Magdalena Andersson

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Magdalena Andersson
Magdalena Andersson in 2022 (cropped).jpg
Andersson in 2022
Prime Minister of Sweden
Assumed office
30 November 2021
MonarchCarl XVI Gustaf
DeputyMorgan Johansson
Preceded byStefan Löfven
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
Assumed office
4 November 2021
Secretary GeneralTobias Baudin
Preceded byStefan Löfven
Minister for Finance
In office
3 October 2014 – 30 November 2021
Prime MinisterStefan Löfven
Preceded byAnders Borg
Succeeded byMikael Damberg
Member of the Riksdag
Assumed office
29 September 2014
ConstituencyStockholm County
Personal details
Born
Eva Magdalena Andersson

(1967-01-23) 23 January 1967 (age 55)
Uppsala, Sweden
Political partySocial Democrats
Spouse(s)
(m. 1997)
Children2
Residence(s)Sager House
EducationStockholm School of Economics

Eva Magdalena Andersson (born 23 January 1967)[1] is a Swedish politician and economist serving as Prime Minister of Sweden and leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party since 2021.[2]

Andersson joined the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League in 1983. In 1992, she earned a masters degree in economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. She served as an adviser and director of planning in Göran Persson's administration and as an adviser to Mona Sahlin. After the 2014 election, Andersson was elected to the Riksdag and became Minister for Finance in Stefan Löfven's administration. When Löfven announced his plans to step down in August 2021, she was regarded as the main candidate to succeed him. Soon after that, she was elected leader of the Social Democratic Party.

Andersson was elected prime minister of Sweden by the Riksdag on 29 November 2021.[3] On 24 November 2021, Andersson had been elected to that position but resigned after an announcement by her coalition partner, the Green Party, that they were leaving the government in response to losing the annual budget vote in the Riksdag to the conservative opposition. Andersson then assumed the office of Prime Minister on 30 November 2021 as Sweden's first elected female head of government.

Early life and education[edit]

Andersson is the only child of Göran Andersson (1936–2002), a lecturer in statistics at Uppsala University, and teacher Birgitta Andersson (née Grunell; born 1939).[4] Andersson was an elite swimmer in her youth.[5][6]

In her primary school years, she attended Malmaskolan in Norby which is a part of Uppsala.[7] During her high school years, Andersson studied social sciences at the Cathedral School in Uppsala. She graduated in 1987 with top grades in all but one class.[8]

After graduating from high school, Andersson moved to Stockholm to study at the Stockholm School of Economics,[9] where she graduated in 1992 with a master's degree in economics. She started her doctorate in economics at the Stockholm School of Economics from 1992 to 1995, but ended before completing the degree. As part of her doctoral studies, she studied abroad at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Vienna during autumn 1994 and at Harvard University during spring 1995.[10]

Andersson joined the Social Democratic Youth League (SSU) in 1983, during her first year of secondary school.[11] In 1987, she was elected president of the Uppsala section of SSU.[12]

Career[edit]

Advisor and civil servant[edit]

After completing her studies in economics, Andersson was employed in the Prime Minister's Office as a political adviser to Göran Persson from 1996 to 1998, and later served as Director of Planning from 1998 to 2004. She then spent time in the civil service, working as Secretary of state in the Ministry of Finance from 2004 to 2006, before leaving to become a political adviser again, this time to Opposition Leader Mona Sahlin, from 2007 to 2009. She left this role when the Government nominated her for Chief Director of the Swedish Tax Agency, a position she held until 2012. She resigned when adopted as a Social Democratic candidate ahead of the 2014 general election.[13]

Minister for Finance[edit]

Andersson with her first government budget (known as nådiga luntan) outside the Parliament on 23 October 2014

After the Social Democratic victory in the 2014 Swedish general election in which Andersson was elected as a member of the Riksdag, she was appointed as the Minister for Finance by new prime minister Stefan Löfven in his cabinet.[14] As a result of coalition negotiations, while Andersson had overall responsibility for the Finance Ministry, Per Bolund was given responsibility for the oversight of financial markets and consumer protection as the Minister for Financial Markets.[15] Andersson was reappointed as Finance Minister by Löfven following the 2018 election.[16]

In 2020, members of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the primary policy advisory committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), chose Andersson to serve as chair of the committee for a term of three years.[17] She became the first European in that role after more than a decade, as well as the first woman to hold that position.[18]

In August 2021, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced he would resign as party leader at the Social Democratic Party Congress in November 2021.[19] Andersson was quickly regarded by many as the candidate most likely to succeed him, and on 29 September 2021, the Social Democratic Party nominating committee announced that Andersson had been chosen as leader-designate ahead of the congress; should the designation be accepted by the Riksdag, Andersson would become leader and Sweden's first female Prime Minister.[20][21]

Leader of the Social Democratic Party[edit]

Andersson was elected Leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party on 4 November 2021,[22][23] becoming the party's second female leader after Mona Sahlin.[6]

On 10 November 2021, the incumbent prime minister Stefan Löfven formally resigned from office.[24] As part of the 2021 Swedish government formation, the Speaker of the Riksdag held talks with all party leaders on 11 November 2021 and shortly after tasked Andersson with forming a government, giving her one week.[25] On 23 November 2021, it was announced that Andersson had reached an agreement with the Left Party to support her at the upcoming prime ministerial vote. With the Centre Party having previously agreed to support her, Andersson had the support of the required number of MPs to become Sweden's next prime minister.[26]

Prime Minister of Sweden (2021–present)[edit]

Confirmation[edit]

On 24 November 2021, Andersson was elected as the prime minister of Sweden by the Riksdag.[27][28] At the time of her election, she would have assumed office formally on 26 November 2021.[29][30] Although she did not receive a majority of "yes" votes, a majority did not vote against her due to abstentions. Under Sweden's principles of "negative parliamentarism", since a majority was not opposed to Andersson's nomination, this was sufficient to elect her prime minister.[27]

A few hours after Andersson's election, her budget was defeated in the Riksdag.[31] The opposition budget passed instead. Since the opposition budget was drafted with the support of the right-wing populist party Sweden Democrats, the Green Party pulled out of the coalition rather than be bound to govern under it,[32] leading Andersson to resign before taking office.[33][34] This was based on the convention that a prime minister should resign if a party leaves the governing coalition.[35] She notified Speaker Andreas Norlén that she would be interested in leading a Social Democratic single-party government.[27][36][32]

On 29 November 2021, Andersson was elected prime minister again by a narrow margin of two votes.[37][38] This was expected after all parties that supported her in the first vote (the Centre Party, the Green Party, and the Left Party) indicated their willingness to support her when the Riksdag took another vote.[39][40][41] On 30 November 2021, Andersson and her administration formally assumed office when they met in council with King Carl XVI Gustaf and he announced them.[42][43] Andersson is Sweden's first female prime minister,[27][44][45] and the country's first female head of government since Queen Ulrika Eleonora abdicated in 1720.

In her maiden speech as party leader, Andersson said that migrants to Sweden must learn Swedish, work, and graduate high school if they wish to receive welfare. She added that migrant men must let their female relatives work.[46][47] In 2017, as Finance Minister, she said that she regretted the government's decision to grant asylum to 160,000 people during the European migrant crisis in 2015, as she believed that there was not enough housing and employment to integrate them.[48]

Tenure[edit]

Andersson and her Cabinet on 30 November 2021
Andersson met with the Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin in the spring of 2022

On 7 December, Andersson and Swedish health authorities announced new COVID-19 measures. This included remote work to be made available by employers, adults should keep distance in public spaces, restaurants should avoid congestion, and masks should be used on public transport. Andersson emphasised that it was important for people to become vaccinated, and advised people to “take a break from hugging”.[49]

On 21 December, Andersson presented new COVID-19 measures. Asked by the press if the new measures would affect her own Christmas celebrations or other plans, Andersson responded that the measures would affect her personally, and that she had to cancel a scheduled visit to Norway.[50]

On 8 January 2022, it was reported police had arrested a wanted woman who worked as a cleaning assistant at the private residence of Andersson. The arrest happened on 21 December, and the woman is said to be from Nicaragua, and that she had not left the county when her residence permit had expired. Several opposition politicians expressed concern over the lack of security surrounding the prime minister.[51]

Following a party leader debate on 12 January, Andersson tested positive for COVID-19. According to her press secretary, she began remote working after having gotten tested. Andersson was also reported to be in good shape.[52]

On 2 June, the Sweden Democrats put forward a confidence vote against justice minister Morgan Johansson alleging that he did not properly tackle gang violence and the vast recruitment of people into them. Andersson stated that if the motion against Johansson passed, she and the entire government would resign, saying: "In Sweden, we have collective decision-making in the government. If you dismiss a minister because of political decisions, then you dismiss the entire government. It goes without saying."[53]

Foreign policy[edit]

Andersson with US President Joe Biden and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in the White House in May 2022
Andersson met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on 4 July 2022

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden and the Social Democrats began to reevaluate their traditional position of neutrality.[54] The Social Democrats began a review of their policy which they intended to finish before summer of 2022.[55] On 15 May 2022, the party announced that it backed the accession of Sweden into NATO, reversing its previous policy.[56] Andersson said Sweden did not want permanent NATO bases or nuclear weapons on its territory.[57] She welcomed the deal agreed by EU leaders to ban more than 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of the year.[58]

Turkey opposed Sweden joining NATO because according to Turkey it "hosts terrorist organisations which act against Turkey",[59] including the PKK, YPG and Gulen movement.[60] On 28 June, the first day of the 2022 NATO summit in Madrid, the Turkish delegation dropped their opposition to Finland and Sweden's NATO membership applications and signed a tripartite memorandum addressing Turkey's concerns regarding arms exports and the Kurdish–Turkish conflict.[61] On 30 June 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Sweden had made a "promise" to extradite "73 terrorists" to Turkey. Andersson refused to deny Turkey's claim that Sweden had promised to deport political refugees and opponents wanted by Erdoğan's government.[62]

Other roles[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Since 1997, Andersson has been married to Richard Friberg, a professor in economics at the Stockholm School of Economics; the couple have two children.[70] They are avid outdoors people; they often go hiking, kayaking and mountaineering.[71] Andersson resides in Nacka, Stockholm.[72]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Finance
2014–2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Sweden
2021–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Social Democratic Party
2021–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded byas Speaker of the Riksdag Swedish order of precedence
Prime Minister
Succeeded byas Marshal of the Realm