Franz Fischler holds a doctorate in agriculture from the University for Soil Science, Vienna, where he led research projects and lectured about agriculture and related issues. He spent ten years at the Tyrol Chamber of Agriculture, about half of which as its Director.
In 1989 he became Austria’s Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry holding this post until 1994. He was elected twice (1990 and 1994) Member of the Austrian National Parliament (Nationalrat). In 1995 he became a Member of the European Commission responsible for agriculture and regional development and, from 2000, also for fisheries. Fischler prepared Austria’s agriculture for accession to the EU and was Austria’s chief accession negotiator for the sector.
At the European Commission, he led several reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, was EU Chief negotiator for agriculture in the Doha Round and several international treaties and accords, and led also the first reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. He is also the President of the Alpach Forum and was the Chair of FFA until 2014.
After leaving the Commission in 2004, Fischler became i.a. Executive Director of Franz Fischler Consult Gmbh, Director of Austria’s Eco-Social Forum and the Global Marshall Plan Initiative and lecturer at three universities. In 2007 he co-founded the Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) Foundation of which he was the Chairman.