Margot Wallström

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Margot Wallström
Member of the Riksdag
In office
19 September 1982 – 11 September 1999
Personal details
Margot Elisabeth Wallström

(1954-09-28) 28 September 1954 (age 69)
Skellefteå, Sweden
Political partySocial Democrats
Håkan Olsson
(m. 1984)

Margot Elisabeth Wallström (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmǎrːɡɔt ˈvâlːstrœm]; born 28 September 1954)[1] is a Swedish politician of the Swedish Social Democratic Party who served as Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2014 to 2019 and Minister for Nordic Cooperation from 2016 to 2019.

Wallström previously served as the first

Member of the Riksdag (MP) for Värmland
from 1982 to 1999.

Early life and career

Born in Skellefteå, Wallström is a high school graduate without academic degrees. In 1973, she started her career as a banking clerk at the Alfa Savings bank in Karlstad.[4] She worked there from 1977 to 1979, and briefly as an accountant from 1986 to 1987. Wallström was the CEO of a regional TV network in Värmland, Sweden from 1993 to 1994. Before taking up her appointment as EU Commissioner she was executive vice-president of Worldview Global Media in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Political career

Wallström has had a long career in politics in the Swedish parliament, the Swedish government, and the

Environment Commissioner
from 1999 to 2004, and in the Swedish government she was Minister for Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth from 1988 to 1991, Minister for Culture from 1994 to 1996, and Minister for Social Affairs from 1996 to 1998.

European Commissioner for the Environment, 1999–2004

The European Commission, of which Margot Wallström was first Vice-President from 2004 to 2010

During her time in office, Wallström pushed the European Commission's initial proposal for REACH, a regulation requiring manufacturers of industrial chemicals to test and register their products with the European Chemicals Agency before they can be used.[6] In 2004, she approved the importation of a genetically modified corn from the United States for animal feed after a six-year moratorium, arguing in a statement that the corn produced by biotechnology company Monsanto, known as NK603 maize, had been rigorously tested and was considered "as safe as any conventional maize".[7]

First Vice-President of the European Commission, 2004–2010

In 2004, Wallström became the first member of the petition, has given her a good reputation in some quarters, even being dubbed "the Citizens Commissioner"[9] – 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.[10]

In 2006, Wallström presented her a plan to transform the EU's Europe by Satellite (EbS) video-broadcast service into an EU news agency; the plan was scrapped after press organizations complained that it would undermine the work of reporters covering the EU.[11]

Following Sweden's 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,[12] but made clear that she did not wish to be considered for the position.[13][14] The post instead went to Mona Sahlin.

Between 2006 and 2007, Wallström served as member of the Amato Group, a group of high-level European politicians unofficially working on rewriting the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe into what became known as the Treaty of Lisbon following its rejection by French and Dutch voters.

Immediately after the election of

Mikolaj Dowgielewicz and Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen stated that her new assignment was not in conflict with her commissioner position.[15][16]

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. In the previous year she had attained second place. Wallström was modest in response stating that "it might be because I'm so far away".[17]

On 16 November 2007, Margot Wallström, became Chair of the

Madeleine K. Albright

United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2010–2012

On 31 January 2010, the Secretary-General of the United Nations,

United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.[18] As a reaction, Wallström said that she felt "honoured" and "humble" to have been chosen for the job,[19]
which she started in April 2010.

In August 2010, Ban sent Wallström to the

government troops in the eastern provinces of the DRC. In her speech, she demonstrated that the rapes in the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces "were not an isolated incident but part of a broader pattern of widespread systematic rape and pillage".[21]

On 18 September 2010, Wallström confirmed that when her assignment with the UN came to an end in February 2012, she would become the chair of the University Board at Lund University in Sweden.[22]

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, 2014–2019

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.[23]

On 30 October 2014, Wallström became the first EU foreign minister to recognise the State of Palestine, with a view to "facilitate a peace agreement by making the parties less unequal";[24] as a result, Israel the same day recalled its ambassador for consultations.[25] Although a visit by Wallström to Israel had been planned for January 2015, Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to receive her.[26] Wallström's diplomatic immunity status in Israel was also revoked which meant that if she visited Israel she would do as an individual rather than an official of a foreign state, which would normally mean enjoying protection by security services.[26] In a March 2018 interview, she stated that the intent behind the recognition was to speed up the process towards a Two-state solution but also admitted that no progress on that issue had been made.[27]

In December 2014, Wallström called in the Russian ambassador to Sweden, Victor Ivanovitj Tatarintsev, over the behaviour of a Russian military jet which Swedish authorities said had caused an SAS flight from

Poznan, Poland, to change course off southern Sweden; the incident inflamed sensitivities over Russian flights in the Nordic region, driven in part by tensions over separatism in eastern Ukraine.[28] On 11 September 2015, she again summoned Russia's ambassador to explain comments from the Russian foreign ministry warning of "consequences" if Sweden joins NATO.[29]

Wallström with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 1 October 2015

In January 2015, Wallström tweeted criticism of Saudi Arabia's flogging of human rights activist blogger Raif Badawi, calling it a "cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression".[30]

In May 2015,

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Wallström as member of the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, an initiative aimed at preparing recommendations for the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.[31]

One of Wallström's main foreign policy goals was to secure one of the non-permanent seats for Sweden on the UN Security Council in the 2016 elections.[32] This was achieved on 28 June 2016.[33]

In February 2018, Wallström cancelled her visit to

Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin.[34]

Wallström with Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevičius, in 26 May 2018

In December 2018 Wallström met with Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi in her office, a meeting which was unannounced by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.[35]

Political positions

The Stockholm Pride parade in August 2014

Wallström "promised a 'feminist' foreign policy when her Social Democrats formed the coalition government" in October 2014.[36] She has criticized the lack of women's rights in Saudi Arabia.[37] 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 10 March 2015 Sweden announced it would revoke a weapons export agreement with Saudi Arabia that had been in place since 2005.[38] Saudi Arabia retaliated by stopping visa issues for Swedish businesspeople, boycotting Wallström's speech from the Arab League, temporarily withdrawing their ambassador from Sweden,[39][40] and refusing to accept four Amazonian monkeys from a Swedish zoo.[41]

Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, taking him private letters from the Swedish King and from Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. These have remained classified, but in a press conference on 28 March, Wallström said: "I am very pleased to announce that we can normalize our relations immediately, and that we are able to welcome the Saudi ambassador back to Sweden. It is deeply satisfying that we have been able to clear the misunderstanding that we insulted the world religion Islam."[citation needed

Wallström has called for more articles on Wikipedia about women related topics.[42]


European integration

In 2005, Wallström, in her capacity as EU Commissioner responsible for communications, came under pressure to justify her handling of a controversial speech that linked opposition to



In the aftermath of the November 2015 Paris attacks in which 137 were murdered, Wallström told Swedish television network SVT2: "To counteract the radicalization we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that, for us, there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence". The Israeli government reacted angrily to Wallström's linking the attacks to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, summoning the Swedish ambassador and saying Wallström's statement bordered on anti-semitism and blood libel.[44]

In December 2015 Wallström denounced the

ongoing wave of Palestinian knife and car-ramming attacks in Israel.[45] However, on 12 January 2016, Wallström called for an investigation into whether Israel was guilty of the extrajudicial killings of Palestinians during the violence, causing further anger in the Israeli political establishment. The Foreign Ministry of Israel issued an official statement saying that Wallström's "irresponsible and delirious statements are giving support to terrorism and encouraging violence".[46] This also caused further deterioration in Israel-Sweden relations, and Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel Tzipi Hotovely declared that Swedish politicians of the rank of deputy minister and above are not welcome in Israel. Though she later clarified that it was only the Foreign Minister and her aids what are not welcome.[47] International law expert Noah Feldman stated Wallström misunderstands international law, which does not apply in these cases.[48]

For the above comment, the Simon Wiesenthal Center placed Wallström at place eight on its annual list of the worst "anti-semitic/anti-israel incidents."[45]

Although she has criticized Israel, Wallström opposes the

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, supports Israel's right to defend itself, and is in favor of the two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[49] She expressed her condemnation of BDS during an "Israel day" conference held by the Jewish community in Sweden.[50]

During Wallström's December 2016 visit to Israel and the

Palestinian Authority, many Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to meet her, citing scheduling conflicts. Some sources suggest that the refusal stemmed from Wallström's policy on Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[51]

Wallström welcomed the

Rented apartment

On 15 January 2016, Aftonbladet published information that Wallström was one of several labour officials who rented apartment in Stockholm, owned by the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union, bypassing an average eight-year waiting list. Wallström replied that she acted in good faith and received a confirmation from highest-ranking officials, that all norms and rules were followed.[53][54] Wallström accused the union's general secretary Annelie Nordström of not being truthful.[55] The affair caused a controversy[56] and prompted an investigation by a special prosecutor.[57] The prosecutor closed the investigation in May 2016 and cleared Wallström, stating that there was no evidence any crime had been committed.[58]

Turkish child sex tweet

On 24 August 2016 Wallström tweeted that "Turkish decision to allow sex with children under 15 must be reversed. Children need more protection, not less, against violence, sex abuse." This was after the

Mehmet Simsek accused Wallström of being misinformed and acting without checking all facts. The original case was brought to the Constitutional Court by a lower court that was afraid there is no legal discrimination between teenagers that may understand the meaning of sex and toddlers that do not understand it.[59][60]

Other activities

Corporate boards

  • Edberg Dialog, Member of the Board
  • Ica Gruppen, Member of the Board of Directors (2013–2014)

Non-profit organizations


Personal life

Wallström has been married to her husband, Håkan, since 1984.[5] She has two sons.[5] She lives in Stockholm and Värmland.[5]


See also


  1. ^ Address of Margot Wallström to the European Parliament conference on the Northern dimension
  2. ^ About the Office
  3. ^ "Stop Rape Now – Features". Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  4. ^ "The Commissioners" (PDF). Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Annie Maccoby Berglof (24 September 2015), Swedish minister Margot Wallstrom: shaking up the world with words Financial Times.
  6. New York Times
  7. New York Times
  8. ^ Will Wallström's 'plan D' revive the European dream?
  9. ^ The European Parliament should work in Brussels Campaign for Parliament Reform 2006-09-18, Folkpartiet. Accessed 18 July 2007. Archived 29 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "A commission report-card". The Economist. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  11. ^ Constant Brand (28 July 2010), Rethinking the EU’s media relations European Voice.
  12. ^ "Nyheter". DN.SE. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  13. ^ No to leadership, DN (Swedish) Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Wallström: I don't want the job (The Local) (English) Archived 28 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Wallström not breaking rules (English) Archived 23 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Klartecken för Wallströms s-uppdrag (Swedish)
  17. ^ Sweden loves Reinfeldt and Wallström (The Local) (English) Archived 3 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ Delegation of the European Union to the United States (31 January 2010). "Statement by Margot Wallstrom, Vice-President of the European Commission" (Press release). Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  20. ^ UN investigates claims of mass rape by DR Congo rebels, BBC News, 24 August 2010.
  21. New York Times
  22. ^ "Wallström leder Lunds universitet". DN.SE. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  23. ^ Thurfjell, Karin (3 October 2014). "24 ministrar i den nya regeringen". Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  24. ^ Margot Wallström (30 October 2014). "Sweden today decides to recognise the State of Palestine". Dagens Nyheter. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  25. ^ Israel recalls ambassador to Stockholm after Sweden's decision to recognize Palestinian state, Jerusalem Post 30 October 2014
  26. ^ a b "Kraftig markering från Israels sida". Svenska Dagbladet. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  27. ^ ""Att kallas antisemit känns fruktansvärt och är direkt felaktigt"". ”Att kallas antisemit känns fruktansvärt och är direkt felaktigt" | JUDISK KRÖNIKA (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018. Interviewer: "När ni erkände Palestina som stat sa du de var för att påskynda utvecklingen mot en tvåstatslösning. Har den kommit närmare?" MW: – Nej, det kan man inte säga att den har gjort, men det beror inte så mycket på oss utan mer att USA aktivt tagit på sig en annan roll, och utvecklingen generellt i världen har ju inte hjälpt till."
  28. ^ Daniel Dickson (15 December 2014), Nordic countries summon Russian ambassadors over military jet incident Reuters.
  29. ^ Sweden summons Russia ambassador after Nato threat BBC News, 11 September 2015.
  30. ^ Ahmed Tolba and Johan Ahlander (27 March 2015), Saudi Arabia decides to restore ambassador to Sweden: Al Arabiya TV Reuters.
  31. United Nations Secretary-General
    , press release of 21 May 2015.
  32. ^ Richard Milne (30 March 2015), Sweden’s ethical foreign policy runs into Saudi sands Financial Times.
  33. ^ Sweden, Kazakhstan Win Contested Security Council Elections Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press
  34. ^ "Swedish FM Wallström Cancels Turkey Visit Over Its Military Campaign in Afrin". Stockholm Center for Freedom. 7 February 2018.
  35. ^ "Margot Wallström i hemligt möte med minister från Iran". (in Swedish). 20 December 2018. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  36. ^ Alistair Scrutton (16 March 2015). "Margot Wallström: Can Sweden's feminist foreign minister be both radical and influential - and make the country a 'moral great power'?". The Independent. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  37. ^ "Saudi Arabia Recalls Ambassador From Sweden as Rift Widens". Associated Press. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016 – via The New York Times.
  38. ^ "Clean hands, fewer friends". The Economist. 28 March 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  39. ^ David Crouch (9 March 2015). "Swedish frustration with Saudis over speech may jeopardise arms agreement". the Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  40. ^ Reuters Editorial (27 March 2015). "Saudi Arabia decides to restore ambassador to Sweden: Al Arabiya TV". Reuters. Retrieved 23 January 2016. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  41. ^ "Saudis refuse Swedish zoo's monkeys in diplomatic spat". BBC News. 8 April 2015.
  42. ^ "Regeringens satsning: Vill se fler artiklar om kvinnor på Wikipedia". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  43. ^ Raphael Minder (13 May 2005), Commissioner under fire over 'Nazi' speech Financial Times.
  44. ^ "Israel slams Sweden for invoking Palestinian plight while discussing Paris attacks". The Times of Israel. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  45. ^ a b "Sweden hits back at anti-Semitism accusations".
  46. ^ "Israel blasts Swedish FM for 'supporting terrorism, encouraging violence'". The Jerusalem Post. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  47. ^ Raphael Ahren and Tamar Pileggi. "Swedish officials unwelcome, deputy FM says". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  48. ^ Noah Feldman. "Sweden's Foreign Minister Misunderstands International Law". Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  49. ^ "As Livni visits, Swedish FM says she is against BDS." Ynetnews. 13 March 2016.
  50. ^ Tal Shalev. "Wallstrom publicly declared support for Israel's right to defend itself and opposition to BDS movement". i24news. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  51. ^ Barak Ravid (13 December 2016). "Israel Turns Cold Shoulder to Visiting Swedish Foreign Minister". Haaretz. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  52. ^ "Sweden welcomes UN vote denouncing Israeli settlements - The Local". 24 December 2016.
  53. Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå
    /Agence France-Presse/The Local. 15 January 2016.
  54. ^ Augustsson, Tomas (16 January 2016). "Wallström har fjärmat sig från verkligheten". Svenska Dagbladet.
  55. ^ "Wallström: Jag har inget skämmas för". 15 January 2016.
  56. ^ Laurence Peter (20 January 2016). "Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom under fire - again". BBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  57. ^ Henriette Jacobsen (19 January 2016). "Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström investigated over corruption claims". EURACTIV.
  58. ^ "Sweden's foreign minister cleared in corruption inquiry". The Straits Times. Agence France-Presse. 24 May 2016.
  59. ^ "Turkey summons Swedish envoy over child sex tweet". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  60. ^ "Turkey's Constitutional Court stirs outrage by annulling child sex abuse clause". 14 July 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  61. ^ Former Swedish Foreign Minister joins HD’s Foundation Board Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), press release of September 16, 2020.
  62. ^ Advisory Council Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP).
  63. ^ Members International Gender Champions (IGC).
  64. ^ International Advisory Council: Margot Wallström Institute for Human Rights & Business (IHRB).
  65. ^ "Institute for Human Rights and Business". Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  66. ^ "Swedish FM warmly received, decorated in Ramallah". YNet. 17 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  67. ^ Al Gore and the hot issues Archived 9 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine Wallström's blog

External links

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Civil Affairs
Post discontinued
Preceded by Minister for Culture
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Social Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Swedish European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Preceded by
European Commissioner for the Environment

Succeeded by
Preceded by First Vice President of the European Commission
Succeeded by
New office European Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy
Succeeded byas European Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration
Preceded by Deputy Prime Minister

Serving with:
Åsa Romson
(honorary title) 2014–2016
Isabella Lövin
(honorary title) 2016–2019

Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Lines of succession
First Swedish governmental line of succession Succeeded by
Order of precedence
Preceded by Order of Precedence of Sweden Succeeded by