|27th Prime Minister of Norway|
17 October 2005 – 16 October 2013
|Preceded by||Kjell Magne Bondevik|
|Succeeded by||Erna Solberg|
3 March 2000 – 19 October 2001
|Preceded by||Kjell Magne Bondevik|
|Succeeded by||Kjell Magne Bondevik|
|Leader of the Labour Party|
6 April 2002
|Preceded by||Thorbjørn Jagland|
|Minister of Finance|
25 October 1996 – 17 October 1997
|Prime Minister||Thorbjørn Jagland|
|Preceded by||Sigbjørn Johnsen|
|Succeeded by||Gudmund Restad|
|Leader of Workers' Youth League|
|Preceded by||Egil Knudsen|
|Succeeded by||Turid Birkeland|
16 March 1959 |
|Political party||Labour Party|
|Alma mater||University of Oslo|
Jens Stoltenberg (help·info) (born 16 March 1959) is a Norwegian politician who was Prime Minister of Norway from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2013. He has been leader of the Norwegian Labour Party since 2002.
First elected to Parliament in 1993 for the Oslo constituency, Stoltenberg served as State Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment from 1990 to 1991 and as Minister of Industry from 1993 to 1996 in the Third Brundtland Cabinet, respectively. Following the resignation of Brundtland in 1996, Thorbjørn Jagland was elected leader of the Labour Party and became Prime Minister, while Stoltenberg was appointed Minister of Finance, an office he held until 17 October 1997 when Jagland and the entire government resigned. While in parliamentary opposition, Stoltenberg served in the standing committees on energy affairs. Following a motion of confidence against the First Bondevik Cabinet, Stoltenberg was appointed Prime Minister on 3 March 2000, despite being deputy leader of the party, and not the party leader.
After poor results in the 2001 parliamentary election, and the subsequent fall of his government on 19 October of that same year, Stoltenberg successfully challenged Thorbjørn Jagland for the party leadership in 2002, and led the party to victory in the 2005 election by forming a Red-Green coalition government with the Centre Party (Sp) and the Socialist Left Party (SV), taking office on 17 October 2005. He was re-elected in 2009 for a second term as Prime Minister, but lost the election for a third term in 2013. He submitted his resignation on 14 October 2013 and left office two days later.
Jens Stoltenberg was born 16 March 1959 in Oslo into the prominent Stoltenberg family. His father, Thorvald Stoltenberg (1931–) was a prominent Labour party politician who served as an ambassador, as defense minister and as foreign minister. His mother, Karin Stoltenberg (née Heiberg) (1931–2012) was a geneticist who served as state secretary in multiple governments during the 1980s. Marianne Heiberg, married to former Foreign Minister Johan Jørgen Holst, was his aunt on his mother's side. Stoltenberg lived in Serbia from 1960 to 1963 while his father was Ambassador to Yugoslavia.
He attended primary school at the Rudolf Steiner School located in the Hovseter district of Oslo, and subsequently attended upper secondary school at the prestigious Oslo Cathedral School. After finishing high school he served his mandatory military service with Army's Infantry Training Centre at Evjemoen in Aust-Agder. After leaving the army he enrolled at the University of Oslo, graduating in 1987 with a degree in Social economics. The topic of his theses was Macroeconomic planning under uncertainty.
From 1979 to 1981 Stoltenberg was a journalist for Arbeiderbladet; between 1985 and 1989, he was the leader of the Workers' Youth League and between 1990 and 1992, leader of the Oslo chapter of the Labour Party. Until 1990 he had regular contacts with a Soviet diplomat who later was revealed to be a KGB agent. According to Stoltenberg he immediately broke off this relationship when he came to the knowledge that his contact was a KGB agent. Several sources have confirmed that Stoltenberg's code name within the KGB was "Steklov", a name Jens Stoltenberg used as his online alias when playing computer games such as Age of Empires.
Minister of Finance
Before becoming Minister of Finance, Stoltenberg was Minister for trade and energy in Gro Harlem Brundtland's cabinet between 1993–1996. In 1996 when Brundtland resigned, Thorbjørn Jagland stepped in for her and became the new Norwegian Prime Minister. In Jagland's government, Stoltenberg became Minister of Finance. On 29 September 1997, Jagland resigned because of an ultimatum he had issued stating that the cabinet would resign should the party receive less than 36.9% of the popular vote. Labour only received 35.0%; true to his promise, Jagland resigned, and power was transferred to the first cabinet of Kjell Magne Bondevik. After Jagland's resignation, Stoltenberg served as the of standing committee on oil and energy affairs in the Storting.
In 2000 the first cabinet of Bondevik resigned following a motion of confidence. Stoltenberg's first cabinet governed Norway from 17 March 2000 to 19 October 2001. Stoltenberg was the deputy leader of the labor party while Jagland was the party leader. Instead Jagland was given the post as Foreign Minister. Again, Jagland made national headlines similar to the publicity about "The Norwegian House" and "36.9%", this time for the phrase "Bongo from Congo", originally coined as an internal joke in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the expense of the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo. Stoltenberg's first tenure as Prime Minister (2000–2001) was controversial within his own party, being responsible for reforms and modernisation of the welfare state that included part-privatising several key state-owned services and corporations. In the parliamentary election of 10 September 2001, the party suffered one of its worst results ever, winning only 24% of the vote.
The 2001 election met with instability for the Labour Party, because of the voters' unhappiness with the lack of nursery schools, retirement homes and a declining standard of public education in Norway. The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet stated: "We are heading for a political earthquake when the votes are counted tonight, if we believe the opinion polls." In an interview with The Associated Press Jagland stated "It is unstable and unpredictable." After the election in 2001, Stoltenberg and his cabinet were forced to resign, with the Labour Party suffering from its worst election campaign results since 1924. With the 98% votes taken, the Labour Party only garned 24%, falling from 35%. Jagland, the Labor Party leader, commented on the results saying, "We will have to make a decision about whether to continue in government after we know the full results". After the election Stoltenberg said, "What is clear is that this was a very bad election."
The disastrous results of 2001 were quickly followed by a bitter leadership battle between Jagland and Stoltenberg. In 2002, Jagland was replaced as party leader by Stoltenberg. This did not come as a surprise for many in the Labour Party. However, before any voting took place Jagland relinquished the post and gave it to Stoltenberg. because Jagland had recently been hospitalized due to general health problems, and had moreover felt "responsibility to end this destructive personal strife". The power struggle ended up with Stoltenberg becoming the new labour party leader in Norway.
Stoltenberg's second cabinet has governed Norway since 17 October 2005. The 2005 parliamentary election saw a vast improvement for Labour, and the party gained a majority in parliament together with the other "Red-Green" parties, the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party. This paved the way for a historic first in Norway, with Labour joining in a coalition government, the Red-Green Coalition, after a coalition deal with Stoltenberg was struck. Since the government's formation, key political issues such as Norwegian military participation in the current war in Afghanistan, petroleum activities in the Barents Sea, LGBT rights, immigration and the quality of standard education have been greatly debated by the public. Following Stoltenberg's re-election in 2009, the government has put further restrictions on immigration matters due to ongoing threats of terrorism, centralised and re-organised health care and public hospitals, dealt with the ongoing global recession and championed for environmentalist policies through private and corporate taxation.
A marine border dispute with Russia in the Barents Sea since 1978 was settled when Stoltenberg and President of Russia Dimitry Medvedev signed an agreement on 27 April 2010 in Oslo. The agreement is a compromise, which divides a disputed area of around 175,000 km2 (68,000 sq mi) into two approximately equally sized parts. However, the agreement still needs ratification by the State Duma and the Parliament of Norway in order to be implemented.
As a result of alleged government inefficiency, blunders, scandals and misquotations made by members of the cabinet, among them Centre Party leader and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Liv Signe Navarsete, Stoltenberg's second term has attracted controversy and criticism from both conservatives and liberals. According to a recent polling, the three governing parties (combined) gained a 35.8 percent approval rating from the electorate.
In August 2013, Stoltenberg revealed on his Facebook page that he had spent an afternoon working incognito as a taxi driver in Oslo. Stoltenberg said he had wanted to "hear from real Norwegian voters" and that "taxis were one of the few places where people shared their true views." He added that, before driving the taxi, he had not driven in eight years.
22 July 2011 terror attacks
On 22 July 2011, a bomb went off in Oslo outside the government building which houses the prime minister's office, killing at least eight people while wounding others. About an hour later, a shooting spree, which killed 69 people, was reported at Utøya, an island forty-five minutes away where the ruling Labour Party was holding its annual youth camp. The PM was due for a visit at the youth camp the next day, and was in his residence preparing his speech at the time of the Oslo explosion .
On Sunday 24 July, Stoltenberg spoke at the church service in the Oslo Cathedral. He named two of the victims at Utøya, Monica Bøsei who was the camp's leader, and Tore Eikeland who was the leader of the youth chapter in Hordaland. He again vowed to work for more democracy, openness, and humanity, but without naivety. He also said that "No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together." The AUF girl mentioned is Stine Renate Håheim interviewed by CNN's Richard Quest on 23 July 2011. Håheim again quoted her friend Helle Gannestad, who had twittered this from home, watching events unfold on TV.
On 24 August 2012, 33-year old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik was found guilty by the Oslo District Court of having perpetrated by himself both terrorist attacks, the bombing of the prime minister's office and the shooting spree on Utøya island, and was convicted to containment, a special form of prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely—with a time frame of 21 years and a minimum time of 10 years, which, in all, is the maximum penalty in Norway.
On 3 September 2012, Norwegian daily Klassekampen wrote that the Gjørv Report on the terrorist attack "is the hardest verdict against a Norwegian cabinet since the Fact-Finding Commission of 1945 ensured that Johan Nygaardsvold's political career was abruptly halted."
2013 election and defeat
Stoltenberg was the Prime Minister candidate for the Red-Green Coalition in the 2013 elections, seeking re-election for a third term. If elected, he would be the first Prime Minister in Norway to serve three consecutive terms. On September 9, 2013, the coalition failed to win majority, with 72 of the required 85 mandates, despite the Labour Party remaining the largest party in Norway with 30.8%. In his speech the same night, he announced that his cabinet would resign in October 2013.
Stoltenberg is married to the diplomat Ingrid Schulerud and has two children; a son, Axel Stoltenberg (1989–) who currently studies Chinese language at the Shanghai Jiaotong University. and daughter Anne Catharina Stoltenberg (1992-) who currently studies singing in Copenhagen. They currently reside in the official Prime Minister's residence located at 18 Inkognito Street in Oslo.
He likes to spend his summer vacations at his family's estate on the idyllic Hvaler Islands in the Oslofjord. An avid outdoorsman, during the winter-season he is an active cross-country skier. In December 2011, in order to mark 100 years since Roald Amundsen reached the south pole on skis, Stoltenberg journeyed to Antarctica and replicated Amundsens feat.
Although being portrayed as a staunch atheist for most of his adult life, and declining membership in the formerly official Church of Norway, Stoltenberg himself has stated that he does not consider himself as an atheist. He explained: "Although I am not a member of any denomination, I do believe that there is something greater than man. Some call it God, others call it something else. For me, it's about understanding that we humans are small in relation to nature, in relation to the powers that are bigger and stronger than man can ever comprehend. I find that in a church."
He has two sisters: Camilla, a medical researcher and administrator who is one year older than him; and Nini, four years younger. Nini is a recovering heroin addict, and the Norwegian media have covered the family's efforts to cope with this challenge. Jens Stoltenberg has admitted to using cannabis in his youth. Due to this, he asked the department of Justice to evaluate his impartiality in the upcoming government treatment of the Stoltenberg Commission's (headed by his father, Thorvald Stoltenberg) report on drugs.
Radical teen years
Stoltenberg's first steps into politics came when he was in his early teens and was influenced by his sister Camilla, who at the time was a member of the then Marxist-Leninist group Red Youth. Opposition to the Vietnam War was his triggering motivation. Following raids of heavy bombing against the North Vietnamese port city Hai Phong at the end of the Vietnam War, he participated in protest rallies targeting the United States Embassy in Oslo. He threw stones at the building and broke several windows. He escaped arrest by the police, though several of his friends were caught.
- Stoltenberg's filled in his resignation to King Harald V 14 October 2013
- Kolstad, Tom (17 October 2011). "Stoltenberg-familien i åpenhjertig interview". Aftenposten.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Stoltenberg, Jens. "Macroeconomic planning under uncertainty" (in Norwegian). ssb.no. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Jens Stoltenberg Biography". notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Kodenavn "Steklov"". VG. 24 October 2000. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- østli, kjetil s. (30 December 2005). "Jøss, herr Statsminister". Aftenposten. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- Sørensen, Bjørn (7 July 2011). "Statsminister "Steklov"". ABC Nyheter. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- Sørebø, Herbjørn (17 February 2000). "Ikkje noko mediemord". Dag og Tid (in Norwegian). Retrieved 31 March 2008.
- Almendingen, Berit (29 September 1997). "Meddelelse fra statsminister Thorbjørn Jagland om Regjeringens avskjedssøknad". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 1 February 2009.
- Mary Williams Walsh (16 October 1997). "Norway's Problem: Too Much Cash – Oil Is Flowing And Surplus Is Fat". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Norway's new cabinet named". BBC. 17 March 2000. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
- "Jagland omtalte president som Bongo fra Kongo". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 6 February 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
- "Norway set for close polls result". CNN. 10 September 2001. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Norway poll sparks power struggle". BBC. 11 September 2001. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
- Karlsen, Kirsten (25 March 2001). "Deler makta til 2004". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 31 March 2008.
- Narum, Håvard (6 April 2002). "Ville kjempet mot Jagland". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Retrieved 31 March 2008.
- "Ingen tegn til sykdom". NRK (in Norwegian). 15 January 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
- "Norway's government is re-elected". British Broadcasting Corporation (in Norwegian). 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- Dyomkin, Denis; Fouche, Gwladys (27 April 2010). "UPDATE 3-Russia and Norway strike Arctic sea border deal". Reuters. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- Gibbs, Walter (27 April 2010). "Russia and Norway Reach Accord on Barents Sea". New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Gjennombrudd i Barentshavet". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). 28 April 2010. pp. 6–13.
- "Norway PM Jens Stoltenberg works as secret taxi driver", BBC News, 11 August 2013
- NTB (25 July 2011). "Stoltenberg skrev tale til Utøya da bomben smalt" (in Norwegian). e24. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Kleivan, Nikolai (24 July 2011). "Stoltenberg på minnestund: – Vi har maktet å stå oppreist i en kritisk tid" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Norway attacks: Sunday 24 July rolling coverage: 1.13pm". The Guardian. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. "No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together."
- "Address by Prime Minister in Oslo Cathedral". Norwegian government. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. "No one has said it better than the Labour Youth League girl who was interviewed by CNN: If one man can create that much hate, you can only imagine how much love we as a togetherness can create."
- "Norway Island survivor: CNN's Richard Quest talks to Stine Renate Haheim". CNN. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011. "If one man can create that much hate, you can only imagine how much love we as a togetherness can create."
- "Anders Behring Breivik: Norway court finds him sane", BBC News, 24 August 2012
- Overivrig "22. juli-kommisjonens rapport er den mest knusende dom en norsk regjering har fått siden Undersøkelseskommisjonen i 1945 sørget for at Johan Nygaardsvolds politiske karriere fikk en brå slutt."
- Accurate as of 23:20 local time on election night
- "Stoltenberg til Kina". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). 3 September 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Axel Stoltenberg, styremedlem". Ansa.no. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Helljesen, Vilde (14 March 2009). ""Hopalong Cassidy" fyller 50 år" ["Hopalong Cassidy" turns 50 years] (in Norwegian). Oslo, Norway: NRK. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
- Tinlund, Tore. "Her er Stoltenbergs ferieparadis". Fredrikstads blad (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Hellen, Bjørnar (13 February 2011). "Stoltenberg tester VM-løypene". Nrk.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Kristiansen, Bjørn (13 December 2011). "Stoltenberg på Sørpolen". Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Melå, Veronica (14 July 2000). "Statsministeren må være kristen". vg.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Fossen, Erik (31 December 2011). "- Man må tro at det nytter". Bt.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "- Hvem i helvete i regjeringen er det som har bestemt det?". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 9 April 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Kaasa, Kjell M. (2 November 2002). "– Ja, jeg har prøvd hasj!". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- "Vurderer statsministerens habilitet i narkotikapolitikken". VG (in Norwegian). NTB. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- Salvesen, Geir (1994). Thorvalds verden [Thorvald's world]. Oslo, Norway: Schibsted. pp. 398–399. ISBN 82-516-1545-3.
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|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Workers' Youth League
|Leader of the Labour Party
|Minister of Trade and Energy
|Minister of Finance
Kjell Magne Bondevik
|Prime Minister of Norway
Kjell Magne Bondevik
|Prime Minister of Norway