Sten Tolgfors

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Sten Tolgfors
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Minister for Defence
In office
5 September 2007 – 29 March 2012
Prime MinisterFredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded byMikael Odenberg
Succeeded byCatharina Elmsäter-Svärd
Minister for Foreign Trade
In office
24 October 2006 – 12 September 2007
Prime MinisterFredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded byMaria Borelius
Succeeded byEwa Björling
Member of the Swedish Parliament
for Örebro County
In office
3 October 1994 – 31 January 2013
Succeeded byLotta Olsson
Personal details
Born (1966-07-17) 17 July 1966 (age 52)
Forshaga, Sweden
Political partyModerate Party
Alma materÖrebro University (B.A.)

Sten Sture Tolgfors (born 17 July 1966 in Forshaga) is the manager and part owner of the business consulting firm Rud Pedersen and a former Swedish politician.

He served as Minister for Foreign Trade 2006-2007 and as Minister for Defence from 2007 until his resignation in 2012.[1] He was a Member of the Swedish Parliament for Örebro County from 1994 to 2013.

Early life and career[edit]

Tolgfors was born in Forshaga as the son of Sture and Anna Brita Kajsa Tolgfors but was raised in Åmål. He lives in Örebro with his wife and children.[2][3] Tolgfors has a B.A. in political science from the University of Örebro,[4] and has a background in the Red Cross. In local politics he served in the Örebro City Council from 1991 to 1994. He was a political adviser in the Ministry of Defense from 1992 to 1993 and in the Ministry of Enterprise from 1993 to 1994.

He is a conscientious objector, meaning that he refused to carry arms when called to Swedish mandatory military service. He served in the Red Cross instead of doing the military service. However, he changed his mind completely when he saw a few photos from Saddam Hussein's massacre of Iraqi Kurds.[5] A survey conducted by Swedish radio news in November 2008 among local party chairman for the four Alliance parties, showed that Tolgfors was the most unpopular minister in the government.

As a Member of Parliament he has been a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and of the Committee on Enterprise from 1994 to 1998. Since then he has been a member of the Committee on Education from 1998 to 2002 and again from 2003 to 2006. He was a member of the Committee on Social Insurance from 2002 to 2003. Since 2003 he has been a member of the executive board of the Moderate Party. From 2002 to 2003 he was the party's refugee policy spokesman and was later the party's education policy representative between 2003 and 2006. For a short period after the 2006 general election and before his appointment as Minister for Trade, Tolgfors was chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Tolgfors has consistently been involved in bullying issues during his parliamentary period and considers among other things, that schools should use research-based program that provides proven efficacy. He has also campaigned in favor of people with disabilities to a school that is tailored to their needs.

Minister for Foreign Trade[edit]

On October 24, 2006 Tolgfors was appointed Minister for Trade, succeeding Maria Borelius. He left office on September 12, 2007 when he succeeded Mikael Odenberg as Minister for Defence.

Minister for Defence[edit]

Tolgfors has successfully[not neutral!] completed the transition from invasion to operational defense and among other things, abolished conscription. He has also (successfully) [not neutral!] brought the Swedish Armed Forces on his policies and also implemented the reforms (he wanted) . He is the first Minister for Defence who has managed to balance the budget of the Swedish Armed Forces.[6] He was also the only minister of defence worldwide that was a conscientious objector[of what? not clear] and thus he was not popular among high officers[citation needed].


On March 6, 2012 Tolgfors received negative attention in the way he dealt with the issue concerning the so-called Project Simoom. Later the same day Tolgfors was registered by Gustav Fridolin to Constitution Committee on plans for a weapons factory in Saudi Arabia. A scandal ensued, and on March 29, 2012, Tolgfors resigned.

Later career[edit]

Tolgfors submitted his resignation from the Swedish Parliament on 25 January 2013.[7] He left his seat on 31 January 2013 and was succeeded by Lotta Olsson.


  1. ^ Reinfeldt announces two new ministers Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, The Local, 24 October 2006 (in English) (DN).
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Curriculum Vitae Försvarsdepartementets webbplats.
  5. ^ Sveriges blivande försvarsministervapenvägrade, Svenska Dagbladet, 5 September 2007 (in Swedish).
  6. ^ They can succeed Tolgfors, Dagens Industri, 29 March 2012 (in Swedish)
  7. ^ Tolgfors resigns from the Riksdag

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Maria Borelius
Minister for Trade
Succeeded by
Ewa Björling
Preceded by
Mikael Odenberg
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd