Cecilia Malmström

Last updated

Cecilia Malmström
Cecilia Malmstrom (cropped).jpg
European Commissioner for Trade
Assumed office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker
Preceded by Karel De Gucht
European Commissioner for Home Affairs
In office
9 February 2010 1 November 2014
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Jacques Barrot
Succeeded by Dimitris Avramopoulos (Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship)
Minister for European Union Affairs
In office
6 October 2006 22 January 2010
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Birgitta Ohlsson
Member of the European Parliament
In office
1 July 1999 4 October 2006
Constituency Sweden
Personal details
BornAnna Cecilia Malmström
(1968-05-15) 15 May 1968 (age 50)
Stockholm, Sweden
Political partyFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden: Liberals
Flag of Europe.svg  EU: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Spouse(s) Erik Lagger (m. 1999)
Children 2
Alma mater
Signature Cecilia Malmstrom signature.svg
Website Official website
Malmström at the Gothenburg Book Fair, 2011

Anna Cecilia Malmström (born 15 May 1968) is a Swedish politician who has served as European Commissioner for Trade since 2014. She previously served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs from 2010 to 2014 and Minister for European Union Affairs from 2006 to 2010. She was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Sweden from 1999 to 2006.

European Commissioner for Trade

The European Commissioner for Trade is the member of the European Commission responsible for the European Union's common commercial policy. The portfolio has been held by Cecilia Malmström since November 2014.

Minister for EU Affairs (Sweden)

The Minister for European Union Affairs is a cabinet minister who is part of the Swedish Government and appointed by the Prime Minister. The minister is directly under the Prime Minister's Office and is responsible for overall questions about the European Union, such as the strategy for growth and employment, the financial perspective, the Lisbon Treaty and the anchoring of EU membership.

Member of the European Parliament person who has been elected to the European Parliament

A Member of the European Parliament (MEP) is a person who has been elected to serve as a popular representative in the European Parliament.


She is a member of the Swedish Liberals party, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Liberals (Sweden) political party in Sweden

The Liberals is a liberal and social-liberal political party in Sweden. It was a part of the Alliance centre-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt from 2006 to 2014. The party is the seventh-largest party in the Swedish Riksdag. Until 22 November 2015 it was known as the Liberal People's Party. The party is a member of the Liberal International and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party political party at European level

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party is a European political party mainly active in the European Union, composed of 60 national-level liberal parties from across Europe. On 26 March 1976, it was founded in Stuttgart as a confederation of national political parties under the name Federation of Liberal and Democrat Parties in Europe and renamed European Liberals and Democrats (ELD) in 1977 and European Liberal Democrats and Reformists (ELDR) in 1986. On 30 April 2004, the ELDR was reformed as an official European party, the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. The ALDE Party is affiliated with the Liberal International and a recognised European political party, incorporated as a non-profit association under Belgian law.

Early life

Malmström was born in Brännkyrka parish in southern Stockholm and grew up in Gothenburg.

Brännkyrka is a parish in South Stockholm, Sweden. The population as of 2004 is 36,572.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 960,031 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.5 million in the urban area, and 2.3 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the capital of Stockholm County.

Gothenburg City in Västergötland and Bohuslän, Sweden

Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden, fifth-largest in the Nordic countries, and capital of the Västra Götaland County. It is situated by Kattegat, on the west coast of Sweden, and has a population of approximately 570,000 in the city center and about 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area.

She was a student at the University of Gothenburg from 1992 to 1999, becoming a research assistant (1994). She then gained a PhD in political science with a thesis titled The Region, the Power and the Glory: Regional Parties in Western Europe [1] (1998), and became a senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg (1998–99). [2] Her thesis was on regional parties in western Europe, focusing on Catalonia, Spain and Lombardy, Italy. [3] She has researched and taught in the fields of European politics, regionalism, immigration and terrorism.

University of Gothenburg university in Gothenburg, Sweden

The University of Gothenburg is a university in Sweden's second largest city, Gothenburg.

Catalonia Autonomous area of northeastern Spain

Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain(Spanish: Reino de España), is a country mostly located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Malmström has also worked in Stuttgart and in Barcelona.

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron." It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 609,219, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.7 million people live in the city's administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

Barcelona City and municipality in Catalonia, Spain

Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.

She is fluent in Swedish, English, Spanish and French, and has intermediate skills in German and Italian.

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Both Norwegian and Danish are generally easier for Swedish speakers to read than to listen to because of difference in accent and tone when speaking. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.

Political career

Malmström has been a member of the Swedish Liberals party since the late 1980s, sitting on the party executive since 1997, and was a member of the Västra Götaland Regional Council from 1998 to 2001. In 2007, when Jan Björklund was elected party leader, she was appointed first vice party chairman.

Member of the European Parliament, 1999–2006

In 1999, Malmström was elected as an MEP for Sweden and she was re-elected again in 2004. During her tenure she served on the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and also on the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Subcommittee on Security and Defence. In addition, she served as vice-chair of the parliament's delegations to Hungary (before it joined in 2004) and Croatia.

As a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Malmström wrote a critical report on the EU’s Russia strategy. In 2002 she became the Liberal group’s spokeswoman on foreign affairs. [3] She nominated Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá for the Sakharov Prize, which he received from the Parliament in 2002. [3]

During her time as an MEP, Malmström initiated the oneseat.eu web campaign, [4] which aims to make Brussels the permanent seat of the European Parliament. It was the first such petition to gain one million signatures, a nod to the right of petition under the Treaty of Lisbon.

In 2010, Malmström and nine fellow MEPs – including Nick Clegg and Helle Thorning-Schmidt – founded the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform (CPR) to press for changes to the way the European Parliament functions on a day-to-day basis. [5] She has also campaigned for greater public access to official documents. [6]

Swedish Minister for European Affairs, 2006–2010

Following the 2006 Swedish elections which saw the victory of the centre-right coalition of Fredrik Reinfeldt, Malmström returned to Sweden to take up the job of Minister for European Affairs in Prime Minister Reinfeldt's cabinet, which took office on 6 October 2006. Her responsibilities included institutional issues, review of the EU budget, Baltic Sea Strategy, the Lisbon Strategy and coordinating the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2009.

Malmström supports Swedish adoption of the euro currency, and in August 2007 she was one of the politicians calling for another referendum on euro membership (the first was in 2003). "We respect the result of the referendum, of course, but still think that one should be able to argue for something one believes in, a lot had changed since the 2003 referendum, Slovenia has joined, Malta and Cyprus are joining at the beginning of next year. Next year, at least two Baltic countries will join. In 2010-11 there could be eight or nine new members. The more members there are, the greater the political price of being outside, because we can't make a difference, Sweden had lost out economically by not joining the single European currency." She cited a report from the National Board of Trade: "We have lost 100 billion kronor in exports and the same amount in imports. Our trade with the eurozone would have been 13–14 percent greater if we had been members." [7]

Member of the European Commission, 2010–present

European Commissioner for Home Affairs, 2010–2014

On 17 November 2009 Malmström was nominated by her government as Sweden's next European Commissioner. [8] In his nomination, Prime Minister Reinfeldt also said that Carl Bildt, the foreign minister, was not nominated because it was unlikely that a Swede would be appointed to the post of President of the European Council or as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. [8]

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso offered Malmström the role of Commissioner for Home Affairs, which was created as a result of a liberal demand to split the previous portfolio, which had also included human rights. Despite this post being security oriented, Commissioner Malmström made clear to the Members of the European Parliament that she would not be a bad cop to the fundamental rights portfolio's good cop. She was approved by MEPs, and took up the post on 10 February 2010. [9]

One of her first initiatives as a Commissioner of the European Union was to propose a directive advocating stronger sanctions against sexual abuse of children, [10] in which one of the proposals was to create a duty for EU member states to block access to child pornography on the Internet. [11] Critics interpret that as the creation of a net censorship infrastructure which would not help children, but would indeed be counterproductive [12] and a dangerous threat to democracy. [13] NGOs working for children's rights, such as Save the Children and NSPCC, have, however, defended the proposal. [14] Malmström was quickly rewarded with the nickname 'Censilia' on the social web and in – mostly German – dailies, [15] [16] [17] a portmanteau word blending the word "censorship" and her given name (“Cecilia”), in imitation of the "Zensursula" nickname of the German minister Ursula von der Leyen who failed to establish similar filtering techniques in Germany following a decision to prioritize the deletion of illegal websites.

At the same period (March 2010), in pursuit of her efforts to strengthen the safety and security of European citizens, Malmström secured a political agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission to implement Article 10 of the United Nations' Firearms Protocol that combats the trafficking of illicit civilian firearms. [18]

On 11 March 2011, during the Seventh European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism, at a conference on "The role of Victims of Terrorism in preventing violent radicalization", which was held in Brussels, Malmström gave a speech setting out the devastating effects of terrorism on a personal as well as on a state level, [19] closing with the announcement of the forthcoming (R.A.N.) project (see next paragraph).

In September 2011, Malmström officially launched the Radicalisation Awareness Network (R.A.N.), [20] a project aimed at tackling terrorism and violent extremism through preventive measures, rather than through confrontation. The project comes as an additional tool of the EU's Counter-Terrorism and Measures to Combat Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism Strategies.

Less than a year later, the project had become a pan-European network of scientists, psychologists, NGOs, victims of terrorism, religious leaders, representatives of civil society and police officers, together with an advisory board. [21]

On 2 May 2012, Malmström gave a lecture to students and professors at Harvard University on immigration and asylum, discussing with her audience various issues related to integration, terrorism and human trafficking, as well as the European crisis. The visit in Cambridge was followed by a meeting with the US Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington D.C. and an evening at the F.B.I., where there was a major exchange of views about the planning of the forthcoming European Cybercrime Centre (E.C.3). [22] Malmström's short trip in the US was completed with a speech on Cyber Security at a Conference in the C.S.I.S..

On 26 November 2012, together with Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, Malmström announced the launch of the new European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online. [23] [24] The aims of the Coalition are to support international law enforcement investigations wherever possible through co-operation with private stakeholders; to assess and study commercial child sexual exploitation on the Internet through all kinds of Internet environments, such as hosting services and newsgroups; to help protect legitimate private business interests from possible misuse of their services by criminals aiming to distribute child sexual abuse content through different information and communication technologies; to enable law enforcement and private companies to counteract the problem through training and resource-sharing; and to keep decision makers informed and raise awareness among the public.

On 5 December 2012 on a conference held in Brussels, Belgium, under the High Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Paola of Belgium, [25] Malmström and US Attorney General Eric Holder launched the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online.

The alliance, which met strong support from Wainwright, [26] is an initiative aimed at uniting decision-makers all around the world, in order to improve the identification of, and assistance to, victims, and the prosecution of the perpetrators. The alliance is one of the greatest projects ever created in this field, as its participants include 48 nations worldwide (The 27 EU member states, as well as 21 non EU countries – Albania, Australia, Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Serbia, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, and Vietnam).

On 11 January 2013, Wainwright and Malmström officially launched the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), which is aiming to tackle cybercrime:

Malmström assumed the duties of EU Commissioner for Trade on 1 November 2014, as a member of the Juncker Commission.

European Commissioner for Trade, 2014–present

In July 2014, Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt nominated Malmström for a second term as European Commissioner. By September, the European Parliament gave its support to her nomination. [27] She assumed the duties of EU Commissioner for Trade on 1 November 2014, as a member of the Juncker Commission. [28]

Already in her nomination hearing, amid the Ukrainian crisis, Malmström rejected Russia’s demands for amendments to a free-trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine. [29] In December 2015, she failed in her final attempt to reach a breakthrough over Russia’s concerns, some of which were contrary to European and World Trade Organization rules. [30]

The mission letter for Malmström’s position also includes, as one of her key duties, the "successful conclusion" of the controversial trade negotiations with the USA, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), though with a number of restrictions and confinements to the negotiation mandate to address European public concerns over TTIP. [31] Having expressed a view strongly in favour of the treaty, [32] she tried to revive the negotiations with the USA two weeks after entering office. [33]

Despite claims of an "unprecedented level of transparency", the current documents cannot be read by all parliaments of EU member states, such as the German Bundestag, or political leaders such as vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. [34]

In May 2015, Malmström and Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci announced a framework for broadening the European Union–Turkey Customs Union, extending it to include services, government contracting and most agricultural goods. [35] Also under her leadership, the EU finalized the negotiations on a major trade agreement with Vietnam in August 2015, removing 99 per cent of tariffs between Europe and Vietnam over the following decade as well as non-tariff barriers to trade, services, investment, intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, dispute settlement and sustainable development. [36] [37]


In a discussion with John Hilary, the executive director of War on Want, which he wrote about in The Independent on October 12, 2015, Malmström reportedly acknowledged "that a trade deal has never inspired such passionate and widespread opposition" and is reported to have commented: "I do not take my mandate from the European people." [38] Malmström later denied having said this, calling it a "fabricated quote" extrapolated from her explanations about the TTIP negotiation mandate, which is determined by the European governments and not by the Europeans themselves. [39] She also argued before the European Parliament that she did take her mandate from the European people since she was approved as Commissioner by the MEPs who represent them. [40] Hilary did not retract his version of the story. [39]

Personal life

Malmström is married and has children. She lives in Brussels, Belgium. [41] She is the author of several books, articles and essays on regional parties, regionalism, Spanish politics, European politics, immigration and terrorism.




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  2. "CECILIA MALMSTRÖM - CURRICULUM VITAE" (PDF). Brussels, Belgium: European Commission. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
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Political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Minister for European Union Affairs
Succeeded by
Birgitta Ohlsson
Preceded by
Jan Kohout
President of the Council of the European Union
Succeeded by
Miguel Ángel Moratinos
Preceded by
Margot Wallström
Swedish European Commissioner
Preceded by
Jacques Barrot
as European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security
European Commissioner for Home Affairs
Succeeded by
Dimitris Avramopoulos
as European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship
Preceded by
Karel De Gucht
European Commissioner for Trade