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Jutta Urpilainen

Jutta Urpilainen
European Commissioner for International Partnerships
Assumed office
1 December 2019
On leave: 2 December 2023 – 28 January 2024*
PresidentUrsula von der Leyen
Preceded byNeven Mimica
Deputy Prime Minister of Finland
In office
22 June 2011 – 6 June 2014
Prime MinisterJyrki Katainen
Preceded byJyrki Katainen
Succeeded byAntti Rinne
Minister of Finance
In office
22 June 2011 – 6 June 2014
Prime MinisterJyrki Katainen
Preceded byJyrki Katainen
Succeeded byAntti Rinne
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
6 June 2008 – 9 May 2014
Preceded byEero Heinäluoma
Succeeded byAntti Rinne
Member of the Parliament of Finland
In office
19 March 2003 – 30 November 2019
Personal details
Born (1975-08-04) 4 August 1975 (age 48)
Lapua, Finland
Political partySocial Democratic Party
Other political
Party of European Socialists
SpouseJuha Mustonen
EducationUniversity of Jyväskylä
WebsiteOfficial website
*Margaritis Schinas served as acting commissioner during Urpilainen's leave.[1]

Jutta Pauliina Urpilainen (born 4 August 1975) is a Finnish politician. She was the first female chair of the Social Democratic Party of Finland, which she led from 2008 to 2014. She was the Minister of Finance as well as the Deputy Prime Minister of Finland from 2011 to 2014.[2] Since 1 December 2019, she is the European Commissioner for International Partnerships in the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen.[3] She announced her candidacy for the 2024 election for President of Finland in November 2023.[4][5]

Early life and education

Born in Lapua, Southern Ostrobothnia, Urpilainen is the daughter of former politician Kari Urpilainen. She studied at the University of Jyväskylä, where she graduated with a Master's of Education in 2002. During her undergraduate studies, she spent an Erasmus year in Vienna. She worked as a school teacher until her election to Parliament.[citation needed]

Political career

Early beginnings

Urpilainen served as president of the Young European Federalists of Finland in 2001. She joined the Kokkola city in 2001.[citation needed]

Member of Parliament and party leadership

Urpilainen was a member of Parliament for the Vaasa constituency from the 2003 national elections.[6] In parliament, she was a member of the Committee on Education and Culture and a deputy member of the Finance Committee. In addition to her parliamentary work, she was also a member of the Advisory Council of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

Urpilainen was elected as the chair of the Social Democratic Party in June 2008, succeeding former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Eero Heinäluoma. She won on the second ballot, defeating former Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja by 218 votes to 132. During her tenure from 2008 until 2014, support for the Social Democrats fell from 21 to 15.5 percent.[7] However, in the 2011 elections, she returned the party to government after four years.[8]

Minister of Finance

After the 2011 parliamentary election, in which the SDP became the second-largest party, Urpilainen was appointed Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet led by Jyrki Katainen.[9] In this capacity, she also chaired the meetings of the Nordic Council Ministers of Finance in 2012.

The surge of the eurosceptic True Finns party in the 2011 elections sparked a move from the Social Democrats under Urpilainen to toughen their stance on the euro significantly, leading Finland to become the only country to demand collateral from Greece and Spain as part of their international rescues.[10] On 6 July 2012, Urpilainen said the following on her website: "Finland would prefer to consider leaving the Eurozone rather than to pay other countries' debts in the currency area."[11] International news media, such as The Daily Telegraph, misinterpreted the statement as a threat that Finland would leave the eurozone. Urpilainen's assistant Matti Hirvola later clarified her statements and that she had meant that Finland did not wish to be responsible for paying other countries' debt deposits.[12] Only one month later, Urpilainen had to revise the government's growth target for that fiscal year down to zero as exports slowed; the only Eurozone countries that fared worse were Greece and Portugal.[13]

Urpilainen sought another term as party chair in the Social Democratic Party's 2014 party conference in May. She was narrowly defeated by her challenger, Antti Rinne, in a 257 to 243 vote.[14] Urpilainen subsequently stepped down as the Minister of Finance in June.

Ahead of the 2018 presidential elections, Urpilainen was widely mentioned as a potential candidate.[15] By February 2017, she announced she would not seek the presidency.[16]

From 2017 until 2019, Urpilainen served as Minister of Foreign Affairs Timo Soini’s Special Representative on Mediation.

European Commissioner

Urpilainen and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin on 6 February 2020

On 1 December 2019, Urpilainen assumed the office of European Commissioner in the Von der Leyen Commission, with the portfolio of international partnerships.

In 2023, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Urpilainen as one of 22 members of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement's lead group.[17] Also since 2023, she has also been a member of the United Nations High-level Panel on the Teaching Profession, co-chaired by Kersti Kaljulaid and Paula-Mae Weekes.[18]

On 16 August 2023, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party Sanna Marin asked Urpilainen to run in the 2024 Finnish presidential election as the party's candidate.[19] After months of consideration, Urpilainen announced her candidacy in November 2023.[20] In the election, she received 4.34% of the total vote count and failed to advance to the second round of voting.[21]

Other activities

Urpilainen testifies before the European Parliament in 2019 during hearings to confirm her appointment to the European Commission

European Union organizations

International organizations

Corporate boards

  • Veikkaus, Member of the Board of Directors (2017–2018)

Non-profit organizations

Jutta Urpilainen with Moussa Faki Mahamat African Union Commission Chairperson in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on October 03, 2023.

Personal life

Urpilainen is married to Juha Mustonen, an official in the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs .[26] In 2017 and 2019, they adopted two children from Colombia.[27]

In 2002, Urpilainen recorded a Christmas album called “Christmassy thoughts” featuring versions of “Winter Wonderland” and “Jingle Bells.”[28][29]


  1. ^ "Press corner". European Commission - European Commission. 12 December 2023. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Sdp valitsi ministerinsä" (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. 18 June 2011. Archived from the original on 20 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  3. ^ "The Commissioners". European Commission. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  4. ^ "EU Commissioner Urpilainen Joins Race to Be Finland's President". 19 November 2023. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  5. ^ "In English". Jutta Urpilainen Suomen tasavallan presidentiksi 2024 (in Finnish). Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  6. ^ "Edustajamatrikkeli". Eduskunta. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.
  7. ^ Jussi Rosendahl (May 9, 2014), Finland's social democrats oust finance minister Urpilainen Reuters.
  8. ^ Andrew Gardner and Antton Rönnholm (June 12, 2013), Golden girl European Voice.
  9. ^ "Council of State - Ministers of Finance". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  10. ^ Richard Milne (September 24, 2012), True Finns keep Europe on national agenda Financial Times.
  11. ^ "Finland hotar med euroexit". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  12. ^ Kansainvälinen media tulkitsi Urpilaisen uhkaavan erolla euroalueesta (Helsingin Sanomat)
  13. ^ Richard Milne (August 14, 2012), Finland reports quarterly contraction Financial Times.
  14. ^ "Antti Rinne on SDP:n uusi puheenjohtaja".
  15. ^ "Demarin ex-vetäjä: Heinäluoma tähtää presidentiksi" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Demokraatti: Jutta Urpilainen ei lähde Sdp:n presidenttiehdokkaaksi" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  17. ^ Secretary-General Appoints Global Leaders to Spearhead Fight against Malnutrition at Critical Moment for Food, Nutrition Security United Nations, press release of 1 June 2023.
  18. ^ United Nations Establishes Teaching Profession High-Level Panel to Build on Outcomes of Transforming Education Summit United Nations, press release of 19 June 2023.
  19. ^ "Marin pyytää Jutta Urpilaista Sdp:n presidenttiehdokkaaksi, Urpilainen kertoo päätöksensä marraskuuhun mennessä" (in Finnish). Yle. 16 August 2023. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  20. ^ "Urpilainen becomes SDP presidential candidate, stepping aside from European Commission". Yle. 19 November 2023. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  21. ^ "Presidential election 2024, Whole country, Results by candidate". Ministry of Justice, Information and Result Service. 28 January 2024. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  22. ^ James Kanter (October 7, 2012), Europe Still at Odds Over the Workings of Its Bailout Fund The New York Times.
  23. ^ 2011 Annual Report European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
  24. ^ Members European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
  25. ^ Decision-Making Bodies Crisis Management Initiative (CMI).
  26. ^ Andrew Gardner and Antton Rönnholm (June 12, 2013), Golden girl European Voice.
  27. ^ Meet the commissioners Politico Europe, September 9, 2019.
  28. ^ Meet the commissioners Politico Europe, September 9, 2019.
  29. ^ Suomen kansallisdiskografia search keywords: Jouluisia ajatuksia
Party political offices Preceded byEero Heinäluoma Leader of the Social Democratic Party 2008–2014 Succeeded byAntti Rinne Political offices Preceded byJyrki Katainen Deputy Prime Minister of Finland 2011–2014 Succeeded byAntti Rinne Minister of Finance 2011–2014 Finnish European Commissioner 2019– Incumbent
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Jutta Urpilainen
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