Gunnar Hökmark is the chairman of the Swedish think tank Stockholm Free World Forum. He also writes in a number of Swedish newspapers on a regular basis and is a member of the European Leadership Network (ELN). He is active in the Swedish insurance market as chairman of the Swedish Brookers Association and the companies InsureSec and InsureEd as well as vice chair of Dina Försäkringar AB. Since August 2019 he is International Senior Adviser to Kreab Worldwide.
After having finished a B.A. in Business Administration and Economics in 1975 he joined Swedish Unilever 1976 as trainee and became product manager 1977. After his military service, parallel with his university studies, he became an officer in the Armoured Forces of the Swedish Army and is today a captain in the reserve.
Gunnar Hökmark was a Member of the European Parliament between 2004 and 2019. He was the leader of the Swedish delegation to the EPP and active in the Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee of Industry, Energy and Research. Among other things, he was elected Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament in January 2007, a position he held until 2014.
From 1991 until 2000 he was Secretary General of the Moderate Party.
In 1979 he was elected Chairman of the Moderate Youth, a position he held till 1984. From 1981 to 1983 he was Chairman of the Democratic Youth Community of Europe, DEMYC.
In 1976, after his university studies, Gunnar Hökmark was employed by Unilever as a trainee, and in 1977 he became product manager. He stayed with Unilever until 1980, when he took over the chairmanship of the Moderate Youth.
In 1984 he joined the consultancy company KREAB, parallel to his parliamentary duties, where he prepared the introduction of a computer-based information network, connecting business organizations, think tanks and commercial companies with electronic mail and media analysis. This network, Svenska informationsnätverket, was launched 1985 by the publishing house Timbro under his leadership.
In 1986 he became managing director of Timbro Idea and developed the think tank division of Timbro, which is today the leading think tank in Sweden. During the time at Timbro he headed the think tank and research activities and took also the initiative to and launched the City University in 1988.
1989 he started the so-called Monday movement, a popular movement supporting the independence of the Baltic States that spread all over Sweden, which today is manifested by a monument at the main meeting place in Stockholm, Norrmalmstorg. For his support he was awarded with Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian orders. In 2013, he was also awarded with the Georgian Order of Excellence, for his support for freedom and democracy in the country.
In 1991 he left Timbro to become Secretary General of the Moderate Party but remained as a director of the board until 1994.
He was the Secretary General of the Moderate Party between 1991 and 2000, during which time he led a number of election campaigns as well as the referendum campaign about Sweden’s membership in the European Union. He was responsible for the process of the Moderate Party joining the European People’s Party as full member.
During the years as Secretary General, he was member of the steering committee of the European Democrat Union before the merger with EPP. Subsequently he was Member of the Political Bureau, representing the Moderate Party, and was also member of the committee preparing the EPP election manifesto for the European elections in 2004.
Besides regular coordination of politics, organization and campaign he expanded the international activities and in 1993 he took the initiative to establish the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation with international activities to support the development of democracy and rule of law in former dictatorships, which he chaired until 2000.
He also introduced a number of new fund-raising schemes. As Secretary General he was a leading spokesman for centre-right policy in the Swedish public debate.
In 2000 he left his office as Secretary General and took the initiative to establish the think-tank Institute of Reform, where he was managing director, with a clear agenda to prepare policies for a shift of government after the general elections 2002, policies that could not be launched as the Social Democrats stayed in power.
2002 he became President of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs in the Swedish Parliament, a position he held till being elected Member of the European Parliament in 2004.
From 2003-2012 Gunnar Hökmark was Chairman of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association and between 2006-2011 he was Chairman of European Friends of Israel. From 2009-2013 Mr Hökmark was the Chairman of the Delegation to the EU-Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee.
In European Parliament Gunnar Hökmark was responsible for a number of important reports that later became laws in the European union.
The Spectrum programme 2012 became fundamental for the phasing out of roaming-fees, as he doubled the proposed target for allocated spectrum for mobile broadband and succeeded to get this through in negotiations with the member states. He also saw to a number of market-oriented reforms of the Telecom market were adopted, meaning more competition, better capacities and increased speeds.
He was responsible for a long series of Banking legislation; the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive(BRRD) that became a cornerstone for the Single Rule Book and for the Banking Union, for the proposal of separation of Banks (BSR) where he turned the majority in EP to say no to the breaking up of stable banks with more than one leg, Commission later withdraw the proposal in line with Hökmarks recommendation, BRRDII, The Hierarchy and SRM, which together came to form the base for making the European Stability Mechanism to the backstop of the Banking Union.
In a number of legislations, he succeeded to reform energy markets in a more competitive way, with requirements on separation between producers and distributors as well as the need for market prices and competition. On behalf of EPP, the biggest group in EP, he was responsible for reforming the electricity market, the market regulation and governance of the Energy Union.
Hökmark was active in economic policies, recovery-programme, competition legislation, Parliaments review on European semester and monetary policy, enlargement, Eastern Partnership and Russia policies as well as research, digitalisation and defence policy. He did also succeed in getting Sweden two more seats in the European parliament 2009, defending them 2014 when Croatia had entered and getting one more 2019 after the brexit referendum.