Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca
|9th President of Malta|
4 April 2014 – 4 April 2019
|Prime Minister||Joseph Muscat|
|Preceded by||George Abela|
|Succeeded by||George Vella|
|Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity|
11 March 2013 – 29 March 2014
|Prime Minister||Joseph Muscat|
|Preceded by||Chris Said (Justice, Public Dialogue, and Family)|
|Succeeded by||Michael Farrugia|
|Member of Parliament|
|President of Eurochild|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Hanna Heinonen (Interim)|
7 December 1958
|Political party||Labour Party|
|Spouse(s)||Edgar Preca (± 2007-present)|
|Alma mater||University of Malta|
Previously, as a member of the Labour Party, she was a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives of Malta from 1998 to 2014, and served as the Minister of the Family and Social Solidarity from March 2013 to March 2014.
Early life and career
Within the Labour Party, Coleiro Preca served within its executive. She was a member of the National Executive, the Assistant General Secretary, and as the General-Secretary. She was the only woman to have served in such a senior post of a Maltese political party. In addition to these posts, Coleiro Preca was also a member of the National Bureau of Socialist Youths (now the Labour Youth Forum), President of the Women's Section of the Party (1996-2001), founding member of the Ġużè Ellul Mercer Foundation and publisher of the Party's weekly newspaper Il-Ħelsien (now defunct).
She served as MP in the Maltese Parliament from 1998 to 2014. In the 2008 general election she was the first elected MP. As an Opposition MP Coleiro Preca served as Shadow Minister for Social Policy and as member of the Parliamentary Permanent Committee for Social Affairs beginning in 1998.
Following the end of her tenure as President of Malta in April 2019, Coleiro Preca, under the newly set up Office of the President Emeritus Coleiro Preca, will continue to serve as Chair for the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, The Emanuele Cancer Research Foundation Malta, and of the Malta Trust Foundation. Moreover, Coleiro Preca was appointed as President of Eurochild, during Eurochild's General Assembly in Brussels.
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Champion for UNIDO's Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDAIII) and Special Ambassador for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Moreover, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca is a member of the Advisory Board of Women Political Leaders Global Forum, and leads its #Girl2Leader Campaign. She is also Chairperson of the Senior Advisory Board of the Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF).
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On 1 March 2014, Coleiro Preca accepted the nomination for president. Succeeding George Abela, she was sworn in as President on 4 April 2014. Coleiro Preca is the youngest person to assume the office of President, sworn in at the age of 55, and is the second woman to hold the post after Agatha Barbara.
Soon after taking office, Coleiro Preca established a number of entities to nurture dialogue and to foster unity and a culture of positive peace among people.
The Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society
The Foundation was founded on 25 June 2014. The Foundation, is a first of its kind in Malta. It aims to create a safe space for dialogue on social wellbeing, bridging popular wisdom with academic research. Through this process, the Foundation works towards enhancing human relationships. The Foundation operates through a consultation process, through a number of established, including; Children, Family, Community, Transculturalism, Interfaith, Persons with Disability, and conducts scientific research through the following Research Entities:
- National Institute for Childhood
- National Centre for Family Research
- National Observatory for Living with Dignity
- National Centre for Freedom from Addictions
- National Hub for Ethnobotanical Research
The Malta Trust Foundation
Coleiro Preca founded the Malta Trust Foundation on 14 May 2015. The aim of this Foundation is to encourage vulnerable young people, experiencing difficulties in life, such as unemployment, being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion, to improve their lives through education and training.
The President's Secret Garden
The President's Secret Garden provided a safe, interactive and creative space at The Presidential Private Gardens at Sant’ Anton Palace, giving Maltese children the opportunity to enhance their personality, express their opinions and feel empowered, through informal education. It aims to foster intergenerational dialogue as well as participation, inclusion and involvement of children with activities focusing on the following key areas, including self-expression, healthy eating, education, nurture, diversity, and art.
In the future, the Secret Garden concept will be exported to local schools and communities.
In 2015, Coleiro Preca was the first Maltese President to join the Arraiolos Group of non-executive Presidents of the European Union. The Presidents meet annually to discuss current state of affairs and the future development of the European Union. Coleiro Preca hosted the Arraiolos 2017 in Malta, and invited the Presidents of the states which were not members, to attend.
Seventeen women's organisations came together under one umbrella to secure a stronger voice in the debate for equality that will resonate among women and girls to inspire them to take on leadership roles.
Called Empower, this new platform was inspired by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and was launched during the events marking the International Day of the Girl Child 2017.
The Emanuele Cancer Research Foundation Malta
This Foundation was set up with the purpose of reducing the impact and burden of cancer on the people of Malta, the Mediterranean Region and globally through supporting and promoting world class cancer research and development and education.
The Emanuele Cancer Research Foundation Malta (ECRFM) was founded by The President's Trust, the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro, Italia e Mediterraneo, and the University of Malta.
The ECRFM intends to facilitate excellence in cancer research and collaboration among scientific, clinical and psychosocial disciplines. It will be taking the lead in multi-investigator and multi-disciplinary cancer research and will be the focal point for the introduction of clinical cancer trials. The ECRFM will also provide information and education about cancer to the public and its representatives. Through international research collaborations, the foundation shall be in a position to transform itself into a regional, Mediterranean cancer research hub.
The foundation is accommodated at the Biomedical Sciences Building at the University of Malta, supported by the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro, Italia e Mediterraneo.
The President said that "this new and most important venture will provide the much-needed research, development, and education about cancer, for the benefit of individuals, families, communities, and societies, across the Maltese Islands and the Mediterranean Region".
Honours and awards
- Algeria: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit (20 January 2016)
- Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of the Balkan Mountains (2 November 2016)
- Bulgaria: Member with Collar of the Order of Cyril and Methodius (5 February 2018)
- Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Class (29 April 2015)
- Italy: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (7 September 2017)
- Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Infante Henry (15 May 2018)
- Russian Imperial Family: Dame of the Imperial Order of Saint Anastasia, 1st Class (21 June 2017)
- Russian Imperial Family: Recipient of the 400th Anniversary Medal of the House of Romanov
- Tunisia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Republic (5 February 2019)
- Ukraine: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (15 May 2017)
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St Michael and St George (26 November 2015)
- UN Women and Global Partnership Forum Agent of Change Award
- Crans Montana Prix de la Fondation 2014
- Student Wellbeing and Prevention of Violence Award from Flinders University, South Australia
- WPL Award 2017 by Women Political Leaders Global Forum
- Ukraine International Person of the Year 2017 – For Political and Social Activity
- The ISESCO Gold Medal, for President Coleiro Preca's distinguished and tireless contribution, to the promotion of peace, in Malta, throughout the Mediterranean, and globally.
- International Virdimura Award 2018
- Premio Margutta – Sezione Empowerment
- Honorary Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, 2015 
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Leicester, 2019 
- "PL motion calls for setting up of permanent committee for family affairs". Malta Independent. 26 March 2011. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
- "Office of the President". Pfws.org.mt. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Coleiro Preca could run for MEP after President's term ends in 2019". MaltaToday.com.mt. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- Who's Who of Women in World Politics. Bowker-Saur. 1991. p. 51. ISBN 9780862916275.
- "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca hakkında - NeOlaKi.net - Bilgi Kaynağınız!". Archive.is. 25 June 2016. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
-  Archived January 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca". Vassallomalta.com. 7 December 1958. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca accepts nomination for President". MaltaToday. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Coleiro Preca to be named as President within days". Times of Malta. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca sworn in as Malta's ninth President - The Malta Independent". Independent.com.mt. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Honours". marielouisecoleiropreca.com. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- "Libya situation tops agenda in President Coleiro Preca's meetings in Algeria - The Malta Independent". www.independent.com.mt. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "The Head of the House of Romanov visits the Republic of Malta, 13-17 June 2017". imperialhouse.ru. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
- "Honorary awards" (PDF). Gov.uk. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Maltese President appointed Honorary Professor by the University of Warwick". University of Warwick. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "President Coleiro Preca receives honorary degree of doctor of laws from the University of Leicester". Independent.com.mt.
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