Who’s who in Sweden’s new government?

Who's who in Sweden's new government?
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his deputy Isabella Lövin surrounded by the new (and some old) ministers. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has presented the ministers who will be part of Sweden's government for the next four years.
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In total, five of the 22 ministers come from the Green Party, which is one fewer than in the last government following a bad election in which it went from having 25 members of parliament to 16.

Six of the ministers are new (as is one government department), while several others have changed roles and a few have stayed on in the same positions as before. Here are some of the names and faces you'll be hearing more about over the next four years.

MEMBERS' GUIDE: What does Sweden's government deal mean for internationals in Sweden?

Isabella Lövin (Green Party), Minister for the Environment and Deputy Prime Minister

Photo: Erik Simander/TT

Lövin is spokesperson for her party and served as Minister for International Development Cooperation in Löfven's previous government and as Deputy Prime Minister for the past two years, a role she continues in. Before going into politics, she was a successful journalist who was nominated for some of Sweden's most prestigious awards for her book on over-fishing, Tyst hav (Silent Ocean).

Hans Dahlgren (Social Democrats), Minister for EU Affairs

Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Dahlgren has an impressive CV as a diplomat and politician, first working in the foreign ministry and then becoming press secretary and adviser to one of Sweden's most famous and longest-serving prime ministers, Olof Palme, in 1976 when Palme was leader of the opposition. Before that, he was a TV reporter covering domestic politics. Dahlgren went on to hold various posts working in Sweden, New York and Geneva, but this is his first time as minister.

At 70, he's the oldest minister in Löfven's cabinet, and he said two of his priorities as minister would be dealing with the uncertainty following the UK's exit from the EU, and working towards a common EU migration policy.

Morgan Johansson (Social Democrats), Minister for Justice

Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Johansson is staying in the role he had in the previous Löfven cabinet as Justice Minister. Between 2014 and 2017, he was also Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy, and before 2014 he held roles as chairman of the parliamentary committee on justice, and Minister for Public Health.

Before entering politics, Johansson was a journalist.

Mikael Damberg (Social Democrats), Interior Minister

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Previously Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Damberg takes up the role as Justice Minister. First elected to parliament in 2002, the Stockholmer's parents were also both active in politics and he joined the Social Democrats' Youth League in the late 1980s. He became its chairperson in 1999, telling media at the time that he was a big fan of Swedish rap music and wanted politicians to take note of the messages in the genre.

Since then, the 47-year-old has held various roles within the Social Democrats, acting as their parliamentary group leader between 2012 and 2014. He's also a long-time campaigner against honour-related violence.

Margot Wallström (Social Democrats), Foreign Minister

Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Of all Löfven's previous cabinet, Wallström probably has the highest profile internationally and it was expected that she would keep her post. She's best known for pioneering Sweden's feminist foreign policy, which has inspired several other countries to follow suit, and for her frank approach.

She's previously held key roles in the UN and the EU Commission, as well as being Deputy Prime Minister and, between 1988 to 1991, Minister for Consumer Affairs, before returning to government after 16 years in 2014. Before she was first elected to parliament aged 25, Wallström, who did not attend university but now has several honorary doctorates, worked as a bank clerk. To hear her talk about feminist foreign policy and more, listen to our podcast interview.

Peter Eriksson (Green Party), Minister for Development Assistance

Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Hailing from Småland and having begun his political career after moving to Norrbotten, Eriksson became an MP in 1994 and later became municipal councillor in Kalix in 1998 where he led a seven-party coalition. In the next election in 2002, the Greens had their best municipal election result ever in Kalix, scooping over 40 percent of the vote.

Eriksson was one of the Green Party's two spokespeople between 2002 and 2011. He was an MEP from 2014 to 2016 before Löfven named him Minister for Housing and Digitalization in 2016. Now, he takes on a new role in the Foreign Ministry.

Ann Linde (Social Democrats), Minister for International Trade

Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices

Previously Minister for EU Affairs and before that, State Secretary for the Interior Minister, Linde is another member of the cabinet changing jobs for the next term of office. She has previously held several different political roles and lives in Stockholm.

Peter Hultqvist (Social Democrats), Minister for Defence

Photo: Hossein Salmanzadeh/TT

Hultqvist has been Minister for Defence since 2014 and stays in the role. He survived a no confidence vote against him in 2017 following a security leak at Sweden's Transport Agency.

Before entering politics, Hultqvist worked for Social Democrat magazines. He's been a member of parliament for the past 12 years.

Lena Hallengren (Social Democrats), Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

This is Hallengren's first ministerial post, but she's had various key roles in parliament, including being Deputy Minister for Education between 2002 and 2006, and the Social Democrats' spokesperson on socio-political issues during the most recent four-year term, which included elderly care.

First elected as an MP in 2006, she has also been part of several parliamentary committees and has chaired two of these.

Annika Strandhäll (Social Democrats), Minister for Social Security

Photo: Erik Simander/TT

Strandhäll held this role between 2014 and 2017 and returns to it after a year as acting Minister for Public Health, Healthcare and Sports while that minister was on sick leave.

Like Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, the Gothenburger has a background as a trade unionist and was totally new to politics when she joined the government in 2014. 

Magdalena Andersson (Social Democrats), Minister for Finance

Anders Wiklund/TT

Staying in the role she held in the last government, Andersson has previously held several high-ranking posts both in the Finance Ministry as well as being senior director at the Swedish Tax Agency.

A trained economist, she has studied at Stockholm School of Economics, in Vienna, and at Harvard University in the US. In her younger years, she was a competitive swimmer.

Per Bolund (Green Party), Minister for Housing and Deputy Finance Minister

Photo: Erik Simander/TT

In the previous government, Bolund was Deputy Finance Minister, and he stays on in that role while also becoming Minister for Housing, a role he previously took on in an acting capacity (37 days in total). Bolund was first elected to parliament in 2006; after losing his seat in 2010 he was able to return one year later after one of his party colleagues decided to leave.

Ardalan Shekarabi (Social Democrats), Minister for Public Administration

Photo: Hanna Franzén/TT

Shekarabi held this role in the last government. After first training in law and working briefly as a notary, he joined the Social Democrats' youth league and became its chair, joint with Mikael Damberg. He was also chairperson of the Crisis Commission in charge of investigating the Social Democrats' failure in the 2010 election.

Anna Ekström (Social Democrats), Minister for Education

Photo: Lisa Johansson/ TT

With a background in law and trade unions, Ekström is the former general director of the National Agency for Education, and was Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education between 2016 and 2018. That appointment marked her return to politics after a 15-year break.

Matilda Ernkrans (Social Democrats), Minister for Higher Education and Research

Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

A new face in the cabinet, Ernkrans, 45, has been an MP since 2002 and was chair of the parliamentary committee on education. Before that, she has had roles as chair or member of several other parliamentary committees. Born in Örebro, she worked at the Swedish Public Employment Service before entering politics.

Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Enterprise

Photo: Lisa Johansson/TT

Baylan, 46, has been active in politics since his youth, when he had leadership roles in the Social Democratic Youth League and Union of Students in Umeå.

When he became Minister for Education in 2004, he was the first non-European immigrant to be part of a Swedish government (Baylan is Assyrian-Swedish and moved to Sweden as a child). He now takes on the role of Minister for Enterprise.

Jennie Nilsson (Social Democrats), Minister for Rural Affairs

Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Nilsson first entered politics as a part-time substitute when the spokesperson in her municipal council fell sick, and was first elected as an MP in 2006. Since then, she has been chair or member of several parliamentary committees.

Amanda Lind (Green Party), Minister for Culture and Democracy

Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Trained psychologist Lind, 38, has been a party secretary for the Greens since 2016 but this is her first time in government, replacing her party colleague Alice Bah Kuhnke. Lind has previously been spokesperson for her party in Härnösand and Västernorrland and a municipal councillor in Härnösand.

Ylva Johansson (Social Democrats), Minister for Labour

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Johansson is a veteran minister: previous posts include Minister for Schools (1994-1998), Minister for Healthcare and Elderly Care (2004-2006) and Minister for the Labour Market and Integration (2014-2018, taking on the second part of the title from 2016). She's also worked as a maths and science teacher and as a Senior Adviser at Telia.

In politics, she started out as a member of the youth wing of the Left Party (at the time called Left Party – the Communists) and was first elected as an MP for that party in 1988, before joining the Social Democrats in 2006.

Åsa Lindhagen (Green Party), Minister for Equality

Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Another of the new faces in this government, Lindhagen was Stockholm's Commissioner of Social Services between 2014 and 2018. Between 2012 and 2014, she was group leader for the Greens in Stockholm city council, and was previously on the board of Save the Children.

Tomas Eneroth (Social Democrats), Minister for Infrastructure

Photo: Ninni Andersson/Regeringskansliet

Eneroth became Minister for Infrastructure in 2017, and now he'll be leading the newly created Department for Infrastructure. He's been an MP since 1994, and has chaired several parliamentary committees before becoming parliamentary group leader for the Social Democrats in 2014, but the role as Minister for Infrastructure was his first ministerial position.

Anders Ygeman (Social Democrats), Minister for Energy and Digitalization

Photo: Henrik Montgomery / TT

Ygeman is no stranger to a high-profile post in government; he was Interior Minister in the last government until he was forced to resign over a security leak at Sweden's Transport Agency in 2017. Since then, he has been the Social Democrats' group leader in parliament. He's now back in the newly created Department for Infrastructure, with responsibility for energy and digitalization. 


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