Urban Ahlin

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Urban Ahlin
Urban Ahlin.jpg
Speaker of the Riksdag
Assumed office
29 September 2014
Monarch Carl XVI Gustaf
Preceded by Per Westerberg
Member of the Swedish Riksdag
for Västra Götaland County East
Assumed office
3 October 1994
Personal details
Born (1964-11-13) 13 November 1964 (age 52)
Mariestad, Skaraborg County, Sweden
Political party Social Democrats
Alma mater Karlstad University
Profession Teacher

Urban Christian Ahlin (born 13 November 1964) is a Swedish Social Democratic Party politician and the Speaker of the Riksdag since 2014. He has been a member of the Swedish parliament since 1994, representing the Västra Götaland County East constituency. He was formerly Foreign Policy spokesman for the Social Democrats.

Education and career[edit]

Ahlin was born in Mariestad, Skaraborg County, Sweden. From 1981 to 1982, and again from 1984 to 1985, he was chairman of the local branch of the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League in Mariestad.[1] Between 1985 and 1990 he was chairman of the Social Democratic Youth League in Skaraborg County.[1] Between 1991 and 1998 he was chairman of the Social Democratic Party in Mariestad, Skaraborg County, and between 1999 and 2002 he was the deputy secretary general of the Social Democratic Party.[1] Since 2005 he is chairman of the Social Democratic Party in Skaraborg County.[1]

Between 1985 and 1990 Ahlin studied at the specialist teacher-training course at Karlstad University.[1] He then worked as a teacher at an upper level elementary school in Mariestad, teaching mathematics and general science, until being elected to the Swedish parliament in 1994.

Between 2002 and 2006 Ahlin was chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Swedish parliament.[2] From 2006 to 2014, after the Social Democrats lost power in the 2006 election, he was deputy chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. During this time, Urban Ahlin was the Foreign Policy spokesperson for the Social Democrats in the Swedish Parliament.[2] In Parliament he held a number of different positions. He was a member of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs, a member of the War Delegation, and a deputy member of Committee on European Union Affairs.[2] He was also a member of the party board of the Social Democratic Party.

He has been the chair of the Socialist group in the OSCE PA, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. He is at the moment the deputy chair of the Swedish delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Following the 2014 election, on 29 September 2014 Ahlin was elected Speaker of the Riksdag for the period 2014-2018.[3] He succeeded Per Westerberg in that post.

Successful mediator[edit]

Urban Ahlin has been engaged in many mediations and negotiations. In 2007 he managed after extensive meetings and talks to get two Swedish construction workers out from the Iranian prison, Evin, in Tehran.[4] He was the backchannel between Belarus and United States in negotiating the release of the imprisoned presidential candidate in Belarus, Alexander Kozulin. Kozulin was eventually released.[5] Urban Ahlin was also the person behind the scene in the work to release the hostage at the headquarters of the Socialdemocratic Party in Stockholm. The staff had been taken hostage by a group of young members of PKK as a protest after the arrest of their leader Öcalan. Urban Ahlin was the channel talking directly to the youngsters making them to give up after Ahlin gave a promise to attend the court hearings in Turkey. Which he later did together with the former Swedish minister Carl Lidbom.[6]

Other organisations[edit]

Urban Ahlin is and has been a member of many different non-profit organisations. He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations ECFR. He is also a member of the Swedish group of Trilateral Commission. He has been a director of the influential American "think and do tank" EastWest Institute. Urban Ahlin regularly participates in programs and seminars organised by The Aspen Institute, German Marshall Fund GMF and Council on Foreign Relationsin Washington DC. Urban Ahlin is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferations Studies, CSN at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA.

State orders[edit]

Urban Ahlin received the state Order for Merits to Lithuania from President Adamkus in 2005 for his work to extend the international relationship.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Member of the Swedish Riksdag for the
Västra Götaland County East

Preceded by
Viola Furubjelke
as Chairperson
Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Sten Tegelfors
Preceded by
Gunilla Carlsson
as Deputy Chairperson
Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Karin Enström
Preceded by
Per Westerberg
Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Carl XVI Gustaf
as King of Sweden
or Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnusson
Swedish order of precedence Succeeded by
Stefan Löfven
as Prime Minister of Sweden