Micheline Calmy-Rey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Micheline Calmy-Rey
Micheline Calmy-Rey 2011.jpg
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
In office
1 January 2003 – 31 December 2011
Preceded by Ruth Dreifuss
Succeeded by Alain Berset
President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 2011 – 31 December 2011
Vice President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
Preceded by Doris Leuthard
Succeeded by Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
In office
1 January 2007 – 31 December 2007
Vice President Pascal Couchepin
Preceded by Moritz Leuenberger
Succeeded by Pascal Couchepin
Vice President of Switzerland
In office
1 November 2010 – 31 December 2010
President Doris Leuthard
Preceded by Moritz Leuenberger
Succeeded by Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
In office
1 January 2006 – 31 December 2006
President Moritz Leuenberger
Preceded by Moritz Leuenberger
Succeeded by Pascal Couchepin
Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs
In office
1 January 2003 – 31 December 2011
Preceded by Joseph Deiss
Succeeded by Didier Burkhalter
Personal details
Born (1945-07-08) 8 July 1945 (age 69)
Sion, Switzerland
Political party Social Democratic Party
Spouse(s) André Calmy
Alma mater Graduate Institute of International Studies

Micheline Anne-Marie Calmy-Rey (born 8 July 1945) is a Swiss politician. She was member of the Swiss Federal Council and became Switzerland's foreign minister as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2011. She was Vice President of the Confederation 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2006 and President 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2007 and then Vice President 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2010 and President 1 Jan - 31 Dec 2011. She resigned her office as member of the Federal Council on 31 December 2011.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Calmy-Rey was born in Sion in the canton of Valais on 8 July 1945 to Charles and Adeline Rey. She received her diploma in 1963 in St. Maurice, and a Licence degree in political science at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, in 1968. While studying she married André Calmy, and they have two children.

Career[edit]

Micheline Calmy-Rey established a small enterprise in the book distribution business. From 1981 to 1997 Calmy-Rey served as a representative in the Grand Conseil of the canton of Geneva as a member of the Social Democratic Party (PSS/SPS), and was president of the assembly during 1992-1993. She was president of the Geneva section of the party from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, Calmy-Rey was elected to the Conseil d'Etat of Geneva. In 2001, she became head of the Finance Department and president of the Conseil d'Etat of the canton.[2]

She was elected on 4 December 2002 to the Federal Council, heading the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2011. Calmy-Rey is the fourth woman elected to the Federal Council in history. She was also elected Vice-President of Switzerland, a post she held for the calendar year of 2006 and the calendar year of 2010.

Calmy-Rey supports Switzerland joining the European Union and she is an Eminent Member of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation. The project SAFFA 2020 is also under her patronage and of the councillors (Bundesrat) Doris Leuthard, Simonetta Sommaruga and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.[3]

Presidency[edit]

On 1 January 2007, she became the second female President of the Confederation in history, the first having been her predecessor on the Federal Council, Ruth Dreifuss. She was elected as President on 13 December 2006 by 147 votes. However, by Swiss tradition, it was a foregone conclusion she would be elected. She had been the longest-serving councillor not to have been President, and had served as Vice-President for 2006.

As President of the Confederation, she presided over meetings of the Federal Council and carried out certain representative functions that would normally be handled by a head of state in other democracies, (though in Switzerland, the Federal Council as a whole is regarded as the head of state). She was also the highest-ranking official in the Swiss order of precedence, and had the power to act on behalf of the whole Council in emergency situations. However, in most cases she was merely prima inter pares, with no power above and beyond her six colleagues.

She had already handled most official visits abroad since being elected to the Federal Council; the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs traditionally carries out such visits.

Calmy-Rey was chosen as vice president for 2010, serving alongside Doris Leuthard. On 8 December 2010, she was chosen, for the second time, as President for 2011 (by 106 votes on 189, i.e. the worst result in Swiss history on such issues) --the first time two women held the post in succession.

Calmy-Rey speaks to United States President Barack Obama, along with Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers.

Calmy-Rey is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

She announced in September 2011 that she would resign from the government in the following December.[4]

Gas controversy and trade relations with Iran[edit]

Calmy-Rey was widely criticised for putting on a headscarf to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 19 March 2008.[5] Her appearance together with the Iranian leader sparked immediate negative reactions: Socialist MP Maria Roth-Bernasconi said it was "irritating that she had angered feminists in Iran." Calmy-Rey said in her defence that she was "observing protocol."[6]

Calmy-Rey also prompted controversy by attending the signing of a multi-billion dollar natural gas deal of a Swiss energy supply company with Iran.[7] The United States had complained that Switzerland was sending the wrong message when Tehran was subject to UN sanctions. Calmy-Rey pointed out that gas exports were not subject to the UN sanctions. Both the Israeli government and international Jewish groups such as the World Jewish Congress strongly criticised the deal.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Skard, Torild (2014) "Micheline Calmy-Rey" in Women of power - half a century of female presidents and prime ministers worldwide, Bristol: Policy Press, ISBN 978-1-44731-578-0, pp. 406-7
  2. ^ Jensen, Jane S. "Micheline Calmy-Rey" in Women as political leaders: breaking the highest glass ceiling, New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-312-22338-0,p. 56
  3. ^ "Patronat" (in German). 2020.ch. Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  4. ^ "President Calmy-Rey to retire from government". 
  5. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7306621.stm Swiss minister sparks veil outcry, BBC News, 20 March 2008
  6. ^ Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey sits during a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran
  7. ^ http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/recent/media/mcom/single.html?id=17831 Swiss government press release on the natural gas agreement
  8. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343672,00.html Jewish Group Slams Swiss-Iran Gas Deal; U.S. Questions Switzerland's Neutrality

Much of the content of this article comes from the equivalent German-language Wikipedia article and the equivalent French-language Wikipedia article (retrieved 1 April 2006).

External links[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Ruth Dreifuss
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
2003–2011
Succeeded by
Alain Berset
Preceded by
Joseph Deiss
Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs
2003–2011
Succeeded by
Didier Burkhalter
Preceded by
Moritz Leuenberger
Vice President of Switzerland
2006
Succeeded by
Pascal Couchepin
President of Switzerland
2007
Vice President of Switzerland
2010
Succeeded by
Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
Preceded by
Doris Leuthard
President of Switzerland
2011