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KEY POINTS: Everything you need to know about Sweden’s new government

Magdalena Andersson is Sweden's new prime minister, and her new cabinet has been announced. But what are her plans for Sweden, and who are the ministers who will help her carry them out?

Andersson's new ministers in her new government
“This government will be working hard - so make sure you take nice pictures now, because you won’t see them looking this lively again,” said Andersson to photographers in parliament. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

What does Andersson want to achieve with her new government?

In her speech to parliament before announcing her ministers, Andersson mentioned the fight against crime and segregation, “driving the green industrial revolution” and “taking back control of welfare” as her three main priorities.

“Every minister in the government that takes office today will be tasked, within their area of responsibility and with the support of the relevant government agencies, with leaving no stone unturned in bringing an end to gang crime and segregation,” said Andersson.

She also underlined the importance of individuals, stating that “we all need to do our part”, and that “no one individual can break segregation or stop the shootings or the gangs on their own”.

“Everyone can do something,” Andersson said.

“Help out in local sports associations so that there are recreational activities for our children and young people. Stay and talk for a few minutes with someone who needs to improve their Swedish to enter into Swedish society,” she continued.

For a full English translation of her statement of government policy, click here.

Who are the new ministers in Andersson’s cabinet?

Andersson’s new Social Democrat government is a major shake-up, featuring a lot of new faces not seen in the previous cabinet – over a third of her ministers are new.

Changes to the cabinet are Mikael Damberg (previously Minister for Home Affairs) taking over Andersson’s role as Minister for Finance; Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson (previously leader of the Swedish Trade Union LO) who will be taking over as Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation from Ibrahim Baylan, who is retiring from politics after two decades as a top-ranking Social Democrat; and Anna-Caren Sätherberg, who will be the new Minister for Rural Affairs – a role which did not exist in the previous government.

Furthermore, Johan Danielsson, member of the EU parliament, will be taking over as Minister for Housing and Deputy Minister of Employment from outgoing Green Party politician Märta Stenevi – whose official title was “Minister for Gender Equality and Housing, with responsibility for urban development, anti-segregation and anti-discrimination”.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Minister of Finance Mikael Damberg with the rest of the new government on their way to meet with the King at the skifteskonselj for the formal transition of power. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

Additionally, Matilda Ernkrans is leaving her role as Minister for Higher Education and research and joining the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as Minister for International Development Cooperation (taking over from the Green Party’s Per Olsson Fridh). There will be two new additions to the Ministry of Finance: Max Elger (currently political advisor to Magdalena Andersson) who will become Minister for Financial Markets, taking over from the Green Party’s Åsa Lindhagen, and Ida Karkiainen who will be the new Minister for Public Administration, taking over from Social Democrat Lena Micko, who chose to step down after two years in the role.

Anders Ygeman, formerly Minister for Energy and Digital Development under the Ministry of Infrastructure, has been moved to the Ministry of Justice, where he will be working as Minister for Integration and Migration, another new ministerial role – the previous government had a Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson, whose new role will be as a combined Minister for Justice and Home Affairs instead.

Finally, Khashayar Farmanbar will be taking over Ygeman’s previous role as Minister for Energy and Digital Development, and Annika Strandhäll will be taking over from Green Party MP Per Bolund as Minister for Environment and Climate.

Two of Andersson’s new ministers have not held poltical roles before.

The first is Lina Axelsson Kihlblom, who will be the new Minister for Schools. Axelsson Kihlblom is known from TV series Rektorerna or “The Headteachers”, where she worked on improving low school results in Ronnaskolan, Södertälje. She is also making history as Sweden’s first out trans woman in a ministerial role.

The second minister brought in from outside of politics is Jeanette Gustafsdotter, the incoming Minister for Culture, who is taking over from the Green Party’s Amanda Lind, whose official title was “Minister for Culture and Democracy, with responsibility for sport”. Gustafsdotter was – until now – general secretary of the Swedish Museums Association.

The other ministers in Andersson’s cabinet remain the same as the last government.

Another particular minister to note in Andersson’s new cabinet is Infrastructure Minister Tomas Eneroth, who is currently being investigated on suspicion of sexual harassment after placing his hand on a woman’s back during the Social Democrats’ party congress earlier in November.

Andersson commented the investigation in a press conference after announcing her cabinet, stating that it was “good that the situation is being investigated,” and that she is “very proud to be leader of a party where members take up issues like this and make sure that they get investigated”.

On the incident in question, Andersson stated that “there is no doubt about what has happened, and in this case Tomas Eneroth has asked the woman for an apology. He has been clear that it was accidental on his part. I see no reason not to believe that,” she continued.

Here is a full run-down of Andersson’s new cabinet:

Prime Minister’s Office

Prime Minister: Magdalena Andersson

Minister for EU Affairs: Hans Dahlgren

Ministry of Employment

Minister for Employment and Equality: Eva Nordmark

Minister for Housing and Deputy Minister of Employment: Johan Danielsson

Ministry of Finance

Minister for Finance: Mikael Damberg

Minister for Financial Markets: Max Elger

Minister for Public Administration: Ida Karkiainen

Ministry of Defence

Minister for Defence: Peter Hultqvist

Ministry of Infrastructure

Minister for Infrastructure: Tomas Eneroth

Minister for Energy and Digital Development: Khashayar Farmanbar

Ministry of Justice

Minister for Justice and Home Affairs: Morgan Johansson

Minister for Integration and Migration: Anders Ygeman

Ministry of Culture

Minister for Culture: Jeanette Gustafsdotter

Ministry of the Environment

Minister for Environment and Climate: Annika Strandhäll

Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation

Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation: Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson

Minister for Rural Affairs: Anna-Caren Sätherberg

Ministry of Health and Social Affairs

Minister for Health and Social Affairs: Lena Hallengren

Minister for Social Security: Ardalan Shekarabi

Ministry of Education and Research

Minister for Education: Anna Ekström

Minister for Schools: Lina Axelsson Kihlblom

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Foreign Affairs: Ann Linde

Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs: Anna Hallberg

Minister for International Development Cooperation: Matilda Ernkrans

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Five of Sweden’s political parties planned to evade party financing laws

Five of the eight political parties in the Swedish parliament discussed evading party financing laws with a businessman secretly working with journalists, a new investigation by broadcaster TV4 has found.

Five of Sweden's political parties planned to evade party financing laws

“There’s every reason to demand moral and political responsibility,” political scientist Jonas Hinnfors said of how Sweden’s society should react to the investigation’s findings. “It’s a threat to democracy.”

The new law on donations to political parties which came into force in 201  dictates that parties must declare all donations received from private individuals or businesses. Donators can remain anonymous, byt only as long as their donation does not exceed 24,150 kronor (€2,281). Larger donations must be declared along with the name of the donor.

The Kalla Fakta team which produced the documentary hired two businessmen to call each parliamentary party and ask how they could donate half a million kronor, while staying anonymous. The conversations were recorded and meetings filmed with a hidden camera.

Three parties – the Centre Party, the Left Party and the Green Party – said that it wasn’t possible for the donor to remain anonymous. 

But the other five parties – the Social Democrats, the Moderates, the Sweden Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals – suggested different ways of getting around the requirements.

Christian Democrat press secretary Peter Kullgren suggested splitting up donations and donating to individual candidates so that each donation remained under the legal limit.

Another method, proposed by Sweden Democrat head of finance Lena-Karin Lifvenhjelm, consisted of giving the money to another individual who would donate it under their name instead.

Magdalena Agrell, the Social Democrat’s head of finance, discussed finding someone else to act as a front in recorded telephone conversations.

The chairman and communications chief of the Social Democrat’s youth organisation, Diyar Cicek and Youbert Aziz, suggested that the businessman instead create a foundation to donate the money.

The Moderate Party’s ombudsman Patrik Haggren proposed that donations could be sent from different members of the businessman’s family in order to remain anonymous.

Lisa Flinth, who is responsible for leadership support in the Liberal Party, also proposed this method, providing the contact details of a middleman, the consultant Svend Dahl.

Dahl first proposed that his company send an invoice of half a million kronor to the businessman, but later suggested that the money be transferred to him to donate to the Liberals in his name, thereby avoiding having to pay tax.

“It’s important you keep yourself anonymous,” Dahl said in Kalla Fakta‘s recordings of conversations with the undercover businessman.

Dahl is a political scientist and has previously been head of media organisation Liberala Nyhetsbyrån.

Flinth was well aware of the fact that the method undermines the aim of the law, telling the businessman in a telephone conversation that it was very important that nothing could be traced back to the party.

“It could have serious consequences,” she said. “We don’t really have any margins when it comes to credibility.”

“If there was an article about this in the middle of a heated election campaign and we miss the threshold for getting in to parliament, I would never forgive myself,” she said.

Political scientist Jonas Hinnfors, who commented on the conversation for the Kalla Fakta team, said he was shocked after hearing it.

“They know what the point of the new legislation is,” he told Kalla Fakta. “Going against that is political dynamite.”

In a written comment on their website, the Liberals’ vice-party secretary Gustav Georgson stated that the party would not use Dahl’s consulting services again and that it “takes the statements made by Kalla Fakta seriously and will act forcefully to avoid similar situations happening again.”