The Foreign Service comprises the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the 104 missions abroad, which include embassies, representations, delegations and consulates. 750 persons serve at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. Another 530 Ministry for Foreign Affairs officials, together with around 1 300 locally employed persons, serve at missions abroad. A total of 2 580 persons work in the Foreign Service as a whole.
You will find an organigram of the Foreign Service on the right.
The Foreign Service is responsible for Swedens relations with other countries. The task of the Foreign Service is to contribute to realising the Governments overall foreign policy objectives. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is also responsible for coordinating Swedish foreign policy at the Government Offices.
The political leadership
Carl Bildt is Minister for Foreign Affairs. Gunilla Carlsson is Minister for International Development Cooperation and Ewa Björling is Minister for Trade.
The Ministers, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and the other State Secretaries constitute the political leadership. To assist them in policy issues, the leadership has political advisers and press secretaries. Unlike other civil servants, the political leadership and political appointees leave their posts when there is a change of government.
Under the political leadership, work is led by three Directors-General, a Director-General for Administrative Affairs and a Director-General for Legal Affairs. The three Directors-General are responsible for their respective policy areas: political issues, trade and international development cooperation. The Director-General for Administrative Affairs is responsible for the administrative management of the Foreign Service. The responsibilities of the Director-General for Legal Affairs include ensuring that Ministry for Foreign Affairs matters are handled correctly and that proposals for laws and other regulations are drafted.
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 104 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 400 honorary consulates. Sweden has diplomatic relations with almost all independent states in the world.