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Anna Cecilia Malmström is a Swedish politician who has served as European Commissioner for Trade since 2014, having previously served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs from 2010 to 2014.
She was born on the 15th of May 1968.
Prior to her appointment as a Commissioner, she had served as a Member of the European Parliament 1999–2006 and as Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs 2006–2010. She is a member of the Swedish Liberal Party, a constituent member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR HOME AFFAIRS 2010–2014
On 17 November 2009 Malmström was nominated by her government as Sweden's next European Commissioner. In his nomination, Prime Minister Reinfeldt also said that Carl Bildt, the foreign minister, was not nominated because it was unlikely that a Swede would be appointed to the post of President of the European Council or as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso offered Malmström the role of Commissioner for Home Affairs, which was created as a result of a liberal demand to split the previous portfolio, which had also included human rights. Despite this post being security oriented, Commissioner Malmström made clear to the Members of the European Parliament that she would not be a bad cop to the fundamental rights portfolio's good cop. She was approved by MEPs, and took up the post on 10 February 2010.
One of her first initiatives as a Commissioner of the European Union was to propose a directive advocating stronger sanctions against sexual abuse of children, in which one of the proposals was to create a duty for EU member states to block access to child pornography on the Internet. Critics interpret that as the creation of a net censorship infrastructure which would not help children, but would indeed be counterproductive and a dangerous threat to democracy. NGOs working for children's rights, such as Save the Children and NSPCC, have, however, defended the proposal. Malmström was quickly rewarded with the nickname 'Censilia' on the social web and in – mostly German – dailies, a portmanteau word blending the word "censorship" and her given name (“Cecilia”), in imitation of the "Zensursula" nickname of the German minister Ursula von der Leyen who failed to establish similar filtering techniques in Germany following a decision to prioritize the deletion of illegal websites.
At the same period (March 2010), in pursuit of her efforts to strengthen the safety and security of European citizens, Malmström secured a political agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission to implement Article 10 of the United Nations' Firearms Protocol that combats the trafficking of illicit civilian firearms.
On 11 March 2011, during the Seventh European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism, at a conference on "The role of Victims of Terrorism in preventing violent radicalization", which was held in Brussels, Malmström gave a speech setting out the devastating effects of terrorism on a personal as well as on a state level, closing with the announcement of the forthcoming
In September 2011, Malmström officially launched the Radicalisation Awareness Network (R.A.N.), a project aimed at tackling terrorism and violent extremism through preventive measures, rather than through confrontation. The project comes as an additional tool of the EU's Counter-Terrorism and Measures to Combat Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism Strategies.
Less than a year later, the project had become a pan-European network of scientists, psychologists, NGOs, victims of terrorism, religious leaders, representatives of civil society and police officers, together with an advisory board.
On 2 May 2012, Malmström gave a lecture to students and professors at Harvard University on immigration and asylum, discussing with her audience various issues related to integration, terrorism and human trafficking, as well as the European crisis. The visit in Cambridge was followed by a meeting with the US Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington D.C. and an evening at the F.B.I., where there was a major exchange of views about the planning of the forthcoming European Cybercrime Centre (E.C.3). Malmström's short trip in the US was completed with a speech on Cyber Security at a Conference in the C.S.I.S..
On 26 November 2012, together with Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, Malmström announced the launch of the new European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online. The aims of the Coalition are to support international law enforcement investigations wherever possible through co-operation with private stakeholders; to assess and study commercial child sexual exploitation on the Internet through all kinds of Internet environments, such as hosting services and newsgroups; to help protect legitimate private business interests from possible misuse of their services by criminals aiming to distribute child sexual abuse content through different information and communication technologies; to enable law enforcement and private companies to counteract the problem through training and resource-sharing; and to keep decision makers informed and raise awareness among the public.
On 5 December 2012 on a conference held in Brussels, Belgium, under the High Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Paola of Belgium, Malmström and US Attorney General Eric Holder launched the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online.
The alliance, which met strong support from Wainwright, is an initiative aimed at uniting decision-makers all around the world, in order to improve the identification of, and assistance to, victims, and the prosecution of the perpetrators. The alliance is one of the greatest projects ever created in this field, as its participants include 48 nations worldwide (The 27 EU member states, as well as 21 non EU countries – Albania, Australia, Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Serbia, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, and Vietnam).
On 11 January 2013, Wainwright and Malmström officially launched the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), which is aiming to tackle cybercrime:
committed by organised groups to generate large criminal profits, such as online fraud
causing serious harm to the victim, such as online child sexual exploitation
affecting critical infrastructure and information systems in the EU
Malmström assumed the duties of EU Commissioner for Trade on 1 November 2014, as a member of the Juncker
COMMISSIONER FOR TRADE 2014 >>
In July 2014, the Swedish government Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt nominated Malmström for a second term as European Commissioner. By September, the European Parliament gave its support to her nomination. She assumed the duties of EU Commissioner for Trade on 1 November 2014, as a member of the Juncker Commission.
Already in her nomination hearing, amid the Ukrainian crisis, Malmström rejected Russia’s demands for amendments to a free-trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine. In December 2015, she failed in her final attempt to reach a breakthrough over Russia’s concerns, some of which were contrary to European and World Trade Organization rules.
The mission letter for Malmström’s position also includes, as one of her key duties, the "successful conclusion" of the controversial trade negotiations with the USA, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), though with a number of restrictions and confinements to the negotiation mandate to address European public concerns over TTIP. Having expressed a view strongly in favour of the treaty, she tried to revive the negotiations with the USA two weeks after entering office.
Despite claims of an "unprecedented level of transparency", the current documents cannot be read by all parliaments of EU member states, such as the German Bundestag, or political leaders such as vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. After an estimated three million signatures collected for an opposing initiative, plus massive demonstrations, including one in Berlin in October 2015 opposing TTIP and CET, and the largest protest since the Iraq War, Malmström claimed that the "silent majority [of Europeans]" were in favor of the treaty.
In May 2015, Malmström and Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci announced a framework for broadening the European Union–Turkey Customs Union, extending it to include services, government contracting and most agricultural goods. Also under her leadership, the EU finalized the negotiations on a major trade agreement with Vietnam in August 2015, removing 99 per cent of tariffs between Europe and Vietnam over the following decade as well as non-tariff barriers to trade, services, investment, intellectual property, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, dispute settlement and sustainable development.
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