Federica Mogherini

Federica Mogherini
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Assumed office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker
Preceded by Cathy Ashton
Minister of 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
Parents Flavio Mogherini
Abelio Mogherini
Alma mater Sapienza University
Sciences Po Aix

Federica Mogherini (Italian pronunciation: [fedeˈriːka moɡeˈriːni]; born 16 June 1973) is an Italian and European 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 (Sciences Po Aix).

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 and 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 the policies on 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.

Member of Parliament, 2008–14

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. After than she was 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 for 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 Sudan helped in securing the release of this Sudanese woman who was finally permitted to fly to Italy on an Italian government plane.[7][8]

EU High Representative, 2014–present

Mogherini with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 2015.

In July 2014, given the large number of Italian MEPs belonging to the S&D group following the 2014 European election, 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 13 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. The group of commissioners involved in external relations — neighborhood and EU enlargement, trade, development, emergency and humanitarian aid, migration, energy and transport — meets monthly, with Mogherini in the chair.[9]

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.[10] In 2016, she appointed chief negotiator Helga Schmid as Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), following the resignation of Alain Le Roy.[11][12]

Since 2015, Mogherini has been serving as a member of the European Commission’s High-level Group of Personalities on Defence Research chaired by Elżbieta Bieńkowska.[13]

Political positions

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.

Relations with Russia

In January 2015, Mogherini circulated a discussion paper among EU foreign ministers exploring a potential rapprochement with Russia, including a pathway to ease some economic sanctions against the country during the Ukraine crisis and opening dialogue on a range of topics such as visas and energy policy; the proposal drew a harsh response from the United Kingdom, Poland and other Member States as the fighting intensified in eastern Ukraine.[14]

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. She pushed to revitalise the Middle East Quartet – together with the United Nations, the United States, and Russia – and to involve key Arab countries in relaunching the peace process: the first “Quartet plus” meeting, with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League, took place on the sides of the UN General Assembly in New York, on 30 September 2014.[15]

In her capacity of EU High Representative she coordinated the last rounds of negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme, which led to an agreement on 14 July 2015. US Secretary of State John Kerry praised her for "expertly coordinating international efforts during the final stage" of the talks.[16]

Critics of Mogherini attacked her for being a pivotal supporter of Iran in the negotiations.[17]

Mogherini opposed the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, saying: "I'm convinced that military action is not a solution."[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

Islam in Europe

Mogherini has caused controversy [17] since her appointment to the European Commission by stating publicly that Islam is part of Europe's history and future. In a speech[21] in Brussels on 24 June 2015, she said:

Islam holds a place in our Western societies. Islam belongs in Europe. It holds a place in Europe's history, in our culture, in our food and-what matters most-in Europe's present and future. Like it or not, this is the reality.

It has been noted that "some analysts misquoted" Mogherini's speech. According to columnist Llaus Jurgens, Mogherini believes that "political Islam should be part of the equation in fighting terror and in particular the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" and "she did not say that political Islam should become Europe's new masterplan".[22]

Other activities


  1. "Italy's Mogherini and Poland's Tusk get top EU jobs". BBC News. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  2. "Mogherini: Italy's young rising star". AFP. 2014-08-30. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
  3. Vincenti, Daniela (2014-08-30). "Profile: Federica Mogherini, the next EU foreign affairs chief". EurActiv. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
  4. "A Matteo manca solo la fiducia". L'Unità (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  5. "Uragano Sandy, Mogherini: "Solidarietà e amicizia al popolo americano, gli USA sapranno reagire"=". 30 October 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  6. 1 2 url = http://www.blogmog.it/index.cfm?target=chisono
  7. "Sudan: amb. in Italia, Meriam a Roma grazie a amicizia tra nostri paesi". Adnkronos (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  8. "Woman who faced death for faith is free". CNN website.
  9. Tim King (October 30, 2015), The EU grows up (on foreign policy) Politico Europe.
  10. Maïa de La Baume (17 July 2015), The women behind the Iran nuclear deal Politico Europe.
  11. Federica Mogherini appoints Helga Schmid as Secretary General of the European External Action Service European External Action Service (EEAS), press release of June 15, 2016.
  12. Maïa de La Baume and Jacopo Barigazzi (June 24, 2016), Mogherini shakes up staff, mission Politico Europe.
  13. Simon Taylor (March 30, 2015), High-level group of personalities on defence research European Voice.
  14. Christian Oliver, Roman Olearchyk and Henry Foy (19 January 2015), EU foreign ministers attack call to soften Russia stance Financial Times.
  15. Andrew RETTMAN (14 September 2015), Migration and Middle East top EU agenda at UN EUobserver.
  16. John Kerry (16 January 2016), Remarks on Implementation Day United States Department of State.
  17. 1 2 George Igler, Iran Deal: Europe's Chief Negotiator Sympathized with Iran dated July 21, 2015, at gatestoneinstitute.org, accessed 15 February 2016
  18. "Saudi Arabia Gets Bipartisan Backing for Yemen Airstrikes". U.S. News. March 27, 2015.
  19. Gavin Jones (31 August 2014), Mogherini must win over doubters as EU foreign policy chief Reuters.
  20. James Crisp (4 December 2014), Mogherini pushes Kerry for energy chapter in TTIP EurActiv.
  21. Federica Mogherini (24 Juni 2015), Federica Mogherini’s remarks at “Call to Europe V: Islam in Europe” conference European External Action Service.
  22. Klaus Jurgens (11 July 2015), Federica Mogherini on political Islam Today's Zaman.
  23. 1 2 3 4 Federica Mogherini: Declaration of interests European Commission.
Political offices
Preceded by
Emma Bonino
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Paolo Gentiloni
Preceded by
Fernando Nelli Feroci
Italian European Commissioner
Preceded by
Cathy Ashton
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
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