Paul Johnston » Ambassador to Sweden

Inequality: Injustice in Action

16 October is Blog Action day. And this year’s theme is inequality. So here’s a blog about inequality. Tackling inequality is an important part of UK foreign policy. Two of our six human rights priorities are specifically about inequality, including women’s rights and freedom of religion and belief. For us, the promotion and protection of women’s rights is more than a moral obligation.  It is enshrined in international human rights … Read more »Inequality: Injustice in Action

Challenges and Opportunities for Europe

A new Swedish government has taken office. A new European Commission is about to. It seemed to me a good time to set out some thoughts on some of the big priorities facing the UK, Sweden and our EU partners over the coming months. Here’s a translation of the article I wrote for Saturday’s Dagens industry, Debatt: Så kan Löfven hjälpa oss , describing what I see as the shared priorities. For all … Read more »Challenges and Opportunities for Europe

IT Startup communities in Stockholm and London: Never Mind the Gap

Last November I was in London with the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel. They visited Cambridge University, an inner-city London school, the Google Campus and Tech City in East London. It was the latter visits which inspired my Swedish counterpart in London and me to think about a follow-up event focusing on how the flourishing IT start-up communities in Stockholm and London can learn from each other. Today, ten months … Read more »IT Startup communities in Stockholm and London: Never Mind the Gap

NATO’s Summit in Wales: ‘Building Stability in an Unpredictable World’

On Thursday 4 and Friday 5 September the UK will host the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales. It will be the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain. It will also be the first UK-hosted NATO Summit since the London meeting in 1990, which marked the end of the Cold War. Things feel rather different day. But this Summit is no less important. Indeed, as many … Read more »NATO’s Summit in Wales: ‘Building Stability in an Unpredictable World’

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS

Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime Minister personally. It’s our conviction that girls and indeed all women have the right … Read more »PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS

War and Remembrance

28 June marked the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – the event that set in train the outbreak of the First World War.  Of course the causes of the war were much more complicated than one violent act. Last week we hosted an event at the Residence where British historian Andrew Oldfield gave us a fascinating insight into the political, economic and cultural conditions which led to … Read more »War and Remembrance

Europe: After the Vote

Much ink has already been spilled (or many keys have already been tapped) in analysing the European Council’s decision to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker to head the European Commission. My government has been clear that the decision was wrong in principle, as a matter as process and as an issue of policy. For that reason the UK stood up for the principle that the European Council – the elected national leaders … Read more »Europe: After the Vote

Scotland: the best of all lands and the best of all worlds

On 18 September, voters in Scotland will be asked “Should Scotland be an independent country?”. The UK and Scottish Governments agree that the question is for people in Scotland to decide. The UK Government strongly believes that Scotland’s future is better staying within the United Kingdom, but it has of course pledged to respect the outcome. As part of its commitment to a fair and decisive referendum in Scotland, the … Read more »Scotland: the best of all lands and the best of all worlds

Scotland in the UK: Better Together

The referendum on Scottish independence draws ever nearer and the debate is intensifying on both sides. As part of that debate, the UK government has published its 14th paper in a series of analyses, which set out the case for Scotland’s continued Union with the rest of the UK. The focus of this latest paper is fiscal policy and sustainability. It states that Scots would be around SEK 14,000 better … Read more »Scotland in the UK: Better Together

Two Elections, One Day, One Europe

Britain and Sweden see eye to eye on the implications of the Ukraine crisis. Here’s a translation of the article I wrote for Swedish national newspaper Dagens Industri today.   In less than three weeks’ time, the people of Ukraine go to the polls in Presidential elections that will determine the future direction of their country. According to reputable polling organisations, over 80 percent of Ukrainians said they will vote on … Read more »Two Elections, One Day, One Europe