She was nominated by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov as Commissioner in the "Barroso II Commission" and was affiliated with the European People"s Party (EPP). Jeleva holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Sofia (1995) and a Doctor of Philosophy in sociology from Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg (2003). The Bulgarian pronunciation of the name Jeleva is, with the -sound of English pleasure (voiced palato-alveolar fricative).
According to the current official standards for the Romanization of Bulgarian, her name should be transliterated as "Zheleva".
Because of this confusion, some people erroneously pronounce the name with a y-sound. Jeleva was Bulgaria"s nominee for European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
During her January 2010 confirmation hearing, she repeatedly failed to answer questions regarding allegations over her financial interests. She also failed to demonstrate sufficient competence in the areas she was to oversee.
Her defensive and seemingly arrogant attitude and her poor language skills further jeopardized her candidacy.
Facing a storm of disapproval at home, on January 19, 2010, Jeleva sent a letter of resignation to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, stepping down as both commissioner-designate and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and putting an end to her political career. She was replaced as commissioner-designate by Kristalina Georgieva and as Minister of Foreign Affairs by Nikolay Mladenov.