Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt announced the appointment at a meeting with reporters in Stockholm on Tuesday.
“Today is a wonderful day. As a liberal, I believe in a strong Europe,” said Malmström.
“The crises we currently face can only be resolved through robust cooperation in Europe,” she added.
Reinfeldt said Malmström was a “convinced Europhile” with an impressive academic and political background.
“She is one of the people at our disposal within Swedish politics who knows most about the practicalities of work with Europe. She has also played a decisive role in carrying out the Swedish presidency. It is for all these reasons that we find her her best qualified,” said Reinfeldt.
Cecilia Malmström was born in 1968 and lives in Gothenburg with her husband and their twin children, a boy and a girl.
The Liberal Party politician became Sweden’s first EU affairs minister when Reinfeldt announced his new cabinet following the 2006 general election.
Prior to her role in government, Malmström was a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2006, where she primarily worked with foreign policy, EU enlargement and constitutional issues.
Malmström, who has a PhD in political science, was elected to the governing board of the Liberal Party in 1997, before being promoted to the top leadership echelons of the party in 2001.
Malmström will succeed Social Democrat politician Margot Wallström, who is approaching the end of her second term as EU commissioner.
Initially responsible for environmental issues, Wallström became the union’s Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy in 2004.
She has previously also held a number of ministerial posts in Social Democratic governments subsequent to being elected to the national parliament, the Riksdag, in 1979.
Wallström’s name was put forward by the centre-right government last week as a candidate for a new post in New York overseeing the implementation of UN resolution 1820 on sexual violence against women in war-torn areas.