|Prime Minister of Norway|
|Assumed office |
16 October 2013
|Preceded by||Jens Stoltenberg|
|Leader of the Conservative Party|
|Assumed office |
9 May 2004
|Deputy||Jan Tore Sanner |
|Preceded by||Jan Petersen|
|Conservative Parliamentary Leader|
9 October 2005 – 17 October 2013
|Preceded by||Oddvard Nilsen|
|Succeeded by||Trond Helleland|
|Leader of the Opposition|
17 October 2005 – 16 October 2013
|Prime Minister||Jens Stoltenberg|
|Preceded by||Jens Stoltenberg|
|Succeeded by||Jens Stoltenberg|
|Minister of Local Government and Regional Development|
19 October 2001 – 17 October 2005
|Prime Minister||Kjell Magne Bondevik|
|Preceded by||Sylvia Brustad|
|Succeeded by||Åslaug Haga|
|Leader of the Conservative Women's Association|
7 March 1993 – 29 March 1998
|Preceded by||Siri Frost Sterri|
|Succeeded by||Sonja Sjøli|
|Member of the Norwegian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
2 October 1989
|Born||24 February 1961|
|Political party||Conservative Party|
|Alma mater||University of Bergen|
Solberg was first elected to be a member of the Storting in 1989 and served as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in Bondevik's Second Cabinet from 2001 to 2005. During her tenure, she oversaw the tightening of immigration policy and the preparation of a proposed reform of the administrative divisions of Norway. After the 2005 election, she chaired the Conservative Party parliamentary group until 2013. Solberg has emphasized the social and ideological basis of the Conservative policies, although the party also has become visibly more pragmatic.
After winning the September 2013 election, she became the 28th Prime Minister of Norway and the second female to hold the position after Gro Harlem Brundtland. Solberg's Cabinet, often referred to informally as the "Blue-Blue Cabinet", is a two-party minority government consisting of the Conservative Party and Progress Party. The cabinet established a formalized co-operation with the Liberal Party and Christian Democratic Party in the Storting. The Government was re-elected in the 2017 election, and was extended to include the Liberal Party in January 2018. This extended minority coalition is informally referred to as the "Blue-Green cabinet." In May 2018, Solberg surpassed Kåre Willoch and became the longest serving Prime Minister of Norway to represent the Conservative party.
Family background and education
Solberg was born in Bergen in western Norway and grew up in the affluent Kalfaret neighbourhood. Her father, Asbjørn Solberg (1925–1989), worked as a consultant in the Bergen Sporvei, and her mother, Inger Wenche Torgersen (1926–2016), was an office worker. Solberg has two sisters, one older than her and one younger.
Solberg had some struggles at school and at the age of 16 was diagnosed as suffering from dyslexia. She was, nevertheless, an active and talkative contributor in the classroom. In her final year as a high-school student in 1979, she was elected to the board of the School Student Union of Norway, and in the same year led the national charity event Operasjon Dagsverk, in which students collected money for Jamaica.
In 1986, she graduated with her cand.mag. degree in sociology, political science, statistics and economics from the University of Bergen. In her final year, she also led the Students' League of the Conservative Party in Bergen.
Solberg was a deputy member of Bergen city council in the periods 1979–1983 and 1987–1989, the last period on the executive committee. She chaired local and municipal chapters of the Young Conservatives and the Conservative Party.
She was first elected to the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) from Hordaland in 1989 and has been re-elected five times. She was also the leader of the national Conservative Women's Association, from 1994 to 1998.
From 2001 to 2005 Solberg served as the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development under Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. Her alleged tough policies in this department, including a firm stance on asylum policy, earned her the nickname "Jern-Erna" (Norwegian for "Iron Erna") in the media.
In 2003, Solberg proposed introducing Islamic Sharia Councils in Norway after being informed of the existence of such councils in the United Kingdom, and, in 2004, said that she wished to increase immigration to Norway.
As Minister, Solberg instructed the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration to expel Mulla Krekar, being a danger to national security. Later, terrorism charges were filed against Krekar for a death threat he uttered in 2010 against Erna Solberg.
She served as deputy leader of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2004 and, in 2004, she became the party leader.
This section needs to be updated.April 2018)(
Solberg became the presumptive head of government after winning the general election on 9 September 2013 and was appointed Prime Minister on 16 October 2013. Solberg is Norway's second female Prime Minister after Gro Harlem Brundtland.
The Government was re-elected in 2017, making Solberg the country's first conservative leader to win re-election since the 1980s. The centre-right parties were also able to maintain the majority in the Storting.
In 2014 she participated at the Agriculture and Food meeting which was held by Sylvi Listhaug where Minister of Transportation Ketil Solvik-Olsen and Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft also were present. Later on, the four took a picture which appeared on the Government.no website on 14 March the same year. In April of the same year she criticized European Court over data retention which Telenor Group argued can be used without court proceedings.
In 2017, the Russian Embassy in Oslo had accused Norwegian officials and intelligence of using “false and disconnected anti-Russian rhetoric” and “scaring Norway’s population” about a "mythical Russian threat". In response, Prime Minister Solberg said: “This is an example of Russian propaganda that often comes when there’s a focus on security policy. There is nothing in this that’s new to us.”
Solberg has tried to maintain and improve the China–Norway relations, which have been damaged since Norway decided to give the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010. In response to the death of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of organ failure while in government custody on 13 July 2017, Solberg said that "It is with deep grief that I received the news of Liu Xiaobo's passing. Liu Xiaobo was for decades a central voice for human rights and China's further development."
Mordechai Vanunu case
In April 2008, it was revealed that Solberg, as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in 2004, had rejected a request for asylum in Norway by the Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. While the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration had been prepared to grant Vanunu asylum, it was then decided that the application could not be accepted because Vanunu's application had been made outside the borders of Norway. An unclassified document revealed that Solberg and the government considered that extraditing Vanunu from Israel could be seen as an action against Israel and thus unfitting to the Norwegian government's traditional position as a friend of Israel and as a political player in the Middle East. Solberg rejected this criticism and defended her decision.
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- "Erna Solbergs datalagring kan bli torpedert" [Erna Solberg: Data storage can be torpedoed]. Bergens Tidende. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- "West mourns Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, criticizes Beijing". Reuters. 13 July 2017.
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- Stian Eisenträger (September 4, 2008). "Vanunu-venner i harnisk" [Vanunu friends outraged]. VG. Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
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