01-Dr Joe Borg

1952 –


European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs

In office
22 November 2004 – 9 February 2010

President: José Manuel Barroso

Preceded by  Franz Fischler
Sandra Kalniete (Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries)

Succeeded by Maria Damanaki (Maritime Affairs and Fisheries)

European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

In office
1 May 2004 – 11 November 2004
Serving with Poul Nielson

President: Romano Prodi
Preceded by Poul Nielson
Succeeded by Louis Michel

Personal details

Born:  19 March 1952
Political party: Nationalist Party
Alma mater: Aberystwyth University

Spouse: Isabelle
Children: Joseph, Clara

 Early Professional Career

Since 1979, Borg held various academic posts at the University of Malta, mainly focusing on Company Law, Industrial Law and European Law. He also held various posts as legal adviser to companies and corporate bodies in Malta and other countries.

Political career

Borg started his political career as advisor to the Foreign Minister on European Union matters from 1989 until 1995. From 1992 until 1995 he also served as member of the Board of Directors of the Maltese Central Bank. He was first elected to Parliament in 1996 under the Nationalist Party. Borg served as Parliamentary Secretary within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1998–1999 and was subsequently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1999. He held this post until he was nominated Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs in 2004, upon Malta’s accession to the EU.

Fisheries Commissioner

As European Commissioner, he has been responsible for spearheading the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy and for innovative measures in fisheries, particularly through the involvement of stakeholders and the fight against illegal fishing activities, aimed at achieving sustainability in the sector. However, European fisheries policy has been unsuccessful so far in achieving sustainability, with 91% of fisheries on course to be classified as “overfished” by 2015, by which time the EU has committed to international targets for achieving sustainability. Borg has  courted controversy amongst environmental groups by fiercely opposing the ban on the sale of Bluefin tuna, an increasingly rare fish that sells for thousands of pounds in Japan. Borg’s position on Bluefin tuna has often been linked to the fact that the industry earns €100 million a year for Malta. In fact, Borg commented to the Times of Malta that ““it is thanks to a lot of hard work at my level and at my staff’s level that many of the proposals that are agreed by the commission took into account Maltese sensitivities”.

Honorary Doctorates

Borg was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Essex in July 2003.


1995: main author and drafter of the Malta Companies Act.

Present Career 

His mandate as European Commissioner came to an end in February 2010.

Dr Borg joined Fipra as a Special Adviser in August 2010.  He has resumed lecturing at the University of Malta since October 2010, and has been appointed Chairperson of the Board of Administrators of the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies since December, 2010. 

Personal Details

He was born on 19 March 1952.  Dr Joe Borg graduated Doctor of Laws in Malta in 1975 and Master of Laws in Wales in 1988.  

 Joe Borg is married to Isabelle and they have two children, Joseph and Clara



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