Mikael Leyi takes office as SOLIDAR & SOLIDAR Foundation Secretary General

We are proud to announce that from the month of May, Mr. Mikael Leyi occupies the seat of Secretary General of SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation! 

Coming from our member organisation Olof Palme Center, Mikael has had the possibility to work with SOLIDAR in numerous occasions and projects, a valued experience for the new leadership position he is thrilled to be filling. 

Check out his video introduction and some more information on his profile and objectives below: 


Professional background 

Mikael Leyi has worked as part of the labour movement in Sweden for the last ten years, in the field of international development cooperation, taking various roles at the Olof Palme International Center. Currently based in Stockholm, he serves as Head of the International Department, overseeing the organisation´s strategic development and programmes. With experience from the Swedish, European and International labor movement, he brings expertise from the field of development work, from the member organisations of SOLIDAR, as well as valuable connections and relations to the SOLIDAR network.  

As Head of the International Department for the OPC he has contributed to the growth of the organisation, in terms of annual turnover, number of donor agreements and staff, firmly positioning the organisation as a professional and political stakeholder in the field of international development cooperation, both in Sweden and Europe. A key factor to achieve this has been his special attention to the relationship with member and sister organisations in Europe and the world, as well as advancing the professional capacity and strength of the institution.   

Academically, Mikael Leyi is a Political Scientist, with a vast professional background both in competences and geographically speaking: he has worked with European and international organisations of the trade union and popular education movements, as well as the institutions of the EU, OSCE and the UN, in the 5 continents. “I also bring with me an in-depth knowledge of the labour movement's various organisations, political priorities, and activities, and the experiences of democratisation, industrialisation and welfare expansion in Sweden, Europe and internationally”.  

The Secretary General mandate 

Coronavirus crisis, the context of his assumption, is one of the first points he refers to: “The current crisis is speaking to us loud and clear – the global pandemic is devastating to lives, societies and economies. It is far from over and the effects will be deep, long lasting and defining.  There is good reason to see this as a pretrial to the coming dramatic consequences of the climate and environmental crisis, and the recurring structural failures of a flawed economic system. But it has also demonstrated our interconnectedness and how decisive the world can be in the face of an immediate threat, how filled with shared purpose and how focused our actions can be”.   

 As main issues to tackle in his mandate, the newly appointed Secretary General mentions the struggles for:  

  • A new social contract, a new societal model, and a sustainable development path that puts people’s dignity and the respect for planetary boundaries before profit at any cost  
  • Collective and organised action to tackle inequalities, discrimination, and access to rights   
  • A strong welfare state with the capacity to cater for all citizens on equal terms  
  • Decent work, high quality education and access to high quality health care for all. 

He also gives a foretaste of his vision for the network: “SOLIDAR shall be at the forefront with the European labor movement, the broad citizen’s, women, youth, and migrant movements and all our progressive allies, to meet these challenges with confidence and self-belief. Reassured that only a society of solidarity, mutual trust, equality, freedom, and justice will be resilient enough to tackle them”.  

With extensive experience in programme management and design, strategic development and orientation, in addition to organizational development, he will contribute to further the goals of SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation in the years to come and strengthen the alliance “to advance our common agenda: for sustainable development, social justice and democracy”. 

As Mikael Leyi gradually comes on board in these unprecedented circumstances, he replaces former Secretary General Conny Reuter, on the role until 31 December 2019. 

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