Ingvar Carlsson

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Ingvar Carlsson
Carl XVI Gustaf
DeputyMona Sahlin
Lena Hjelm-Wallén
Preceded byCarl Bildt
Succeeded byGöran Persson
In office
13 March 1986[a] – 4 October 1991
MonarchCarl XVI Gustaf
DeputySvante Lundkvist
Kjell-Olof Feldt
Lena Hjelm-Wallén
Odd Engström
Preceded byOlof Palme
Succeeded byCarl Bildt
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
3 March 1986 – 15 March 1996
Preceded byOlof Palme
Succeeded byGöran Persson
Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
In office
8 October 1982 – 28 February 1986
Prime MinisterOlof Palme
Preceded byOla Ullsten
Succeeded bySvante Lundkvist (Acting)
Minister for Housing
In office
1 January 1974 – 8 October 1976
Prime MinisterOlof Palme
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byElvy Olsson
Minister for Education
In office
14 October 1969 – 2 November 1973
Prime MinisterOlof Palme
Preceded byOlof Palme
Succeeded byBertil Zachrisson
Personal details
Gösta Ingvar Carlsson

(1934-11-09) 9 November 1934 (age 89)
Tyresö, Sweden
Alma materLund University,
Northwestern University
ProfessionBusiness economist
Military service
AllegianceSweden Sweden
Branch/service Swedish Army

Gösta Ingvar Carlsson (born 9 November 1934) is a Swedish politician who twice served as

again from 1994 to 1996.[1] He was leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1986 to 1996.[2][3] He is best known for leading Sweden into the European Union.[4]

Carlsson was a

Minister of Education from 1969 to 1973, as Minister of Housing in 1973 and again from 1974 to 1976, and as Minister of Environmental affairs from 1985 to 1986. He served as Deputy Prime Minister from 1982 to 1986, and assumed office as Prime Minister of Sweden upon the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme
in 1986.

Early life

Carlsson was born in Borås, Västra Götaland County (then Älvsborg County), Sweden and is the third son of the warehouse worker Olof Karlsson and Ida, née Johansson.[5] Carlsson has a diploma in business economics and a degree in political science from Lund University. In Lund he met with Tage Erlander, the Swedish prime minister, and his aide Olof Palme, later to become Erlander's successor. He graduated in 1952.[6]

Early political career

Carlsson (far right) in 1968, with Olof Palme (left), Tage Erlander (center), and Sten Andersson (right).

After finishing studies Carlsson got a job in Erlander's staff, along with other young aides such as Palme and

Swedish Parliament. In the same year, he also became leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League. He had the following ministerial posts: Minister of Education 1969-1973, Minister of Housing 1973-1976, Deputy Prime Minister

He was deputy prime minister to Prime Minister Olof Palme when Palme was assassinated.[10]

Prime Minister

First premiership (1986-1991)

Carlsson (right), with wife Ingrid (far left), First Lady Nancy Reagan (left), and President Ronald Reagan (far right), in a 1987 visit to the White House.

Following the

centre-right government led by Carl Bildt (1991–1994), creating the fiscal crisis of the early 1990s.[11]

But Sweden's economy began to deteriorate in the early 1990s. In 1990 the

Carlsson cabinet
resigned after failing to gain a majority for its economic policy agenda, but was reinstated immediately with a slightly changed agenda.

In 1987, he visited United States President Ronald Reagan at the White House, becoming the first Swedish prime minister to visit a U.S. president since Erlander met John F. Kennedy in 1961.[12]

Second premiership (1994-1996)

The Social Democrats lost the

movement. As Prime Minister he also carried out a comprehensive reform of the tax system.

After three years in opposition and an election victory in the 1994 elections, Carlsson formed a new government. This government realigned its focus on cleaning up Swedish Government finances, and the task was assigned to the newly appointed

Minister of Finance Göran Persson. The ensuing governing period was difficult and it was strongly criticized by trade unions and party members for government service cuts and tax increases that were instituted. On 19 December 1994, Carlsson announced the decision not to recover the wreck of the MS Estonia
, or even the bodies of the victims of the disaster.

Carlsson pushed for Sweden to join the

national referendum was held on 13 October 1994, with 83% voter turnout (the highest for a Swedish referendum up to that point), and 52.3% voting to join.[15][16] Sweden joined in January 1995 alongside Austria and Finland.[15]

In August 1995, Ingvar Carlsson announced that he would resign as party leader and Swedish Prime Minister. His successor was long considered to be the then Minister of Equality and Deputy Prime Minister Mona Sahlin. However, due to the so-called Toblerone Affair, she took back her candidacy and also later resigned from the government. On 5 December 1995 the nominating committee proposed the Minister for Finance, Göran Persson, as the new party leader candidate. He was elected on 15 March 1996 at the Social Democratic Party Congress as party leader and on 22 March 1996 he was elected Prime Minister.

Later life

Carlsson (left), in 2016 with Mona Sahlin (center), and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, photo by Frankie Fouganthin [sv]

Ingvar Carlsson was Chairman of the inquiry after the

Gothenburg Riots of 2001 to investigate the events. Their report was submitted to the Government on 14 January 2003.[17]

Ingvar Carlsson was the Chairman of the Independent Inquiry into United Nations actions during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.[18] He is also chairman of the Bergman Foundation Center on Fårö.[19]

With Shridath Ramphal, he was in 1995 one of the co-chairs of the Commission on Global Governance, which reported on issues of international development, international security, globalization and global governance.

His career has been shaped by the heritage of Olof Palme, with whom he worked closely, but his policies are more seen as being a continuation of the legacy established by Tage Erlander.

Personal life

On 10 July 1957[20] Carlsson married librarian Ingrid Melander (born 9 April 1934[21]), daughter of the wholesaler Sven H. Melander and Gerda Melander (née Eriksson).[5] They have two daughters.

Ingvar Carlsson is a big supporter of football teams IF Elfsborg and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.[22]

Awards and decorations



  • Carlsson, Ingvar (2014). Lärdomar: personliga och politiska (in Swedish). Stockholm: Norstedt. .
  • Carlsson, Ingvar; Lindgren, Anne-Marie (2007) [1974]. Vad är socialdemokrati?: en bok om idéer och utmaningar (in Swedish) ([New edi.] ed.). Stockholm: Arbetarrörelsens tankesmedja. .
  • Carlsson, Ingvar (2003). Så tänkte jag: politik & dramatik (in Swedish) (1st ed.). Stockholm: Hjalmarson & Högberg. .
  • Carlsson, Ingvar (1999). Ur skuggan av Olof Palme (in Swedish). Stockholm: Hjalmarson & Högberg. .
  • Carlsson, Ingvar (1994). Tillväxt och rättvisa (in Swedish). Stockholm: Tiden. .


  1. ^ Acting Prime Minister from 28 February to 12 March 1986


  1. ^ "Sveriges regeringar under 100 år" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Ingvar Carlsson". Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  3. Store norske leksikon
    (in Norwegian). Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  4. ^ Elgán & Scobbie 2015, p. 52
  5. ^ .
  6. ^ Elgán & Scobbie 2015, p. 51
  7. ^ Ruin 1989, p. 131
  8. ^ Ruin 1989, p. 134
  9. ^ a b Kates, Margaret (16 June 2021). "Looking Back at Northwestern's International Honorary Degree Recipients". Northwestern University. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  10. ^ Elgán & Scobbie 2015, p. 17
  11. ^ Englund, P. 1990. "Financial deregulation in Sweden." European Economic Review 34 (2–3): 385–393. Korpi TBD. Meidner, R. 1997. "The Swedish model in an era of mass unemployment." Economic and Industrial Democracy 18 (1): 87–97. Olsen, Gregg M. 1999. "Half empty or half full? The Swedish welfare state in transition." Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology, 36 (2): 241–268.
  12. ^ "Washington Talk: Briefing; A Swedish Visit". The New York Times. 24 August 1987. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  13. ^ (archive date: 27 June 2007) Between 1990 and 1994, per capita income declined by approximately 10% hdr.undp (original URL: [1]) (access date: 5 July 2007) (dead URL)
  14. ^ Elgán & Scobbie 2015, p. 90
  15. ^ a b "Twenty years since Sweden voted to join the EU - what's changed?". The Guardian. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  16. ^ "Swedes Vote In Referendum To Join The European Union". The New York Times. 14 November 1994. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  17. ^ Hedberg, Kristina; Klinghoffer, Sanna (14 January 2003). "Hård kritik mot polisen för Göteborgskravallerna" [Harsh criticism against the police for the Gothenburg riots]. Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Press Release SC/6843" (Press release). United Nations. 14 April 2000. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Ingvar Carlsson: "Precis det vi hoppats på"" [Ingvar Carlsson: "Just what we hoped for"]. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 23 October 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  20. .
  21. ^ "Ingrid Margareta Carlsson (Tyresö, 89 år)". Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  22. ^ "Ingvar Carlsson på besök" [Ingvar Carlsson to visit]. Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). 5 February 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Ingvar Carlsson utnämnd till kommendör av franska Hederslegionen av Frankrikes EU-minister Harlem Désir" [Ingvar Carlsson appointed Commander of the French Legion of Honor by France's EU Minister Harlem Désir] (in Swedish). Embassy of France, Stockholm. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  24. ^
    SELIBR 8261515


Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Education
Succeeded by
New title Minister for Housing
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
Succeeded by
New title Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Sweden
Succeeded by
Preceded by Leader of the Opposition
Prime Minister of Sweden
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Social Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Order of precedence
Preceded byas former Speaker of the Riksdag Swedish order of precedence
as former Prime Minister
Succeeded byas former Prime Minister