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This morning, former EU Commissioner, Margot Wallström, became Sweden’s new Foreign Minister. Margot Wallström is very well experienced on both the national and EU stage having held many key positions, including European Commissioner for the Environment, and Sweden’s Minister for Consumer Affairs, and Minister for Social Affairs. In 2004, when the Barroso Commission took office, she was appointed first Vice-President responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Communication. She has also served as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. As a pre-eminent female leader, she has been awarded a place in the Council of Women World Leaders together with other well-known Nordic politicians, such as former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, former President of Iceland Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, and the former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen. Since February 2012, she has held the position of chairwoman of Lund University and worked for the Swedish postcode lottery.
It has been 16 years since she was seriously active in Swedish politics but Ms Wallström is still one of Sweden’s most popular politicians. The Social Democrats have always believed her to be one of the party’s main assets: she is a good speaker and is also considered to have qualities as a political thinker.
That Margot Wallström is entering domestic politics is mainly due to Stefan Löfven, she says: “It’s largely Stefan who has motivated me. Of course it’s more motivating when we have a party leader I really believe in. And I also have the energy and desire to contribute.” Party leader Stefan Löfven reciprocates the warm feelings: “Margot Wallström is a highly skilled and experienced politician. She is well liked and respected in the party, and even far beyond the party. She has a broad knowledge of various political issues; she has worked in Europe, in the United Nations…” he said in an interview with Swedish Radio earlier this year.