Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca

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Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca
Coleiro Preca in 2017
9th President of Malta
In office
4 April 2014 – 4 April 2019
Prime MinisterJoseph Muscat
Preceded byGeorge Abela
Succeeded byGeorge Vella
Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity
In office
11 March 2013 – 29 March 2014
Prime MinisterJoseph Muscat
Preceded byChris Said (Justice, Public Dialogue, and Family)
Succeeded byMichael Farrugia
Member of Parliament
In office
President of Eurochild
Assumed office
Preceded byHanna Heinonen (interim)
UNIDO goodwill ambassador
Assumed office
Personal details
Marie-Louise Coleiro

(1958-12-07) 7 December 1958 (age 65)
Qormi, Malta
Political partyLabour Party
(m. 2007)
Alma materUniversity of Malta

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, KUOM (born 7 December 1958) is a Maltese politician who served as President of Malta from 2014 to 2019. She has been president of Eurochild since 2019.

Previously, as a member of the Labour Party, Coleiro Preca was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Representatives of Malta from 1998 to 2014.[1] She served as the Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity from 2013 to 2014 under Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Qormi, Coleiro Preca studied at the University of Malta where she graduated with a BA in Legal and Humanistic Studies (International Studies) and a notary public diploma.[2]

Within the Labour Party, Coleiro Preca served within its executive.[3] She was a member of the National Executive, the Assistant General Secretary,[citation needed] and as the General-Secretary.[4] She was the only woman to have served in such a senior post of a Maltese political party.[citation needed] 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).[5]

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.[6]

After Alfred Sant resigned as Leader of the Labour Party in 2008, Coleiro Preca unsuccessfully contested the Leadership election.[7]

She served on the Maltese delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 2008 to 2013.[2]

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).


Coleiro Preca, as President, signing books at the MCC in Valletta
Preca with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in 2016

On 1 March 2014, Coleiro Preca accepted the nomination for president. Succeeding George Abela, she was sworn in as President on 4 April 2014.[8] 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.[9]

The President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society[edit]

The President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society was established by Coleiro Preca on 25 June 2014. The Foundation is a non-governmental organization that focuses on community-building.[10] The Foundation operates through a consultation process and conducts scientific research through five 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[11]

The Malta Trust Foundation[edit]

Coleiro Preca founded the Malta Trust Foundation on 14 May 2015.[12] 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.[13]

The President's Secret Garden[edit]

The President's Secret Garden, one of the gardens in San Anton Palace, was opened to the public by Coleiro Preca in 2015.[14] Coleiro Preca opened the garden in response to calls for more open play space for children.[15]

Arraiolos Group[edit]

In 2015, Coleiro Preca was the first Maltese President to join the Arraiolos Group of non-executive Presidents of the European Union.[16] 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.[17]


On the Day of the Girl 2017, Coleiro Preca launched a platform, called Empower, "to encourage more women to participate in positions of influence and leadership, while also creating closer synergies among nationally-active groups for women".[18] Empower is an umbrella organization of seventeen Maltese women's organizations.[19]

The Emanuele Cancer Research Foundation Malta[edit]

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. Coleiro Preca stated 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".[20]

The foundation is located at the Biomedical Sciences Building at the University of Malta, supported by the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro, Italia e Mediterraneo.[20]

Honours and awards[edit]


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


  • UN Women and Global Partnership Forum Agent of Change Award[26]
  • 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 degrees[edit]


  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ "Office of the President". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Coleiro Preca could run for MEP after President's term ends in 2019". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ Who's Who of Women in World Politics. Bowker-Saur. 1991. p. 51. ISBN 9780862916275.
  5. ^ "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca hakkında - - Bilgi Kaynağınız!". 25 June 2016. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  6. ^ [1] Archived January 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca". 7 December 1958. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca accepts nomination for President". MaltaToday. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Coleiro Preca to be named as President within days". Times of Malta. March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  10. ^ "History". Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  11. ^ "Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca | World Leaders Forum". Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  12. ^ "The Malta Trust Foundation". Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  13. ^ "The Malta Trust Foundation – Hospital Saturday Fund". 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  14. ^ "Secret Garden". Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  15. ^ "President's Secret Garden inaugurated". Times of Malta. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  16. ^ "Arraiolos – Homepage – The President of Malta". Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  17. ^ Vella, Rachel (15 September 2016). "Malta to host Arraiolos Group meeting in 2017 – President Coleiro Preca". Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "New platform to 'empower' women to lead". Times of Malta. 10 October 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  20. ^ a b "Launch of Emanuele Cancer Research Foundation Malta - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 7 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Marie Louise Coleiro Preca sworn in as Malta's ninth President - The Malta Independent". 4 April 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Honours". Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Libya situation tops agenda in President Coleiro Preca's meetings in Algeria - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  24. ^ "The Head of the House of Romanov visits the Republic of Malta, 13-17 June 2017". Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Honorary awards" (PDF). Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  26. ^ "Watch: Coleiro Preca receives UN award for 'inspiring change' - Times of Malta mobile". Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  27. ^ "Maltese President appointed Honorary Professor by the University of Warwick". University of Warwick. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  28. ^ "President Coleiro Preca receives honorary degree of doctor of laws from the University of Leicester".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by President of Malta
Succeeded by