CLS is glad to welcome Elisabeth Eklund to the CLS community, new Ambassador of Sweden to Portugal.
How long have you been in Portugal now?
I arrived in Portugal on 17th of August this year, and I presented my credentials to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on the 25th of August. The focus of the embassy since I arrived has been the voting process for the Swedish election, which has been a great opportunity for me to meet with Swedish citizens residing here in Portugal. I have also had the opportunity to take part in the 40th anniversary of CLS on the ship Götheborg of Sweden, where I had the great opportunity to meet with representatives from the Swedish business community.
What are some of your priorities as the new ambassador?
One of my priorities relates to Portugal’s ratification of Sweden’s application to NATO. Also, Sweden's upcoming EU presidency in 2023, and of course to make sure that the embassy provides good support to Swedes living in this country.
Where are you from?
I was born in Stockholm and partially grew up in Dalarna where my mother’s family is from. Therefore, I wear with pride the “Järnadräkten” (National costume). I also spent my early teens in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Later on, I moved to Uppsala where I got my Master of Law.
Can you tell us a little about your professional career?
I have a long experience from the Swedish foreign service dealing with a wide range of issues. I have been posted to Jerusalem, New York, Havana; I have worked with the Middle East peace process and at our department for international law, human rights and treaty law. I’ve been the deputy head of the Americas department, and I have spent a lot of time with EU- and UN negotiations in Brussels, Geneva and New York. I was also the Swedish ambassador to Cuba between 2013-2016, and for the past five years I have been the Swedish non-resident ambassador to 14 countries in the Caribbean. Now, here in Portugal, I’m looking forward to cooperating closely with CLS and to continue the close and long-standing relationship between CLS and the Swedish embassy.
What parts of the Portuguese culture are you looking forward to getting to know better?
I'm really looking forward to experiencing all aspects of the Portuguese culture. This country has such a fascinating and interesting history, which is something I want to learn more about. I also want to dive into the gastronomic world and try as many good Portuguese dishes as possible. The art, music and film scenes will also be very exciting to see more of.