Stockholm's new 9-member city council led by Karin Wanngård (first row in the middle), Source: Karin Wanngård Facebook

Sweden turns right with new government, but Stockholm swings to the left

Sweden turns right with new government, but Stockholm swings to the left

The capital has opposed the current political tide in the country, and ex-mayor Karin Wanngård is back at the helm

Yesterday, Europe got its newest government sitting on the right spectrum – that of Sweden, headed by Ulf Kristersson, from the Moderates, heading a three-party coalition, also supported by the far-right Sweden Democrats. The news stream focused on that fact, considered unusual for the otherwise immigration-friendly Nordic country, but missed out on the more complex picture that the election results painted.

Parallel to the parliamentary elections, there were also municipal and regional ones, which showed that there is a caveat to the ascendance of the Sweden Democrats – it didn’t happen at all in the biggest city, Stockholm. In fact, there a new red-green coalition formed by the Social Democrats, the Left Party and the Green Party has taken over the Moderates to form the new leadership of the national capital.

That also means that the new chair of the municipal board (the Swedish equivalent of the mayoral position) was taken by Karin Wanngård (SD), who had already occupied that position from 2014 to 2018.

The environment is big in the new city council’s plans

Now that Mrs Wanngård is back at the helm of Stockholm’s government, she can pursue some of the policies from her previous term (back then the coalition composition was the same but also included the Feminist Initiative).

Chief among those policies are once again the climate initiatives. The stated purpose of the new coalition is the establishment of the so-called ‘environmental car zones’, where only sustainable mobility vehicles, such as e-cars and bicycles are allowed to enter. The scope and details of such zones are yet to be determined, though, but the stated horizon for their introduction is 2024.

Åsa Lindhagen (Greens), former social councillor 2014-2018 in Stockholm, is also making a comeback in municipal politics and will be one of the upcoming councillors in the new board. Previously, she has, among other things, been Minister for Gender Equality for the Green Party in the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament).

According to her, the city's environmental goals must now be further sharpened, and Stockholm must become a world leader in reducing its emissions.



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