Margot Wallström

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Margot Wallström
Margot Wahlstrom Sveriges EU-kommissionar.jpg
European Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy
In office
22 November 2004 – 9 February 2010
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Maroš Šefčovič (Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration)
First Vice President of the European Commission
In office
22 November 2004 – 9 February 2010
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Loyola de Palacio
Succeeded by Catherine Ashton
European Commissioner for the Environment
In office
13 September 1999 – 11 November 2004
President Romano Prodi
Preceded by Ritt Bjerregaard
Succeeded by Stavros Dimas
Personal details
Born (1954-09-28) 28 September 1954 (age 59)
Skellefteå, Sweden
Political party Social Democratic Party

Margot Elisabeth Wallström (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾːɡɔt ˈvalːstɾœm]) (born 28 September 1954 in Skellefteå)[1] is a Swedish social democratic politician and diplomat, who formerly held the posts of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict[2] and European Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy. She was also the first of five vice-presidents of the 27-member Barroso Commission.

Political career[edit]

Wallström, a high school graduate, lacking academic degrees,[3] has had a long career in politics, in the Swedish parliament, the Swedish government and in the European Commission. She was Environment Commissioner from 1999–2004 and in the Swedish government she was Minister for Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth in 1988–1991, Minister for Culture in 1994–1996 and Minister for Social Affairs in 1996–1998. Wallström has also worked as the CEO of a regional TV network in Sweden and before taking up her appointment as Commissioner she was the executive vice-president of Worldview Global Media in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Wallström is married and has two children.

In 2004, Wallström became the first member of the European Commission to operate a blog. The comments section of her site quickly became a hotspot for arguments concerning the policies of the European Union. After the rejection of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe by French and Dutch voters, Wallström pushed forward her "plan D" (for democracy, dialogue and debate) to reconnect Citizens with the Union.[4] Her work on such platforms, including the backing of the petition, has given her a good reputation in some quarters, even being dubbed "the Citizens Commissioner"[5] – but has earned her names like "the Propaganda Commissioner" as well from political opponents. The Economist listed her among the least effective commissioners in 2009.[6]

Recent events[edit]

Following the 2006 election, in which the Social Democratic Party lost power, former Prime Minister Göran Persson announced his withdrawal from politics in March 2007. Wallström was regarded as the favourite candidate to succeed Persson as Social Democratic party leader,[7] but made clear that she did not wish to be considered for the position.[8][9] The post instead went to Mona Sahlin.

Immediately after the election of Mona Sahlin as party leader, Wallström accepted a membership in a group working to develop political strategies for the upcoming election to the European Parliament. The membership in this group was considered by Swedish liberal Carl B Hamilton (and later also Fredrik Reinfeldt) to constitute a breach of the oath every member of the European Commission gives, which states that any member of the commission should work for the community's best interest with no influence from politicians. On 19 March, the vice chief spokesman of the European Commission, Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen, stated that her new assignment was not in conflict with her commissioner position. The chief spokesman, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, agreed.[10][11]

In December 2006, Wallström was voted the most popular woman in Sweden, beating royals and athletes in a survey carried out by ICA-kuriren and Sifo. The previous year, 2005, she was second place. Wallström was modest in response stating that "it might be because I'm so far away".[12]

On 16 November 2007, Margot Wallström, became Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders Ministerial Initiative. This position was previously held by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

On 31 January 2010 Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, announced at the African Union summit in Ethiopia his intention to nominate Wallström as his first ever Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.[13] As a reaction, Wallström said that she felt "honoured" and "humble" to have been chosen for the job,[14] which she started in April 2010.

On 18 September 2010, Wallström confirmed that when her assignment with the UN ends, in February 2012, she will become the chair of the University Board at Lund University in Sweden.[15]

Curriculum vitae[edit]

As of 2007[16]

Political career:


  • 1998–1999 Executive Vice-president, Worldview Global Media, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 1993–1994 CEO, TV Värmland (Regional Television Network)
  • 1986–1987 Senior Accountant, Alfa Savings bank, Karlstad
  • 1977–1979 Accountant, Alfa Savings Bank, Karlstad

Education and other:

External links[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Ulf Lönnqvist
Swedish Minister of Civil Affairs (Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth)
Post discountinued
Preceded by
Birgit Friggebo
Swedish Minister for Culture
Succeeded by
Marita Ulvskog
Preceded by
Ingela Thalén
Swedish Minister for Social Affairs
Succeeded by
Anders Sundström
Preceded by
Anita Gradin
Swedish European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Cecilia Malmström
Preceded by
Ritt Bjerregaard
European Commissioner for the Environment
Succeeded by
Stavros Dimas
Preceded by
Loyola de Palacio
First Vice President of the European Commission
Succeeded by
Catherine Ashton
New office European Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy
Succeeded by
Maroš Šefčovič
as European Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration