Alexander Stubb

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Alexander Stubb
Alexander Stubb Oct, 2014.jpg
43rd Prime Minister of Finland
Assumed office
24 June 2014
President Sauli Niinistö
Preceded by Jyrki Katainen
Leader of the National Coalition Party
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 46)
Helsinki, Finland
Political party National Coalition Party
Spouse(s) Suzanne Innes
Children Oliver
Alma mater Furman University
College of Europe
London School of Economics
Website Official website

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.


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 world 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 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 obtained a Master of Arts in European Affairs from the College of Europe, Belgium. He then studied for a PhD in the International Relations Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science under the supervision of William Wallace, Baron Wallace of Saltaire, attaining it in June 1999. Lord 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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then at the Academy of Finland from 1997 to 1999. In 1997 he also started his work 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 an Ironman Triathlon.

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14] The decision to appoint him was unanimous[15] 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 2011 when Stubb was Foreign Minister, leaked diplomatic cables from the US embassy in Helsinki released by Wikileaks stated that Stubb’s then advisor Jori Arvonen had promised the United States that if the National Coalition Party were to win the elections Finland would join NATO. At the time Stubb refused to comment on any Wikileaks documents. [16]

Stubb does not believe the President of Finland needs to attend meetings of the European Council in addition to the Prime Minister.[15] 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.[17] The Russian-Georgian war occurred during this period, and OSCE brokered an agreement to send military observers to the area.

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 expressed reluctance to adopt sanctions against Russia,[18] arguing that a three percent drop in the Russian economy would result in a half percent drop in the Finnish economy. He went on to argue 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“ [19] and “Money should be given the Nobel Peace Prize”.[20] (As Prime Minister he would later change his stance after further escalation in Eastern Ukraine, describing EU's sanctions against Russia necessary.)[21]

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.[22]

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: "I am a true European federalist, one of the few that still exist, and I would like to see the EU becoming a superpower".[23] Stubb also said that he considered it "unfortunate" that the international system is still based on nation-states.[24] In 2014, when running for party leadership, he described himself as an "academic federalist", though "in practice a functionalist" with regard to the EU.[25] He also insisted that he is no longer the "pure federalist" that he used to be when he was a researcher.[26] Stubb has expressed his support for Turkey's EU membership.[27] Stubb believes Finland should apply for membership of NATO.[28]

Stubb is seen as a representative of the National Coalition Party's liberal wing.[29][30] He has defined himself as a liberal as well. In 2005, when he was serving as an MEP, Stubb described his world view in the following way:

I am not a conservative. [...] I am a liberal. All my views are liberal. [...] Many people think that when you're in a right-wing party, your values are then automatically [centred on] home, religion and fatherland. That is not the case.[31]

Following his election as the NCP chairman, Stubb described his societal views as "moderately liberal".[32] He is a supporter of same sex marriage[33] and has been the patron of Helsinki's Pride parade.[34] He supports multiculturalism[35] and believes that increasing immigration is necessary.[36] A proponent of internationalism, Stubb believes that the most important political divide in modern politics is that between the supporters and opponents of globalisation.[37]

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 a variety of academic articles and over 5 books about the European Union.[38] Stubb has a blog, which he has maintained despite a demanding career as a politician.[39] He is also an active tweeter.[40]

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.[41]


  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. ^
  12. ^ "Riley Institute's EU Conference Continues Today; Stubb to Present Closing Address". Furman University. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ "Finnish FM loses job over texts". BBC News. 2008-04-01. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  15. ^ a b "Finnish Conservatives name Stubb foreign minister". new Room Finland. 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  16. ^ Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - Foreign
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ Finland reluctant to adopt additional sanctions against Russia
  19. ^ Stubb: Russia’s economic dip could pose risk for Finland | Yle Uutiset |
  20. ^ Stubb varoittaa talouspakotteiden kierteestä – "Raha on maailman paras rauhanvälittäjä" - Suomen ja Venäjän suhteet - Politiikka - Helsingin Sanomat
  21. ^ Helsingin Sanomat: Stubb pitää Venäjä-pakotteita välttämättöminä 29 July 2014, accessed 30 July 2014.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Alexander Stubb's speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 18 July 2008, accessed 23 December 2014.
  24. ^ Alexander Stubb's speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 18 July 2008, accessed 23 December 2014.
  25. ^ Rehn ja Stubb kiistelivät, kuka mokasi, Helsingin Sanomat 20 May 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  26. ^ Stubb Ylellä: "tietty sinisilmäisyys EU:n suunnasta on kadonnut", Verkkouutiset 25 January 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  27. ^ Stubb ja Hague lämmittelevät EU:n suhteita Turkkiin, YLE 9 September 2010, accessed 3 October 2014
  28. ^ Pääministeriksi pyrkivä Stubb: "Ilman muuta puhun Nato-jäsenyyden puolesta", YLE 30 April 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  29. ^ Tutkija Stubbin valinnasta: Parikymmentä vuotta sitten tuskin olisi mennyt näin, YLE 16 June 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  30. ^ Näkökulma: Nyt halutaan fantastinen pääministeri, Ilta-Sanomat 14 June 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  31. ^ Strasbourg : hävinneen päiväkirja, Suomen Kuvalehti 46/2005, accessed 3 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Olen maltillinen liberaali" – lue Alexander Stubbin linjapuhe, Keskisuomalainen 15 June 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  33. ^ Kommentti: Kokoomus ajaa homoasiassa kaksilla rattailla, Helsingin Sanomat 28 February 2013, accessed 3 October 2014.
  34. ^ Alexander Stubb otti Pride-tapahtuman suojelukseensa, Vihreä Lanka 19 May 2010, accessed 3 October 2014.
  35. ^ Stubb: Mamu-keskustelu on muuttunut vastenmieliseksi, Magma 6 May 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  36. ^ Stubb: Nämä aatteet korvasivat oikeiston ja vasemmiston, Verkkouutiset 30 September 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  37. ^ Stubb: Nämä aatteet korvasivat oikeiston ja vasemmiston, Verkkouutiset 30 September 2014, accessed 3 October 2014.
  38. ^ "Alex the columnist". Alexander Stubb. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  39. ^ "Post-election lull in blog writing by political leaders". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  40. ^ Stubb on Euroopan aktiivisimpia Twitter-poliitikkoja Pohjoisranta Burson-Marsteller, accessed 11 July 2014
  41. ^ 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
Succeeded by
Erkki Tuomioja
Preceded by
Astrid Thors
as Minister for European Affairs
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade
Succeeded by
Lenita Toivakka
Preceded by
Paavo Väyrynen
as Minister for Foreign Trade
Preceded by
Jyrki Katainen
Prime Minister of Finland
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jyrki Katainen
Leader of the National Coalition Party