Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb
I was born at Helsinki Maternity Clinic on 1 April 1968. My family roots originate in Ähtävä, Ostrobothnia, in Kokemäki, Satakunta and in Vyborg, Karelia. I spent my youth in Lehtisaari, Helsinki.
I have been Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade since 23 June 2011. The ministerial portfolio covers matters from three ministries: the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance. I find the portfolio interesting: Half of Finland’s GDP is generated by exports and I entered politics via EU affairs. In April 2011, I stood for the first time as a candidate at the parliamentary elections and gained 41,768 votes in the Uusimaa electoral district.
In the previous Government, I served as a Minister for Foreign Affairs since April 2008. Before that, I worked at the European Parliament, to which I was elected on 13 June 2004. I had a seat there for almost four years and worked with issues concerning the internal market, the EU budget and external relations.
Before my career in the European Parliament, I was Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union in Brussels, where my responsibilities included institutional matters and issues relating to the recruitment of Finns to EU institutions. I’ve also been an advisor to Romano Prodi, the President of the European Commission, and a member of the Finnish delegation to the negotiations for the Treaties of Amsterdam and Nice. During the first Finnish EU Presidency, I was on the staff of the late Ambassador Antti Satuli.
Since the beginning of the 1990s I have tried to take an active part in EU discussions. I have written columns for a number of newspapers and magazines, including the Helsingin Sanomat, Hufvudstadsbladet, Ilta-Sanomat, Nykypäivä, a variety of newspapers in the Suomen Lehtiyhtymä Group, Forum för Ekonomi och Teknik, and the Financial Times home page. At the moment, I am a regular columnist for Finnair’s Blue Wings magazine and Dagens Industri, and I occasionally contribute to other publications, too.
I have been a visiting professor at the College of Europe, and I’ve published ten books on the EU, as well as a number of academic articles on EU-related issues. I completed my Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in political science at Furman University in the United States, and continued my studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the College of Europe (M.A.). I wrote my doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics in 1999 on Flexible Integration and the Amsterdam Treaty.
I have a true passion for sports. I follow all sports - apart from darts - and have played ice-hockey, football, handball and golf, representing Finland on Golf Team Finland for several years. These days I enjoy cycling, running, triathlon and telemarking. I still play a few rounds of golf every year, too.
Besides sports, I am a keen reader of all types of books, both Finnish and international, and I take particular pleasure in biographies and political philosophy. My favourite writers of fiction include Albert Camus, Väinö Linna, Kjell Westö, John Steinbeck, Juha Itkonen and Ilkka Remes. I watch the news, sports and films on television.
My wife Suzanne Innes-Stubb works as a lawyer for White and Case. Our daughter Emilie was born in October 2001 and our son Oliver in April 2004.