Jutta Urpilainen

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Jutta Urpilainen
Finlands finansminister Jutta Urpilainen. Nordiska radets session 2011 i Kopenhamn (4).jpg
European Commissioner for International Partnerships
Assumed office
1 December 2019
PresidentUrsula von der Leyen
Preceded byNeven Mimica
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
22 June 2011 – 6 June 2014
Prime MinisterJyrki Katainen
Preceded byJyrki Katainen
Succeeded byAntti Rinne
Minister of Finance
In office
22 June 2011 – 6 June 2014
Prime MinisterJyrki Katainen
Preceded byJyrki Katainen
Succeeded byAntti Rinne
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
6 June 2008 – 9 May 2014
Preceded byEero Heinäluoma
Succeeded byAntti Rinne
Personal details
Born (1975-08-04) 4 August 1975 (age 44)
Lapua, Finland
Political partySocial Democratic Party
Other political
affiliations
Party of European Socialists
Spouse(s)Juha Mustonen
EducationUniversity of Jyväskylä
WebsiteOfficial website

Jutta Pauliina Urpilainen (born 4 August 1975 in Lapua) is a Finnish politician. She was the first female chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Finland, which she led from 2008 to 2014. She was the Minister of Finance of Finland from 2011 to 2014.[1] As of 1 December 2019, she is a commissioner in charge of international partnerships in the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Lapua, Southern Ostrobothnia, Urpilainen is the daughter of former politician Kari Urpilainen. She studied at the University of Jyväskylä, where she graduated as a Master of Education in 2002. During her undergraduate studies, she spent an Erasmus year in Vienna. She worked as a school teacher until her election to Parliament.

Political career[edit]

Early beginnings[edit]

Urpilainen served as president of the Young European Federalists of Finland in 2001. She has been a member of Kokkola city council since 2001.

Member of Parliament and party leadership[edit]

Urpilainen was a member of Parliament for the Vaasa constituency from the 2003 national elections.[3] In parliament, she was a member of the Committee on Education and Culture and a deputy member of the Finance Committee. In addition to her parliamentary work, she was also a member of the Advisory Council of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

Urpilainen was elected as the chair of the Social Democratic Party in June 2008, succeeding former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Eero Heinäluoma. She won on the second ballot, defeating former Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja by 218 votes to 132. During her tenure from 2008 until 2014, support for the Social Democrats fell from 21 to 15.5 percent.[4] However, in the 2011 elections, she returned the party to government after four years.[5]

Minister of Finance[edit]

After the 2011 parliamentary election, in which the SDP became the second-largest party, Urpilainen was appointed Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet led by Jyrki Katainen.[6] In this capacity, she also chaired the meetings of the Nordic Council Ministers of Finance in 2012.

The surge of the eurosceptic True Finns party in the 2011 elections sparked a move from the Social Democrats under Urpilainen to toughen their stance on the euro significantly, leading Finland to become the only country to demand collateral from Greece and Spain as part of their international rescues.[7] On 6 July 2012, Urpilainen said the following on her website: "Finland would prefer to consider leaving the Eurozone rather than to pay other countries' debts in the currency area."[8] International news media, such as The Daily Telegraph, misinterpreted the statement as a threat that Finland would leave the eurozone. Urpilainen's assistant Matti Hirvola later clarified her statements and that she had meant that Finland did not wish to be responsible for paying other countries' debt deposits.[9] Only one month later, Urpilainen had to revise the government’s growth target for that fiscal year down to zero as exports slowed; the only Eurozone countries that fared worse were Greece and Portugal.[10]

Urpilainen sought another term as party chair in the Social Democratic Party's 2014 party conference in May. She was narrowly defeated by her challenger, Antti Rinne, in a 257 to 243 vote.[11] Urpilainen subsequently stepped down as the Minister of Finance in June.

Ahead of the 2018 presidential elections, Urpilainen was widely mentioned as a potential candidate.[12] By February 2017, she announced she would not seek the presidency.[13]

From 2017 until 2019, Urpilainen served as Minister of Foreign Affairs Timo Soini’s Special Representative on Mediation.

European Commissioner[edit]

On 1 December 2019 Ms Urpilainen assumed the office of European Commissioner in the Von der Leyen Commission, with the portfolio of international partnerships.

Other activities[edit]

Urpilainen testifies before the European Parliament in 2019 during hearings to confirm her appointment to the European Commission

European Union organizations[edit]

International organizations[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

  • Veikkaus, Member of the Board of Directors (2017-2018)

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Urpilainen is married to Juha Mustonen, an official in the foreign ministry.[17] In 2017 and 2019, they adopted two children from Colombia.[18]

In 2002, Urpilainen recorded a Christmas album called “Christmassy thoughts” featuring versions of “Winter Wonderland” and “Jingle Bells.”[19][20]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sdp valitsi ministerinsä" (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. 2011-06-18. Archived from the original on 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  2. ^ "The Commissioners". European Commission. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Edustajamatrikkeli". Eduskunta. Archived from the original on 2012-09-30.
  4. ^ Jussi Rosendahl (May 9, 2014), Finland's social democrats oust finance minister Urpilainen Reuters.
  5. ^ Andrew Gardner and Antton Rönnholm (June 12, 2013), Golden girl European Voice.
  6. ^ "Council of State - Ministers of Finance". Valtioneuvosto.fi. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  7. ^ Richard Milne (September 24 2012), True Finns keep Europe on national agenda Financial Times.
  8. ^ nliv@svd.se, SvD Näringsliv |. "Finland hotar med euroexit". SvD.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  9. ^ Kansainvälinen media tulkitsi Urpilaisen uhkaavan erolla euroalueesta (Helsingin Sanomat)
  10. ^ Richard Milne (August 14, 2012), Finland reports quarterly contraction Financial Times.
  11. ^ http://yle.fi/uutiset/antti_rinne_on_sdpn_uusi_puheenjohtaja/7230581
  12. ^ "Demarin ex-vetäjä: Heinäluoma tähtää presidentiksi" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Demokraatti: Jutta Urpilainen ei lähde Sdp:n presidenttiehdokkaaksi" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  14. ^ James Kanter (October 7, 2012), Europe Still at Odds Over the Workings of Its Bailout Fund New York Times.
  15. ^ 2011 Annual Report European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  16. ^ Decision-Making Bodies Crisis Management Initiative (CMI).
  17. ^ Andrew Gardner and Antton Rönnholm (June 12, 2013), Golden girl European Voice.
  18. ^ Meet the commissioners Politico Europe, September 9, 2019.
  19. ^ Meet the commissioners Politico Europe, September 9, 2019.
  20. ^ Suomen kansallisdiskografia search keywords: Jouluisia ajatuksia

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Eero Heinäluoma
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
2008–2014
Succeeded by
Antti Rinne
Political offices
Preceded by
Jyrki Katainen
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Antti Rinne
Minister of Finance
2011–2014
Finnish European Commissioner
2019—
Incumbent