put those doubts to rest.[5].

In her home country Mrs. Jeleva was critisized for her lack of experience and poor English. [6].

External links

Dr. Rumiana Jeleva — official website


  1. ^ "Barroso gets new EU Commission team", BBC News, 25 November 2009; accessed November 28, 2009
  2. ^ "Barroso II: 13 EPP Commissioners receive key portfolios", European People's Party, 27 November 2009; accessed November 28, 2009
  3. ^ Bulgaria backpedals on Turkey compensation claim, EUObserver, 2010-01-08
  4. ^ Your MEPs : Introduction : Rumiana JELEVA
  5. ^ "Jeleva remains Barroso's weakest link" from, retrieved January 2010
  6. ^ "Мнозинство анти-Желева затруднява Барозу" from dnevnik, retrieved January 16 2010
Preceded by
Ivaylo Kalfin
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria
2009 - current
Succeeded by


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