As Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee, I lead a team of officials whose job it is to put into practice the decisions taken by the Assembly, the Bureau and the president.
As head of the staff, I also manage day-to-day affairs relating to the administration, the budget, communication and the Committee's relations with other institutions.
I was born and brought up in Valencia, Spain. After graduating from law school, I practiced as a lawyer before passing a competition to become a social security and labour inspector.
My European career started just before Spain joined the EU. During those years, I held a variety of positions that gave me a broad insight into the way the European institutions work. In 1982 I joined the European Commission as part of a pre-accession training programme. Having won a seat in the Spanish Congress, I became spokesperson on European affairs. As a congressman I also had the honour of acting as rapporteur for the ratification of the accession treaty of Spain to the Union. From 1986 to 1993 I was a member of the European Parliament, where I sat on the Foreign and Institutional Affairs Committees.
After a few years working with the Regional Government of Andalucía and a member of the EU Committee of Regions, I returned to Brussels to head up the private offices first of European Commission Vice President Marin and then of Commissioner Solbes.
In 2004 I was appointed Spanish ambassador to Morocco, and in 2010 Spanish ambassador and permanent representative to the European Union. In 2012 I was appointed Regional Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment in Andalucía.
On 20 January 2014, the Bureau elected me EESC Secretary-General.
Luis Planas Puchades, EESC Secretary-General