Organisation of the Foreign Service
The Foreign Service comprises the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish missions abroad, which include embassies, representations, delegations and consulates.
The Foreign Service is responsible for Sweden's relations with other countries. The task of the Foreign Service is to contribute to realising the Government's overall foreign policy objectives. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is also responsible for coordinating Swedish foreign policy at the Government Offices.
The political leadership
Tobias Billström is Minister for Foreign Affairs and head of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. State Secretary for Foreign Affairs is Jan Knutsson.
Johan Forssell is Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Cooperation. Ms Forssells' State Secretaries are Diana Janse and Håkan Jevrell.
Together, the Ministers and the State Secretaries constitute the political leadership of the MFA.
Departments and their functions
The day-to-day work of the Ministry is conducted by a number of departments. These departments process and prepare business prior to Government decisions. Another of their tasks is to represent Sweden in international negotiations and promote Swedish foreign policy and economic interests.
The Swedish foreign representation consists of Sweden's missions abroad, which include embassies, representations, delegations and consulates. These report directly to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at the same time as they are autonomous government agencies. For some 30 countries relations are maintained through a group of ambassadors based in Stockholm. The foreign representation also includes some 340 honorary consulates. Sweden has diplomatic relations with almost all independent states in the world.
Leadership of the MFA
The work under the MFA ministers is led by the State Secretaries. The State Secretary of the Minister for Foreign Affairs has the title State Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Together, the Ministers and the State Secretaries constitute the political leadership of the MFA.
The Ministers Office at the MFA consists of the political leadership, political advisers, press secretaries, officials and administrative assistants. The task of the Ministers Office is to assist the Ministers, in part by acting as a link between the political leadership and the rest of the Ministry's organisation.
Head of Department: Niklas Ström
In addition to the political leadership, there are several non-political senior officials who lead the Ministry's work: a Director-General for Administrative Affairs, a Director-General for Legal Affairs and three Directors-General for policy areas. In formal terms, the State Secretaries are also senior officials, although they are political appointees.
The Directors-General work together to shape and conduct a coordinated and consistent Swedish foreign policy. One of the Directors-General is responsible for foreign and security policy issues, one is responsible for trade issues and one is responsible for international development cooperation issues. The Director-General for Administrative Affairs is responsible for the administrative management of the Foreign Service. The Director-General for Legal Affairs monitors international law matters of major importance and is the Government's representative before the European Court of Human Rights. He or she also monitors the legality, consistency and uniformity of MFA and foreign representation activities.
Director-General for Political Affairs (UD UrP): Elinor Hammarskjöld
Director-General for International Development Cooperation (UD UrIU): Helen Eduards
Director-General for Trade (UD UrH): Per-Arne Hjelmborn
Director-General for Administrative Affairs (UD EXPCH): Anna Hammargren
Director-General for Legal Affairs (UD RCH): Carl Magnus Nesser
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs' geographical departments
Part of the MFA's day-to-day work is conducted by a number of geographical departments that each are responsible for Sweden's foreign, trade and development cooperation relations with the countries in their geographical area. A geographical department is also responsible for background material and analyses when Sweden is to take a position on issues concerning EU relations with these countries. In addition, it monitors Swedish interests and manages contacts with the regional organisations in the area.
Africa Department (UD AF)
The department is responsible for Sweden's foreign, trade and development cooperation policy relations with countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The department is also responsible for background material and analyses when Sweden is to take a position on issues concerning EU relations with these countries. In addition, it monitors Swedish interests and manages contacts with the regional organisations in the area.
Head of Department: Irina Schoulgin Nyoni
Americas Department (UD AME)
The department is responsible for Sweden's foreign, trade and development cooperation policy relations with countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The department is also responsible for background material and analyses when Sweden is to take a position on issues concerning EU relations with these countries. In addition, it monitors Swedish interests and manages contacts with the regional organisations in the area.
Head of Department: Veronika Wand-Danielsson
Department for Asia and the Pacific Region (UD ASO)
The department is responsible for Sweden's relations with countries in Asia and the Pacific Region. The department's geographical area of operation ranges from Afghanistan in the west to Samoa in the Pacific Ocean in the east. Within this area, the department deals with foreign, trade and development cooperation policy bilaterally as well as through the EU and the UN. The department also engages in active business promotion and analyses economic developments in the region.
In addition, the department coordinates Sweden's participation in cooperation between Asia and Europe within the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and monitors developments in regional organisations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Head of Department: Niclas Kvarnström
Department for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (UD EC)
The department is responsible for matters relating to relations with Russia and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and Eastern Europe (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), as well as bilateral development cooperation with relevant countries. The department is also responsible for the Eastern Partnership and the eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Regional cooperation within the Arctic Council, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Northern Dimension and the Council of the Baltic Sea States is also part of the department's area of responsibility.
Head of Department: Andreas von Beckerath
Europe Department (UD EU)
The Europe Department is responsible for general EU issues in the Ministry's area of responsibility, including enlargement and institutional issues. The department is also responsible for Nordic and Nordic-Baltic cooperation. In addition, the department handles issues concerning Sweden's bilateral relations and alliance-building with EU Member States and Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and the countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Business promotion is an important element in working with the department's countries.
Head of Department: Torbjörn Sohlström
Middle East and North Africa Department (UD MENA)
The department is responsible for Sweden's foreign, trade and development cooperation policy relations with countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq, and also North Africa. The department is also responsible for background material and analyses when Sweden is to take a position on issues concerning EU relations with these countries. In addition, it monitors Swedish interests and manages contacts with the regional organisations in the area.
Head of Department: Magnus Hellgren
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs' functional departments
European Correspondent Department (UD EUKORR)
The European Correspondent Department (UD EUKORR) is responsible for coordinating the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) within the MFA. As part of this task, the department prepares for and participates in meetings of EU foreign ministers – both formal Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meetings and informal 'Gymnich' meetings. The department also prepares for and participates in meetings of EU development ministers (FAC development).
In addition, the department is responsible for coordinating the Ministry’s agenda points at meetings of the General Affairs Council (GAC) and at the European Council. Furthermore, the department is responsible for providing instructions to the Political and Security Committee (PSC), the Working Party of Foreign Relations Counsellors (RELEX) and foreign affairs matters at the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper).
Head of Department/European Correspondent: Martin Åberg
Department for European Security Policy (UD ES)
The Department for European Security Policy (UD ES) is responsible for Swedish security policy, primarily fundamental principles and doctrines. This covers security policy consequences of developments, mainly in the EU and its neighbourhood, including the transatlantic link.
The Department for European Security Policy is responsible for security policy issues and initiatives in the EU, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe.
The department is also responsible for cooperation within the EU for the security policy dimension of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), cooperation within the EAPC and the PfP, and relations with NATO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and bilateral, Nordic and Nordic-Baltic security policy cooperation.
Head of Department: Johan Frisell
Department for Trade Promotion, Nation Branding and CSR (UD FH)
The Department for Promotion of Sweden, Trade and CSR (UD FH) is responsible for issues concerning the promotion of Swedish exports (including project exports and international procurement), foreign investments in Sweden, culture and the image of Sweden, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The department works with government agencies and organisations, other MFA departments, other ministries and missions abroad (embassies and consulates) to help Swedish businesses compete in international markets, contribute to increased Swedish exports and more foreign investment in Sweden, and generate interest and trust in, and goodwill for, Sweden.
The department is also responsible for the Government's work on promoting CSR through its responsibility for the OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the national contact point, the UN Global Compact and anti-corruption.
In addition, the department is responsible for the coordination of government promotion of exports and the internationalisation of the business sector within Team Sweden, the Council for the Promotion of Sweden – a forum for information exchange – and coordination and joint action with regard to Sweden's profile.
Head of Department: Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt
Department for International Law, Human Rights and Treaty Law (UD FMR)
The department is responsible for general advice on public international law and monitoring of public international law issues and human rights (HR) in international forums. This area of responsibility includes humanitarian law (the laws of war), the law of the sea and treaty law (agreements between states, international organisations, etc.), as well as issues concerning immunity and privileges.
The department also represents Sweden at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and in the UN human rights committees that hear individual complaints.
The department is also responsible for democracy issues in foreign policy and for development cooperation with a focus on democracy, human rights, and information and communication technologies.
Head of Department: Niklas Kebbon
The Department for UN Policy, Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs (UD FN)
The Department for UN Policy, Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs (UD FN) is responsible for coordinating and developing Sweden’s overall United Nations policy, including work in the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and UN missions, and the UN Economic and Social Council. It also coordinates candidacy issues in the UN system.
The department is responsible for overarching Swedish policy regarding conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. UD FN is also responsible for developing Swedish humanitarian policy, including Sweden’s humanitarian assistance via the UN, the EU and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
UD FN coordinates overarching coherence issues in multilateral development cooperation, as well as budget issues and the governance and evaluation of Sweden’s contributions to the UN and strategic partners. The department is responsible for the Folke Bernadotte Academy.
Other important areas are global health issues, including global health funds, and trafficking in human beings. The department has coordinating responsibility for issues relating to women, peace and security (WPS), and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Head of Department: Carl Skau
Global Agenda Department (UD GA)
The Global Agenda Department (UD GA) is responsible for overall coordination within the framework of the 2030 Agenda and the Ministry's and the Government Offices' work on the Policy for Global Development.
The department is also responsible for coordinating and developing feminist foreign policy, including gender equality issues in development cooperation.
Other areas of responsibility include coherence in the Ministry's work on climate issues (including in the UN and the EU), governance and evaluation of Sweden's development cooperation in the area of the environment and climate, and security and development policy aspects of energy issues.
Finally, the department is responsible for governance and evaluation of Sweden's development cooperation via the World Bank, regional development banks, development funds and multilateral environment and climate funds.
The department covers monitoring and analysis of long-term global challenges and threats, and the security and development policy aspects of these.
The department is responsible for issues relating to the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.
Head of Department: Sigrún Rawet
Department for International Trade Policy and the EU Single Market (UD HI)
The department is the Government Offices' central department for issues concerning trade policy, international trade and investment, and the EU's common trade policy legislation. The department is also responsible, in the Government Offices, for the implementation and development of Sweden's policy on issues concerning the EU single market, with particular responsibility for the free movement of goods and services.
In addition, the department is responsible for multilateral trade policy in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and, together with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs geographical departments, the EU's bilateral trade agreements with third countries.
The department's areas of responsibility cover issues related to international customs cooperation, customs regulations and rules of origin, intellectual property law, trade and sustainable development, including trade-related support to developing countries, and legislation negotiations and initiatives at EU level in the area of goods and services, the digital single market and standardisation.
Head of Department: Charlotte Sammelin
Department for International Development Cooperation (UD IU)
The International Development Cooperation Department (UD IU) is responsible for overall governance and evaluation of all Swedish development cooperation, including the Ministry's policy development in the area of aid and methods development and forms of aid in development cooperation.
The department is responsible for coordinating positions and action within the framework of EU development cooperation, the handling of the Council Working Party on Development Cooperation (CODEV) and the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), and coordination of issues concerning the OECD/Development Assistance Committee.
The department coordinates budget and appropriation issues within expenditure area 7 'International development cooperation'.
The department also has responsibility for issues related to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swedfund International AB and the Expert Group for Aid Studies.
Head of Department: Per Holmström
Department for Consular Affairs and Civil Law (UD KC)
The Department for Consular Affairs and Civil Law works with matters concerning consular support to individuals, consular contingency planning and civil law. It is also responsible for the MFA's travel recommendations.
Consular support to individuals concerns the support that Swedish citizens and residents of Sweden can receive from embassies and consulates, for example in the event of emergencies, deprivation of liberty or death abroad. The department is responsible for the MFA's operative consular crisis management. It is in charge of consular back-up teams and contributes to a high level of preparedness and crisis management capacity in the organisation abroad, e.g. through contingency plans and exercises. Civil law issues include abducted children and MFA-related paternity and marriage issues.
The department includes the MFA Duty Office, which is responsible for consular preparedness for embassies outside of office hours.
Head of Department: Svante Liljegren
Communications Department (UD KOM)
The Communications Department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs supports the political leadership and the Ministry's departments with communications materials on foreign and security policy, global development cooperation, trade policy and the promotion of Sweden.
The department also has particular responsibility for communications materials on Swedish Foreign Service activities related to missions abroad, such as consular matters and crisis communication.
The department carries out the Foreign Service's continued development of strategic communications and public diplomacy.
The department works on strategic communications initiatives based on political priorities, and its editorial staff develops and produces communications materials for the Foreign Service's many different channels, for both internal and external target groups. The department is also responsible for the Ministry's pages at www.government.se, its intranet and staff magazine UDkuriren, and the websites of missions abroad at www.swedenabroad.com. Graphic design is also one of the department's responsibilities.
The department's Press Service provides daily support and service to the media. The department is also responsible for the accreditation of foreign correspondents in Sweden and for media events in connection with official visits.
The department includes Language Services, which provides translation to and from English and Swedish, as well as editing and language advisory services. Language Services also publishes Utrikes namnbok, an online multi-lingual glossary of Swedish agencies, organisations, titles and EU bodies.
Head of Department: Viktoria Li
Department for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (UD NIS)
The department is responsible for disarmament and non-proliferation issues, including export controls of military equipment and dual-use products. This means that the department is responsible for the way work on controlling, eliminating and preventing the proliferation of different kinds of weapons is conducted globally, regionally and bilaterally. Matters concerning nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (weapons of mass destruction) as well as conventional weapons and missiles are monitored.
Head of Department: Ann-Sofie Nilsson
Protocol Department (UD PROT)
The Protocol Department is responsible for planning and arranging incoming and outgoing state visits, as well as incoming official visits to the Prime Minister’s Office and to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Protocol Department is responsible for contacts with foreign embassies, career consulates and international organisations in Sweden, including matters concerning their safety and security.
The Protocol Department interprets and applies the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, issues diplomatic visas, residence permits and identity cards to resident staff at diplomatic missions, career consular posts and international organisations.
The Protocol Department also handles the accreditation of foreign ambassadors and exequatur for foreign consuls.
Head of Department: Maria Christina Lundqvist
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs' other departments and functions
Financial Accounting Department (UD EKO)
The Department is responsible for financial accounting and payments in the Foreign Service, the accounting system at missions abroad, and ensuring competence and development in the field of financial administration.
Head of Department: Eva Mofalk
Office of the Director-General for Administrative Affairs (UD EXPCH)
The Director-General for Administrative Affairs is responsible for the administrative management of the Foreign Service.
Director-General for Administrative Affairs: Anna Hammargren
Property Management and Logistics Department (UD FAST)
The Property Management and Logistics Department is responsible for the provision of property abroad, planning and allocation of premises at the Ministry's disposal, purchasing and maintenance of office equipment and furnishings, and courier services.
Head of Department: Lars Schmidt
Inspectorate (UD INSP)
The Inspectorate's task is to scrutinise the activities, organisation, use of resources and leadership of missions abroad, as well as the Government Offices' management of the missions.
Head: Ingrid Johansson
Office to Support Small Missions Abroad (UD KSU)
UD KSU is the office for Stockholm-based Swedish ambassadors to countries where Sweden does not have its own embassy. UD KSU is also responsible for providing administrative support in various areas to a number of small missions abroad. UD KSU also provides support to relevant honorary consulates.
MFA Legalisations, which the public can contact to have documents legalised, belongs to UD KSU. More information about legalisations.
Head of Department: Pernilla Josefsson Lazo
Human Resources Department (UD P)
The department is responsible for skills provision, continuing professional development, recruitment and staffing, and salary and employment conditions. Recruitment to international organisations also belongs to the department's area of responsibility.
Head of Department: Ulrika Funered
Planning and Budget Department (UD PLAN)
The department is responsible for business planning and budget preparation, and for human and financial resources. It is also responsible for budget coordination of the Ministry's expenditure areas and organisation and business development, and is the contact point for IT and archive matters.
Head of Department: Catharina Cappelin
Director-General for Legal Affairs (UD RCH)
The responsibilities of the Director-General for Legal Affairs include ensuring that MFA business is conducted correctly and in accordance with the law, and that proposals for laws and other statutes are drafted within the Ministry's area of responsibility. The Director-General for Legal Affairs has a special responsibility for monitoring important public international law matters and representing Sweden in cases brought before international courts in which Sweden is a party, such as the European Court of Human Rights and the UN human rights committees that hear individual complaints.
Director-General for Legal Affairs: Carl Magnus Nesser
Legal Secretariat (UD RS)
The Legal Secretariat is responsible for drafting, advising on and examining proposals for laws and other statutes within the Ministry's areas of responsibility as well as the MFA's regulations.
In addition, the Secretariat is responsible for cases before the European Union Courts and the EFTA Court as well as for infringement cases (European Commission complaints concerning failure to fulfil Treaty obligations).
The Legal Secretariat is also in charge of cases that have been appealed to the Government and the Government Offices. It is also responsible for providing advice in administrative law and other legal matters, and ensures that Foreign Service activities are legal, consistent and uniform.
Matters concerning the release of official documents to individuals and matters relating to the Personal Data Act also come within the Secretariat's area of responsibility.
Head of Department: Sara Johanesson
Office for Regulatory Supervision (UD RT)
The Office for Regulatory Supervision exercises supervision of the Swedish Foreign Service's regulatory framework. It also receives complaints from the public concerning Foreign Service officials.
Head: Christel Makarowski
Security Department (UD SÄK)
The Security Department's main areas cover:
personal protectionintrusion preventionsecurity screening/infiltration protectioninformation security matters.
The department handles and has responsibility for security work at missions abroad, including closing and evacuating offices, and certain security issues at the MFA in Stockholm.
The department serves as the National Security Authority (NSA) within the framework of Sweden's international cooperation on information security.
Head of Department: Mathias Otterstedt