Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso was born in Murcia on 16 November 1954. He is married, has three sons and is an arts graduate from the University of Murcia. He began his professional career teaching the history of art, whilst carrying out research and contributing to a number of publications on topics relating to the art and history of the Murcia region.
His political career began in 1982 when he joined the Alianza Popular (now the Partido Popular) shortly after which he assumed responsibility for regional planning at the Murcia Municipal Authority.
In October 1983 he was put in charge of regional planning for the whole of the Murcia region and became a member of the Partido Popular's Regional Executive Committee.
In 1987 he was appointed regional vice-president of the Partido Popular and in the municipal elections of that year, became a member of the Murcia City Council, where he was appointed president and spokesman for the Partido Popular group in the Council.
He headed the list for the Partido Popular in 1991 and won the local elections for the Murcia City Council, although an alliance between minority groups prevented him from becoming mayor. In November 1991, he was voted president of the Partido Popular in the Murcia region, a post which he has held ever since.
In May 1995, he headed the Partido Popular list for the elections to the Autonomous Community. The party's victory changed the whole political balance in the Murcia region, which had previously been governed by the Socialist Party. Ramón Luis Valcárcel was appointed president of the Autonomous Community with the support of an absolute majority in the Regional Assembly.
He secured majorities again in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. In 2007 and 2011 the list of candidates he headed in the elections for the Autonomous Community won 59% of the vote, the highest figure for all the lists of candidates standing in elections for the Autonomous Communities in Spain. The Partido Popular won 33 of a total of 45 seats for the Murcia Regional Assembly and Mr Valcárcel thus entered his fifth period of office at the head of the Murcia Regional Government.
As president of the Autonomous Community of Murcia, Ramón Luis Valcárcel has occupied a number of posts in the Inter-Mediterranean Commission of the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR) and has been vice-president of its Political Bureau since September 2002. He also chaired the organisation's Inter-Mediterranean Commission from 1999 to 2001.
He has also held a number of posts at the European Union's Committee of the Regions (CoR) and has been vice-president of the CoR's EPP group since September 2001. In 2003 he was part of the CoR Delegation at the European Convention tasked with drawing up a Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. In July 2012, he was elected President of the Committee of the Regions.
Prior to this, Mr Valcárcel was also a member of the Commissions for Institutional Affairs and Education and Training (1995-1998), the Commissions for Territorial Cohesion – COTER – (2002-2010), and Regional Development (1998-2002), vice-president of the Transport Commission (1998-1999), representative of the Spanish delegation to the Commission on the Rules of Procedure (1998-1999), vice-president of the Regional Policy Commission (1999-2002), vice-president of the Commission for External Relations (2002-2003) and president of the Commission for External Relations (2004-2006). He has been a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) since 2006 and is also a member of the CoR's Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) and the Commission for Citizenship, Governance and Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX).
In 2001, Ramón Luis Valcárcel was made a Doctor Honoris Causa by the Polytechnic University of Tunja - Boyacá (Colombia).