Alexander Stubb

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Alexander Stubb
Alexander Stubb Oct, 2014.jpg
43rd Prime Minister of Finland
Incumbent
Assumed office
24 June 2014
President Sauli Niinistö
Preceded by Jyrki Katainen
Leader of the National Coalition Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 June 2014
Preceded by Jyrki Katainen
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade
In office
22 June 2011 – 24 June 2014
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen
Preceded by Astrid Thors (European Affairs)
Paavo Väyrynen (Foreign Trade)
Succeeded by Lenita Toivakka
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
4 April 2008 – 22 June 2011
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
Mari Kiviniemi
Preceded by Ilkka Kanerva
Succeeded by Erkki Tuomioja
Personal details
Born (1968-04-01) 1 April 1968 (age 47)
Helsinki, Finland
Political party National Coalition Party
Spouse(s) Suzanne Innes
Children Oliver
Emilie
Alma mater Furman University
College of Europe
London School of Economics
Website Official website
Military service
Service/branch Finnish Army
Rank Korpraali hihalaatta.svg Private 1 class

Cai-Göran Alexander Stubb (born 1 April 1968) is a Finnish politician who has been Prime Minister of Finland and leader of the National Coalition Party since 2014.

From 2004 to 2008, Stubb was a Member of the European Parliament. He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2011 and Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade from 2011 to 2014.

Background[edit]

Stubb was born in Helsinki into a bilingual family; his father was a native Swedish speaker and his mother a native Finnish speaker. Stubb spoke both languages at home.[1] His father Göran Stubb worked in the business of professional ice hockey and was the CEO of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association from 1976 to 1983.[2] In 1986 Stubb graduated from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida and, two years later, graduated from the Gymnasiet Lärkan in Helsinki. After completing his military service, he won a golf scholarship to Furman University in South Carolina.[3] At Furman, Stubb studied political science and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993. The following year he studied French and obtained a Diploma in French Language and Civilisation from the Sorbonne in Paris. Stubb speaks five languages: Swedish, Finnish, English, French and German.

In 1995 Stubb graduated as a Master of Arts in European Affairs from the College of Europe, Belgium. He then studied for the degree of PhD in the International Relations Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science, under the supervision of William Wallace, and gained his doctorate in June 1999. Wallace later said: "LSE has had a number of extremely bright Finnish students in recent years – but Alex was one of the most outstanding." Stubb's thesis was called Flexible Integration and the Amsterdam Treaty: negotiating differentiation in the 1996–97 IGC.[4] Between 1995 and 1997, Stubb was a researcher at the Finnish Foreign Office, and then at the Academy of Finland from 1997 to 1999. In 1997 he began to work also as a columnist.[5]

Alexander Stubb in 2004

From 1999 to 2001, Stubb was a researcher in Finland's representation to the European Union in Brussels, and a member of the Finnish government's delegation to the intergovernmental negotiations for the Treaty of Nice. In 2000, he became a professor at the College of Europe. Following the IGC's conclusion in 2001 he became an adviser to the President of the European Commission (then Romano Prodi) and a member of the Commission Task Force on the European Convention. In 2003 he returned to Finland's representation to the EU as a special expert and to the intergovernmental negotiations, this time for the European Constitution. When that ended in 2004, he stood for the National Coalition Party in the election to the European Parliament.[6][7]

Stubb lived in Genval, Belgium, with his wife, Suzanne Innes-Stubb,[8] who is a British lawyer, until they moved to Tapiola, Espoo.[9] She works for the media group Sanoma.[10] They have two children, a daughter named Emilie and a son called Oliver Johan.[8]

A "confessed sports nut",[11] Stubb regularly competes in marathons, triathlons and has finished Ironman Triathlons. In his 2012 Frankfurt Ironman, he competed with "Iron Birds Finland", a team of 18 people competing to support leukemia research.[12] In Stockholm Ironman in 2013, Stubb's time was 9:55'47.[13] Stubb ran his marathon record, 3:11:24, in the Berlin Marathon in 2014.[14]

European Parliament (2004–2008)[edit]

Stubb served as an MEP for Finland from 2004 to 2008. He was elected in 2004 with 115,225 votes (the second highest number of votes in Finland for that election) as a member of the National Coalition Party. As that party was a member of the EPP, he sat in the European People's Party-European Democrats group.[6] During this time he became one of the most well-known members of the Parliament.[15]

Stubb was a member of the Committee on Budgetary Control and a vice-president of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. He was a substitute member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (as of August 2007).[6]

In 2006 he wrote a report for the Parliament on the EU's interpretation costs, which was adopted by the Parliament. He called for greater awareness of the costs of translation, which he calculated as 511 million euros in 2005 for the Parliament, Commission and Council together. Despite the costs and the need for some changes, he underlined that multilingualism is one of the EU's main assets.[16]

Stubb was Vice-President of European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights.[17]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (2008–2011)[edit]

On 1 April 2008, Stubb's 40th birthday, the Finnish government announced that Stubb would be appointed as its new Minister for Foreign Affairs following a scandal surrounding his predecessor, Ilkka Kanerva. Stubb was sworn in on 4 April.[18] The decision to appoint him was unanimous[19] and his seat in the European Parliament was taken up by Sirpa Pietikäinen, a former environment minister.[9]

On his appointment, Stubb was described as a competent politician[9] and a supporter of Finland's accession to NATO, stating that he does not understand Finland's non-alignment policy.

In July 2010, Stubb invited the head of Al-Jazeera and former President Martti Ahtisaari to discuss about the role of media in conflict resolution.[20] In October 2010, Stubb visited the Middle East and discussed the Middle Eastern conflict with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2010 Stubb and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt proposed the European Institute of Peace. They developed a joint non-paper that was addressed to EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.[21] They referred to the limits of traditional diplomacy and emphasised the added value that capacities beyond those available to high-level decision-makers could have. At the same time, the idea of a European Institute of Peace gained increasing attention among members of the European Parliament (MEP) and was particularly supported by German MEP Franziska Brantner[22] and French MEP Alain Lamassoure.[23] The institute was founded in 2014.

In 2011 when Stubb was Foreign Minister, leaked diplomatic cables from the US embassy in Helsinki released by Wikileaks stated that Jori Arvonen, Senior Political Adviser to Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, had predicted that the National Coalition Party would aspire to lead Finland to NATO during the next parliamentary term.[24]

Stubb brought attention to issues of disabled people. In 2010 Stubb and Finnish sign language rapper Signmark - who had become the first deaf person to sign a recording contract with an international record company - worked together to organize Silent Shout event to support sign language speakers.[25] Stubb and Signmark also later collaborated for bringing attention to disabled people in international forums.[26][27]

Stubb does not believe the President of Finland needs to attend meetings of the European Council in addition to the Prime Minister.[19] Jyrki Katainen, the Finnish Finance Minister and chairman of National Coalition Party, supported Stubb stating he was surprising, courageous and that he "puts a smile on one's face".[9]

As the Foreign Minister of Finland, Stubb was the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe from 5 April 2008 to 31 December 2008.[28] The Russian-Georgian war occurred during this period, and OSCE brokered an agreement to send military observers to the area.

In January 2011 Stubb and EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton worked together to help hundreds of beaten and imprisoned opposition activists in Belarus.[29][30]

In February 2011, Stubb expressed hope that power in Egypt will be transferred to a democratically elected government as fast as possible and without violence.[31]

Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade (2011–2014)[edit]

In 2011 Stubb stood for election to the Finnish Parliament for the first time and was elected MP. He was the second-most-popular candidate in the election, in which the National Coalition Party became the largest party. In the government negotiations the Foreign Affairs ministerial portfolio went to the Social Democrats. Stubb became Minister for Europe and Foreign Trade in Jyrki Katainen's cabinet.

During the crises in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine Stubb argued that money should be used as a force for good in geo-political relations, stating: "As I have said before, money is the best peace mediator“ [32] and “Money should be given the Nobel Peace Prize”.[33] (As Prime Minister he would later change his stance after further escalation in Eastern Ukraine, describing EU's sanctions against Russia necessary.)[34] Stubb has stated that the sanctions against Russia won't be removed until Russia has met the requirements set by the EU.[35]

Prime Minister (2014–)[edit]

When Jyrki Katainen stepped down as Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Coalition Party, Stubb was elected as party chairman in June 2014 over his two rivals, Paula Risikko and Jan Vapaavuori. He formed a five party government coalition, and was officially appointed Prime Minister by President Niinistö on 24 June. One of the challenges the new Prime Minister faces is the relationship between Finland and neighboring Russia. This has always been a difficult issue for Finland, as it affects Finland's willingness to become a NATO member. The recent crisis in Ukraine as well as the dispute over free trade between Russia and Finland has made the issue thornier.[36]

In November 2014, Stubb organized Northern Future Forum, a meeting of Prime Ministers of Northern Europe, in Startup Sauna in Aalto University campus.[37]

In March 2015, Stubb invited companies and officials to an event to discuss industrial Internet and Internet of Things.[38]

Political views[edit]

Stubb is a proponent of deepening European integration. In 2008, when he was the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stubb gave a speech, in which he argued in favour of the EU taking an active role in international politics. He noted that while the EU is the world's largest economy, it is not a superpower but a regional soft power.[39] In 2014, when running for party leadership, he described himself as an "academic federalist", though "in practice a functionalist" with regard to the EU. Stubb, for example, opposes eurobonds.[40] He also insisted that he is no longer the "pure federalist" that he used to be when he was a researcher.[41] Stubb has expressed his support for Turkey's EU membership.[42] Stubb believes Finland should apply for membership of NATO.[43]

Stubb is seen as a representative of the National Coalition Party's liberal wing.[44][45] He has characterized himself as a "liberal"[46] and "moderate liberal". Stubb wants to bring about a "more positive way of doing politics". He believes everyone should be appreciated and respected even when there are disagreements.[47]

He supports same-sex marriage[48] and has been the patron of Helsinki's Pride parade.[49] He supports multiculturalism[50] and believes that increasing immigration is necessary.[51] A proponent of internationalism, Stubb believes that the most important political divide in modern politics is that between the supporters and opponents of globalisation.[52]

Other work[edit]

An active columnist, Stubb has stated that he has "always been of the opinion that matters must be discussed openly and honestly". Since his professorship at the College of Europe, Stubb has published 16 books, dozens of academic articles, and hundreds of columns.[53][54]

Stubb has a blog, which he has maintained despite a demanding career as a politician.[55] He is also one of the most active tweeters among European leaders.[56] He has co-authored an e-book in Finnish about what to do on Twitter.[57]

His book Alaston totuus ja muita kirjoituksia suomalaisista ja eurooppalaisista – The Naked Truth and other stories about Finns and Europeans (ISBN 9789510351758), a collection of his columns for the Finnair in-flight magazine Blue Wings, was published in a bilingual Finnish–English edition by WSOY in 2009.[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alexander Stubb: Mokaamalla pärjää hyvin, Tamperelainen 29 April 2014, accessed 23 October 2014.
  2. ^ Suomen jääkiekkomuseo: Jääkiekkoleijonat - Göran Stubb, Suomen jääkiekkomuseo
  3. ^ Furman grad set to become next Finland PM, The State 17 June 2014, accessed 23 October 2014.
  4. ^ LSE alumnus is made foreign minister of Finland, LSE, accessed 10 October 2014.
  5. ^ CV « Alex Stubb
  6. ^ a b c "Alexander STUBB". European Parliament. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  7. ^ "Alex's abridged CV". Alexander Stubb. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  8. ^ a b "Personal details". Alexander Stubb. Archived from the original on 30 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  9. ^ a b c d "MEP Alexander Stubb to replace Ilkka Kanerva as Foreign Minister". Helsingin Sanomat. 2008-04-01. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  10. ^ Tällainen on nainen tulevan pääministerin takana - "Hän kesytti naistenmiehen" - Kotimaan uutiset - Ilta-Sanomat
  11. ^ http://www.lts.fi/filearc/807_Motion208_20-22.pdf?LTS_reg=71v1acdb0gu62g0hvoir631087
  12. ^ "How a Diplomatic Finn Trains for a Triathlon". Wall Street Journal. July 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Stubb huikean triathlon-suorituksen jälkeen: Iso olut ja iso sikari". mtv.fi. 
  14. ^ "Stubb paransi maraton-ennätystään - poseerasi me-miehen kanssa juoksun jälkeen". iltasanomat.fi. September 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Riley Institute's EU Conference Continues Today; Stubb to Present Closing Address". Furman University. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  16. ^ "More awareness of translation costs. Alexander Stubb MEP". EPP-ED group. 2007-07-10. Archived from the original on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  17. ^ "Finland appoints gay rights campaigner as Foreign Minister". Pinknews.co.uk. April 3, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Finnish FM loses job over texts". BBC News. 2008-04-01. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  19. ^ a b "Finnish Conservatives name Stubb foreign minister". new Room Finland. 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  20. ^ "Al-Jazeeran pääjohtaja, Ahtisaari ja Stubb pohtivat SuomiAreenassa median roolia konflikteissa". Finland.fi. 
  21. ^ "Foreign Minister Stubb and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt propose establishment of the European Institute of Peace". finlandcoe.fr. 
  22. ^ Brorsen, Peter. "European Institute of Peace costs, benefits and options". franziska-brantner.eu. 
  23. ^ Krümpelmann, Stefan; Major, Claudia. "Enter the European Institute of Peace: Competing with or strengthening the European Union?". swp-berlin.org. 
  24. ^ "Wikileaks: US Embassy Urged Finland To Join NATO". yle.fi. 
  25. ^ "Ulkoministeri Stubb ja Signmark esiintyivät yhdenvertaisuuden ja suvaitsevaisuuden puolesta New Yorkissa". Ulkoasiainministeriö. September 24, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Stubb nimesi Signmarkin erityisedustajakseen". Yle Uutiset. September 24, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Stubb ja Signmark: Vammaisilla on oikeudet". Ulkoasiainministeriö. February 2, 2011. 
  28. ^ "New Finnish Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman to address Permanent Council on Thursday" (Press release). Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. 7 April 2008. 
  29. ^ "Stubb haluaa Valko-Venäjän oppositiojohtajan Suomeen". Helsingin Sanomat. January 17, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Hakattu oppositiojohtaja Nekljajev pääsi vankilasta Valko-Venäjällä". Helsingin Sanomat. January 29, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Stubb: Kansa puhui, Mubarak kuunteli". MTV Uutiset. February 11, 2011. 
  32. ^ Stubb: Russia’s economic dip could pose risk for Finland | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
  33. ^ Stubb varoittaa talouspakotteiden kierteestä – "Raha on maailman paras rauhanvälittäjä" - Suomen ja Venäjän suhteet - Politiikka - Helsingin Sanomat
  34. ^ Helsingin Sanomat: Stubb pitää Venäjä-pakotteita välttämättöminä 29 July 2014, accessed 30 July 2014.
  35. ^ "Stubb: Suohon itsensä ajanut Venäjä voi pelastautua lähtemällä Ukrainasta". hs.fi. 
  36. ^ http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/europa/finnlands-ministerpraesident-alexander-stubb-im-interview-13180783.html
  37. ^ "Cameron set for sweaty time in political sauna?". BBC. November 6, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Pääministeri järjestää korkean tason yrittäjyyskeskustelun Kesärannassa". March 23, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Alexander Stubb's speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace". 18 July 2008. 
  40. ^ Rehn ja Stubb kiistelivät, kuka mokasi, Helsingin Sanomat 20 May 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  41. ^ Stubb Ylellä: "tietty sinisilmäisyys EU:n suunnasta on kadonnut", Verkkouutiset 25 January 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  42. ^ Stubb ja Hague lämmittelevät EU:n suhteita Turkkiin, YLE 9 September 2010, accessed 3 October 2014
  43. ^ Pääministeriksi pyrkivä Stubb: "Ilman muuta puhun Nato-jäsenyyden puolesta", YLE 30 April 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  44. ^ Tutkija Stubbin valinnasta: Parikymmentä vuotta sitten tuskin olisi mennyt näin, YLE 16 June 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  45. ^ Näkökulma: Nyt halutaan fantastinen pääministeri, Ilta-Sanomat 14 June 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  46. ^ Strasbourg : hävinneen päiväkirja, Suomen Kuvalehti 46/2005, accessed 3 October 2014.
  47. ^ "Olen maltillinen liberaali" – lue Alexander Stubbin linjapuhe, Keskisuomalainen 15 June 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  48. ^ "Finland to Grant Same-Sex Couples Full Marriage Rights". The Wall Street Journal. November 28, 2014. 
  49. ^ Alexander Stubb otti Pride-tapahtuman suojelukseensa, Vihreä Lanka 19 May 2010, accessed 3 October 2014.
  50. ^ Stubb: Mamu-keskustelu on muuttunut vastenmieliseksi, Magma 6 May 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  51. ^ Stubb: Nämä aatteet korvasivat oikeiston ja vasemmiston, Verkkouutiset 30 September 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  52. ^ Stubb: Nämä aatteet korvasivat oikeiston ja vasemmiston, Verkkouutiset 30 September 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  53. ^ "Alexander Stubb CV". alexstubb.com. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  54. ^ "Alex the columnist". Alexander Stubb. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  55. ^ "Post-election lull in blog writing by political leaders". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  56. ^ "Stubb menetti Twitter-valtiaan paikan Viron presidentille". M&M. June 25, 2014. 
  57. ^ "Twiplomacy Study 2014". twiplomacy.com. 
  58. ^ WSOY press release (2009-04-02): Ulkoministeri Stubbin kolumnit koottiin kirjaksi; WSOY online shop: Alaston totuus ja muita kirjoituksia suomalaisista ja eurooppalaisista

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ilkka Kanerva
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Erkki Tuomioja
Preceded by
Astrid Thors
as Minister for European Affairs
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Lenita Toivakka
Preceded by
Paavo Väyrynen
as Minister for Foreign Trade
Preceded by
Jyrki Katainen
Prime Minister of Finland
2014–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jyrki Katainen
Leader of the National Coalition Party
2014–present
Incumbent