Margot Wallström

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Margot Wallström
Margot Wahlstrom Sveriges EU-kommissionar.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
Assumed office
3 October 2014
Serving with Åsa Romson
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
Preceded by Jan Björklund
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
3 October 2014
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
Preceded by Carl Bildt
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 60)
Skellefteå, Sweden
Political party Social Democrats

Margot Elisabeth Wallström (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmarːɡɔt ˈvalːˈstrœm]; born 28 September 1954)[1] is a Swedish politician of the Social Democrats and diplomat. She has been the Minister for Foreign Affairs since 3 October 2014.

Wallström previously served as European Commissioner for the Environment from 1999 to 2004 and as European Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy from 2004 to 2009. She was also the first of five vice-presidents of the 27-member Barroso Commission and worked as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict.[2]

Political career[edit]

Born in Skellefteå, Wallström is a high school graduate without academic degrees,[3] and has had a long career in politics in the Swedish parliament, the Swedish government, and 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, the 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 would become the chair of the University Board at Lund University in Sweden.[15]

On 3 October 2014, when the Social Democratic leader Stefan Löfven became Prime Minister, Wallström was appointed to the Swedish government as Minister of Foreign Affairs.[16]

On 30 October 2014, Wallström was the first EU foreign minister to recognise the State of Palestine, in view to "facilitate a peace agreement by making the parties less unequal",[17] resulting in that Israel the very same day recalled its ambassador for consultations.[18]

Women's Rights[edit]

Wallström "promised a 'feminist' foreign policy when her Social Democrats formed the coalition government" in October 2014.[19] She has criticized the lack of women's rights in Saudi Arabia.[20] The Spectator, the oldest continuously published magazine in the English language, wrote:

The Swedish foreign minister denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from travelling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by old men, she was telling no more than the truth.

On March 10, 2015 Sweden announced it would revoke a weapons export agreement with Saudi Arabia that had been in place since 2005.[21] Saudi Arabia retaliated by stopping visa issues for Swedish businesspeople, boycotting Wallström's speech from the Arab League, temporarily withdrawing their ambassador from Sweden,[22][23] and refusing to accept four Amazonian monkeys from a Swedish zoo.[24]

Curriculum vitae[edit]

As of 2007[25]

Political career:


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

Education and other:

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Address of Margot Wallström to the European Parliament conference on the Northern dimension
  2. ^ "Stop Rape Now - Features". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Commissioners" (PDF). Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Will Wallström's 'plan D' revive the European dream?
  5. ^ The European Parliament should work in Brussels Campaign for Parliament Reform 2006-09-18, Folkpartiet. Accessed 2007-07-18
  6. ^ "A commission report-card An end-of-term assessment of the Brussels team of commissioners". The Economist. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Nyheter - DN.SE". DN.SE. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  8. ^ No to leadership, DN (Swedish)
  9. ^ Wallström: I don't want the job (The Local) (English)
  10. ^ Wallström not breaking rules (English)
  11. ^ Klartecken för Wallströms s-uppdrag (Swedish)
  12. ^ Sweden loves Reinfeldt and Wallström (The Local) (English)
  13. ^ "Secretary-General Pledges United Nations Full Support 'to Build Peace and Prosperity for All Africans’, in Remarks to African Union Summit". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Delegation of the European Union to the United States (31 January 2010). "Statement by Margot Wallstrom, Vice-President of the European Commission". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Wallström leder Lunds universitet". DN.SE. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "24 ministrar i den nya regeringen". Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Margot Wallström. "Sweden today decides to recognise the State of Palestine". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Israel recalls ambassador to Stockholm after Swedens decision to recognize Palestinian state, Jerusalem Post 30 October 2014
  19. ^ Margot Wallström: Can Sweden’s feminist foreign minister be both radical and influential - and make the country a 'moral great power'?
  20. ^ Saudi Arabia Recalls Ambassador From Sweden as Rift Widens
  21. ^ Sweden and the Middle East: Clean hands, fewer friends
  22. ^ David Crouch. "Swedish frustration with Saudis over speech may jeopardise arms agreement". the Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  23. ^ Saudi Arabia decides to restore ambassador to Sweden: Al Arabiya TV
  24. ^ "Saudis refuse Swedish zoo's monkeys in diplomatic spat". BBC News. 8 April 2015. 
  25. ^ Wallström's CV
  26. ^ Al Gore and the hot issues Wallström's blog
  27. ^ Swedish: “Folkens Europa eller Varför är det så svårt att älska EU?” – ISBN 91-89660-54-4
Political offices
Preceded by
Ulf Lönnqvist
Minister of Civil Affairs
Post discountinued
Preceded by
Birgit Friggebo
Minister for Culture
Succeeded by
Marita Ulvskog
Preceded by
Ingela Thalén
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
Preceded by
Carl Bildt
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Åsa Romson
as The Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and
The Minister for Environment
Swedish order of precedence Succeeded by
Kristina Persson
as The Minister for Strategy, Future Issues and Nordic cooperation