Swedish MPs abroad have 'social skills deficit'

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Swedish MPs abroad have 'social skills deficit'

Badly dressed, speaking poor English and giving cheap gifts to their hosts - a few of the accusations on a long list of faux pas made by Swedish MPs on business trips overseas, according to a new internal Riksdag report.


The review by the Parliamentary Management Committee (Riksdagsförvaltningens utskottsavdelning) has come down hard on how Swedish politicians carry on when outside Sweden. The report looked at a total of 97 trips to 42 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Austria over a three-year period.

A certain number of parliamentarians were criticized for their difficulties speaking English when representing Sweden on foreign shores, according to the Riksdag & Departement (RoD) newspaper.

"Many members feel uncomfortable with English and find it difficult to understand and speak the language," stated RoD's summary of the report, which also suggested that several politicians are sensitive to any criticism of their English language skills.

The report authors suggested that the Riksdag make sure a Swedish interpreter is at hand when required.

The report also highlighted the negative media coverage of trips carried out by Swedish politicians to Brazil and Australia, which were described as luxury holidays. The report suggested that parliamentarians take to social media to be open and transparent about the reason for their trips in order to avoid unwelcome headlines in the future.

Some Swedish politicians were also slated for their etiquette by showing more interest in their smartphones than their hosts. Dress code was also an issue with some showing up in informal clothing for official proceedings.

Gifts given by some Swedish delegations were also considered 'embarrassing and shabby' in comparison to what was received in exchange by the politicians welcoming their Nordic guests.

TT/The Local/at

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