Allan Larsson

Allan Larsson has had a career as a journalist, Undersecretary of Labour, Director General of the Swedish Labour Market Board, Finance Minister, Member of Parliament, Director General of the EU Commission, chairman of Swedish Television and Lund University and a member of international commissions and advisory boards. He is currently involved in local development projects in Stockholm, Gotland and Småland and in a think-tank, Global Utmaning, in Stockholm.

Allan Larsson was born April 3, 1938 in Bredaryd in Southern Sweden. After University studies in Lund he became a journalist, working as news reporter for Arbetet, Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter and Swedish Television and editor-in-chief of a weekly magazine, Vi.

Research, administration and politics in Sweden.

Between 1971 and 1974 he was head of the research department of the Swedish Metal Workers’ Union. In 1974 he was appointed Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Labour. From 1983 to 1990 he served as Director General of the National Labour Market Board. In 1990 he was appointed Minister of Finance and in 1991 he was elected member of the Swedish Parliament. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank 1992-1994.

European affairs.

During his time in the Parliament he was appointed Chairman of the European Employment Initiative. He remained an MP until 1995 when he was appointed Director General in the European Commission in Brussels, responsible for employment and social affairs. During five years, from 1995 to 2000, he was in charge of the preparation and implementation of the European Employment Strategy.

International organisations and Commisions.

After retiring as Director General he served as Chairman of the Board of Swedish Television 2000-2005 and chairman of the Transatlantic Dialogue on Broadcasting and Information Society 2002-2005. He was also a member of the OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development in Paris 2001-2003 and personal representative of Director General Juan Somavia, ILO, to the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development. In 2001 he became a member of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s High Level Panel on Youth Employment. He was member of the Albright-de Soto Commission for Legal Empowerment of the Poor 2005-2008. Between 2007 and 2009 he was a Member of President Barroso’s High Level Group on Energy and Climate Change. He has also been a member of the ETUC Reflection Group on Economic Policy and Employment in Brussels.


In 2003 he was appointed Chairperson of the University of Lund, a post he held until March 2012. In 2007 he was appointed Chief Negotiator for Sweden’s offer to host ESS, a European multidisciplinary science facility; an agreement was reached in 2009 to build ESS in Lund. In 2010 he was in charge of negotiations to establish Medicon Village at the AstraZenec premises in Lund. He is a member of the Board of Mats Paulsson’s Foundation, owner of the Medicon Village AB.

He has also been a Member of the Board of the Danish National Institute of Social Research in Copenhagen and a Member of the Advisory Committee on Leadership, Governance and Management of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, member of the Board of Centre for Environment and Sustainability, GMV, and a member of the European Panel for Sustainable Development at Gothenburg University. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Local development.

In 2011 he took the initiative to establish Hammarby Sjöstad 2020, a sustainable city project on electro mobility, energy, recycling, and water technology, now further developed into an innovation platform, ElectriCITY, with some 50 enterprises, research organisations and housing associations as members and partners. He is also involved in local development projects in Gotland – Forum Östersjön.  He is a senior advisor to Global Utmaning, a think-tank in Stockholm.