was born in 1946 in Tyrol, Austria. Studied agribusiness at the university of Vienna, where he later took up an academic post. He then worked for the Tyrolean chamber of agriculture, and became its director in 1985. From 1989 to 1994 Fischler was Austria’s federal minister of agriculture and forestry. In 1995 he became the first Austrian member of the European Commission; his portfolio included farming and rural development. He was among the few members of the Commission to survive the end of the Santer era and be welcomed into Romano Prodi’s new Commission.