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Federica Mogherini

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Federica Mogherini

The Honourable
Federica Mogherini
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Assumed office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker
Preceded by Catherine Ashton
Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
22 February 2014 – 31 October 2014
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Preceded by Emma Bonino
Succeeded by Paolo Gentiloni
Personal details
Born (1973-06-16) 16 June 1973
Rome, Italy
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Matteo Rebesani
Children 2
Alma mater Sapienza University of Rome

Federica Mogherini (Italian pronunciation: ; born 16 June 1973) is an Italian politician and the current High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission in the Juncker Commission since 1 November 2014.

Mogherini was Italy's Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from 22 February 2014 until 31 October 2014 in the centre-left Cabinet of Matteo Renzi.[1]

She is a member of the Italian Democratic Party and the Party of European Socialists.

Early life and education

Federica Mogherini was born on 16 June 1973 in Rome, Italy, to the family of the film director and set designer Flavio Mogherini (1922–1994).

Mogherini attended the Sapienza University of Rome where she studied Political Science graduating with a Diploma in Political Philosophy with a thesis entitled "Relationship between religion and politics in Islam",[2][3] which she wrote whilst on the Erasmus programme at Aix-en-Provence, France.

Political career

Federica Mogherini representing Italy at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Early beginnings

A member of the Italian Communist Youth Federation from 1988, in 1996 Mogherini joined the Youth Left after the dissolution of the Italian Communist Party before its transformation into a social democratic party. In 2001 she became a member of the National Council of the Democrats of the Left (DS), later serving on its National Executive Board and Political Committee. In 2003 she started working at the DS's Foreign Affairs Section, where she was given responsibility for relations with international movements and parties, later becoming the team's coordinator; after that she was given responsibility for Foreign Affairs and International Relations on the staff of DS Party chairman Piero Fassino. In this role, she oversaw relations with Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the Middle East peace process. Mogherini was in charge of maintaining relations with the Party of European Socialists, the Socialist International and other left-wing parties, including with the US Democratic Party.

After the formation of the Italian Democratic Party (PD), on 4 November 2007, Mogherini was appointed to the staff of its founding chairman Walter Veltroni (with whom she had already worked as assistant during his term as mayor of Rome).

Member of Parliament, 2008-2014

In 2008 Mogherini was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, representing the constituency of Veneto. Serving in the 16th legislature, she became secretary of its Defence Committee, a member of the Italian parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe, and of Italy's parliamentary delegation to the Western European Union.

On 24 February 2009, she was appointed to the staff of the incoming chairman of the PD Dario Franceschini, with responsibility for equal opportunity. Since then she has been notable as a member of Franceschini's faction (Area Democratica).[4] She has also served as Vice-President of the Italy-USA Foundation.[5]

In February 2013 Mogherini was returned to parliament for the Emilia-Romagna constituency. During the 17th Italian legislature she served again on the Defence Committee (replacing Lapo Pistelli after he was appointed Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs), on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and on the Italian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, and later its president from April 2013. On 1 August 2013 she was elected as head of the Italian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO.[6]

Federica Mogherini in 2014.

On 9 December 2013, the new chairman of the PD Matteo Renzi appointed Mogherini to his staff, with the responsibility of European relations.

Mogherini is a Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.[6]

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, 2014

Mogherini joined the Renzi Cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs, the third woman after Susanna Agnelli and Emma Bonino to hold this post. Her first public engagement following her appointment was to meet, along with Italy's Defence Minister, the wives of Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, the two Italian marines detained in India after the Enrica Lexie incident.

Under her direction, the Foreign Ministry worked for the release of Mariam Ibrahim. Italy's good relations with the Sudan helped in securing the release of this Sudanese woman who was finally permitted to fly to Italy on an Italian government government plane.[7][8]

EU High Representative, 2014-present

Federica Mogherini with the ministers of foreign affairs of the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, China and Iran negotiating in Lausanne for a Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme (30 March 2015).

In July 2014, given the large number of Italian MEPs belonging to the S&D group following the European election, 2014, the European Council considered her as a candidate for the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in Jean-Claude Juncker's new European Commission. On the 13th July 2014, the Financial Times among other European newspapers reported that her nomination proposal had been opposed by some eastern European countries, including Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, where her stance towards Russia concerning the Ukrainian crisis was considered to be too soft.

Nonetheless, on 2 August 2014, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi formally nominated her by letter to EC President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker, as Italy's official candidate for EU Commissioner.

On 30 August, Europe's socialist Prime Ministers met prior to the convening of the European Council, at which she received the approval of the Party of European Socialists. On the same day the President Herman Van Rompuy announced that the European Council had decided to appoint the Italian Minister as its new High Representative, effective from 1 November 2014.

At her first press conference she declared her efforts will be devoted to establishing discussions between Russia and Ukraine to solve the crisis between the two countries.

In 2015, Mogherini won praise for her role in negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran, and along with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was the one to announce the accord to the world.[9]

Political positions

Relations with the Middle East

Mogherini has expressed that she wants the EU to play a leading role in trying to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after a U.S.-brokered process foundered in April 2014. She visited the region within days of starting her new job.[10] On November 8, 2014 Mogherini stated that "Gaza and the world cannot afford another war".

Relations with the United States

An admirer of the United States, Mogherini told Reuters in 2014 that one day she would like to work there.[11] In the negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, she pushed for an energy chapter, arguing that it would “set a benchmark” in terms of transparent, rules based energy markets to the rest of the world.[12]


Criticism of Mogherini ranges from claims of her being pro-Russian and too close to the Kremlin, to not taking the threat of Russia seriously.[13][14][15][16][17] Others deem Mogherini's approach to Russia no different than that of Germany's and France's.[18] Nonetheless, Mogherini's decision to choose a spokeswoman whose husband is a partner in a firm lobbying for Russian energy giant Gazprom caused public criticism.[10]

Other activities

Personal life

Mogherini married Save the Children official Matteo Rebesani, son of Colonel Domenico Rebesani; they have two daughters: Caterina (b. 2005) and Marta (b. 2010).


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  9. ^ Maïa de La Baume (July 17, 2015), The women behind the Iran nuclear deal Politico Europe.
  10. ^ a b Alastair Macdonald, Robin Emmott, Paul Taylor, Gabriela Baczynska and Sabine Siebold (December 14, 2014), EU's Russia Debate a Challenge for Top Diplomat Mogherini New York Times.
  11. ^ Gavin Jones (August 31, 2014), Mogherini must win over doubters as EU foreign policy chief Reuters.
  12. ^ James Crisp (December 4, 2014), Mogherini pushes Kerry for energy chapter in TTIP EurActiv.
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  19. ^ a b c d Federica Mogherini: Declaration of interests European Commission.

External links

  • Quotations related to Federica Mogherini at Wikiquote
  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • (Italian) Official Blog of Federica Mogherini
  • (Italian) Page in the Chamber Web Site
Political offices
Preceded by
Emma Bonino
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Paolo Gentiloni
Preceded by
Fernando Nelli Feroci
Italian European Commissioner
Preceded by
Baroness Ashton
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
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