Member of the Riksdag
|Assumed office |
23 September 2018
|Constituency||Västra Götaland County East|
Ebba Elisabeth Busch-Christensen
11 February 1987
|Political party||Christian Democrats|
(m. 2013; div. 2020)
|Alma mater||Uppsala University|
Early life and education
Born to a Swedish mother and Norwegian father, Busch identifies as both Norwegian and Swedish. Growing up in Gunsta, near Uppsala, she was a student at the Christian Livets Ord primary school. She later studied the IB Diploma Programme at Katedralskolan in Uppsala, and peace and conflict studies at Uppsala University.
Busch was the municipal party political secretary for the Christian Democrats councillor Gustaf von Essen in the Uppsala Municipality. In 2009, she assumed responsibility for the budget when Essen went on sick leave, and at the age of 22 she became a substitute municipal councillor. Ahead of the election for municipal councillors in Uppsala in 2010, the party suggested that Busch should be placed third on the election ballot, while the incumbent councillor Gustav von Essen would be first. The party youth organization chairman Charlie Weimers, who did not get to vote in the election, wrote that he thought the party should have Busch at the top of the ballot.
In the end, a closed vote within the party decided the top name on the ballot, and Busch beat von Essen by a margin of two votes. At the election, Busch received 1,679 votes, against only 220 for von Essen. Busch served as vice chairman of the Christian Democrat youth organisation until 5 June 2011.
Busch made several comments to the media during 2010 criticizing the then party chairman Göran Hägglund, and what she perceived as his weak leadership following the 2006 General Election. Ahead of the January 2012 leadership election within the party, she supported Hägglund's opponent Mats Odell. She was also herself a candidate for the post of deputy party chairman at the same election, but lost to Maria Larsson. Previous top names in the party have stated that they strongly disagree with Busch making the party into a right wing party instead of a Christian party and have even threatened to leave their party as a result of Busch's nomination, while perhaps the most popular ex-leader of the party, Alf Svensson, has described his disappointment with Busch's worldview.
Party leader (2016–present)
In 2015, Busch was announced as the suggested successor of Göran Hägglund as party leader of the Christian Democratic party, and was formally elected on 25 April. Her time as leader was long characterized by an uncertainty on how to profile the party, and consistent low numbers in opinion polls. Her early attempts to gain votes by adopting tougher positions on immigration and law and order were thwarted when the Moderate Party usurped that space. This was followed by a return to a focus on more traditional Christian Democratic issues, such as healthcare and family politics. At the same time, Busch continued to position the party in a more conservative direction on other issues like the opposition to Mosque prayer calls and gender science at preschools. At the same time, she also came under attack from social conservatives inside her own party for participating in the Stockholm Pride Parade.
The Christian Democrats received only 2.9% in a big opinion poll published in May 2018, and the party's fortunes looked bleak. But support quickly grew as the election campaign got under way with the first debate in mid-August. Busch's strong performance in this and other debates was credited in large part for the party's surge in the polls. She ended up leading her party to its best electoral performance in 12 years, finishing well above the 4% threshold. In March 2019, Busch announced that her party was ready to start negotiations with the Sweden Democrats in the Riksdag, making her the first party leader to express a willingness to cooperate with the SD.
Busch is positive about free trade and supports EU cooperation, but believes that the principle of subsidiarity must be protected and is against increased supranationalism in social matters and giving the EU taxation rights. She believes that Turkish membership in the EU should be rejected.
Busch has criticized Foreign Minister Margot Wallström's stance towards Israel and handling of the Israel-Palestine conflict, arguing that Wallström has been too one-sided and debated for Palestine rather than acting as a diplomat. She wishes to move the Swedish embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and was positive about the US decision to move its embassy there in 2017.
Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (2022-present)
Since 18 October 2022, she is the Minister for Energy as well as Minister for Business and Industry in the Ulf Kristersson Cabinet. She is also Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden for the same cabinet.
On 27 October 2022, Busch and prime minister Ulf Kristersson announced a 55 billion (SEK) subsidy compensation in connection to the high increase of power bills, the subsidy will only be paid out in the energy price zones three and four in the southern parts of Sweden.
In March 2021, a criminal investigation was launched against Busch for defamation against the opposing counsel in a legal conflict relating to Busch's purchase of a house. Busch pointed out the opposing lawyer's own criminal conviction from 15 years prior. The lawyer sued Busch for defamation, as Swedish law allows even true claims about another person to count as defamation.
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