Siv Jensen
Siv Jensen-14.jpg
Minister of Finance
In office
16 October 2013 – 24 January 2020
Prime MinisterErna Solberg
Preceded bySigbjørn Johnsen
Succeeded byJan Tore Sanner
Leader of the Progress Party
In office
6 May 2006 – 8 May 2021
First DeputyPer Sandberg
Sylvi Listhaug
Second DeputyPer Arne Olsen
Ketil Solvik-Olsen
Terje Søviknes
Preceded byCarl I. Hagen
Succeeded bySylvi Listhaug
First Deputy Leader of the Progress Party
In office
2 May 1999 – 6 May 2006
LeaderCarl I. Hagen
Preceded byLodve Solholm
Succeeded byPer Sandberg
Parliamentary Leader of the Progress Party
In office
28 January 2020 – 8 May 2021
Preceded byHans Andreas Limi
Succeeded bySylvi Listhaug
In office
5 October 2005 – 17 October 2013
LeaderCarl I. Hagen
Preceded byCarl I. Hagen
Succeeded byHarald T. Nesvik
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 October 1997 – 30 September 2021
DeputyMazyar Keshvari
Deputy Member of the Storting
In office
1 October 1993 – 30 September 1997
Personal details
Born (1969-06-01) 1 June 1969 (age 53)
Oslo, Norway
Political partyProgress
Alma materNorwegian School of

Siv Jensen (born 1 June 1969) is a Norwegian who served as the leader of the Progress Party from 2006 to 2021. She also held the position as Minister of Finance from 2013 to 2020 in the Solberg Cabinet. She was also a member of the Norwegian parliament from Oslo from 1997 to 2021.

Born and raised in Oslo, Jensen graduated with a degree in business studies from the Norwegian School of Economics. She was first elected to parliament in the 1997 parliamentary election, and has later been re-elected for four consecutive terms. She chaired the parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs from 2001 to 2005, and in 2006 succeeded long-time chairman Carl I. Hagen as leader of the Progress Party.

Jensen was the Progress Party's candidate for Prime Minister in the 2009 parliamentary election, which saw record high results for the party. For the 2013 parliamentary election she supported prospects of a coalition government headed by the Conservative Party, and led her party into the Solberg Cabinet, the Progress Party's first ever government participation.

Jensen became Norway's longest-serving Minister of Finance since World War II in October 2019.[1]

Early life and education

Siv Jensen was born in Oslo to self-employed Tore Jensen (1926–1989), and Monica Kjelsberg (born 1939),[2] owners of a shoe store during her childhood. While she holds that her neighbourhood was a nice place to grow up, her home was the scene of numerous burglaries.[3] Her parents were divorced around 1980,[4] and her father soon moved to Sweden.[5] Her mother was for a short while active in the Ullern Progress Party, until finding out that politics was "not her thing".[6]

After completing Marienlyst elementary school in 1985, Jensen attended upper secondary school at Oslo Commerce School in Oslo's Frogner district, graduating in 1988. Afterwards she enrolled in the Norwegian School of Economics, receiving her degree in business studies in 1992.[2] She worked as a sales consultant for Radio 1 from 1992, until dedicating her professional life to politics full-time in 1994.[7]

Her political interest was according to herself sparked at her elementary school Marienlyst where discussions were common in class. These discussions would include two students who were members of the Socialist Youth, one being her socialist-turned best friend.[5] Jensen however soon found herself strongly opposed to their views.[8] She joined the Progress Party in 1988,[5] in part having been introduced to the party through her mother.[6] Sometime before joining the party, she had briefly been a member of the Young Conservatives, for about a week.[5][8]

Political career

Member of Parliament

Jensen has been a member of the Storting from the Oslo constituency since first being elected in 1997, while having served as a deputy representative from 1993 to 1997. As she was appointed to the government cabinet in 2013, deputy representative Mazyar Keshvari has met as a regular member in her place.[2] From 2001 to 2005 Jensen chaired the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, having been a member of the committee since 1997, and from 2005 to 2013 she was a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.[9] She played a central role in budget negotiations with the centrist government of Kjell Magne Bondevik, and her work chairing the Finance Committee led her to become increasingly more profiled as a leader-figure within her party.[7]

Party leadership

Siv Jensen in 2006.
Siv Jensen in 2006.
Siv Jensen speaking at a rally in Oslo in the 2009 electoral campaign.
Siv Jensen speaking at a rally in Oslo in the 2009 electoral campaign.
Siv Jensen in Stockholm, Sweden, 2009.
Siv Jensen in Stockholm, Sweden, 2009.
Jensen with former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
Jensen with former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

During the early 1990s conflict within the party between the younger libertarians and party chairman Carl I. Hagen, Jensen stood on the side of Hagen.[5] She also supported Hagen in the 2001 internal conflict, and stated the same year that Hagen had been like a father figure for her.[4] She became first deputy chairman of the Progress Party in 1998, and parliamentary leader of the party in 2005. In 2006, Carl I. Hagen, chairman of the party since 1978 resigned to become vice president of parliament, and Jensen assumed leadership of the Progress Party to no internal opposition.[7] While many had been speculating about the viability of the party and its future after Hagen resigning, a 2004 survey showed that Jensen enjoyed better general support than him, which was explained by her not being as controversial.[10] Many had also predicted a more moderate course for the party with her being the leader, but she stood firmly by the policies of the party.[5] Her leadership-style has however been considered to be softer than that of Hagen.[7]

In May 2009, Jensen held a lecture in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom at the invitation of Conservative Party MP Malcolm Rifkind. Media director Alex Try of the think tank Henry Jackson Society, who was responsible for the arrangement, said that the main background for the invitation was her "engagement in questions about terrorism and challenges attached to the multicultural society." Up to one-hundred MP's, business leaders and key persons in British politics was expected to show up at the arrangement. Jensen said that "we have much to learn from the British, but when it comes to the immigration policy I think Britain has failed completely".[11]

As leader of the Progress Party, Jensen took the initiative to talks with Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg in early 2007, seeking to build a broad centre-right coalition for the 2009 election.[5] Amid unresolved dispute among the centre-right parties,[12] she launched herself as candidate for Prime Minister for the 2009 election and received a record share of the vote of 22.9%, although the parties combined ultimately lost out to the centre-left coalition.[7]

In 2011, newspaper Aftenposten wrote that the Progress Party during Jensen's leadership, had experienced their "two best national elections".[13] Ahead of the 2013 election Jensen continued working for a broad centre-right coalition, and endorsed Erna Solberg for Prime Minister. Although seeing its vote drop significantly, she led the Progress Party into government coalition talks for the first time in its history.[7]

Following the other coalition parties’ decision to bring home an ISIS related woman and her sick child, Jensen announced on 20 January 2020 that her party was withdrawing from government in protest to the decision. Other reasons cited was that the party been unable to promote their policy in government, and Jensen stated "it’s not worth continuous losses". She, along with the other Progress Party ministers officially withdrew from the government on 24 January, marking the first time a party had withdrawn from government.[14]

On 18 February 2021, Jensen announced that she would step down as party leader after a new one is elected at the party convention in May. She also said she would not be running for re-election in the September election. She cited her reasons to be to focus more on her personal life and family and pointed to Sylvi Listhaug as her preferred successor.[15] Listhaug was subsequently designated her successor in late March, and was officially elected at the party convention on 8 May.[16]

Minister of Finance

On 16 October 2013, Jensen was appointed Minister of Finance as the Progress Party joined a minority coalition government led by the Conservative Party, the party's first ever government participation.[17] Jensen's first national budget included proposals of cutting taxes, and spending more of Norway's oil wealth, and she also appointed a committee to consider changes to the 4% budgetary rule of Oil Fund spending.[18]

Political views


Jensen has described her party to be a "classical liberal party and also a very democratic party", and that its "basic main focus areas are individual freedom, individual rights, less state and more individual freedom", also that the party is "in favor of more competition instead of less. Because we fight state monopolies because they don't do good for competition, for price levels, for people's ability to choose between different distributors. That's our basic ideology behind the party".[19]

Having been called a "Norwegian Margaret Thatcher" in the British press, Jensen has said she views former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as one of her "political heroes".[20] Considering Thatcher "a controversial politician who dared to stand for something," Jensen has expressed support for Thatcherite policies such as "there is no alternative (to market economy)".[21]


S Jensen 02.jpg
Siv Jensen speaking before a Progress Party’s Youth summer camp.
Siv Jensen speaking before a Progress Party’s Youth summer camp.

Jensen is a staunch supporter of Israel, and has stated that she is "not afraid to defend Israel's right to defend itself." She visited the Israeli city of Sderot in the summer of 2008 and experienced Hamas bombing first hand, forcing her and her company to run for the air-raid shelter. She strongly opposed the Norwegian government's decision to recognise Hamas as she holds that "you don't negotiate with terrorists, you just don't."[20] Jensen has in addition advocated moving the Norwegian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, while also being open to accepting a future recognition of a Palestinian state.[22]

In January 2009, in light of the Gaza War, she held an appeal at a demonstration called "Let Israel live" in support of Israel in Oslo. The Progress Party's general Israel-policy, supported by the appearance at the demonstration by Jensen and the fact that Christian Democratic Party leader Dagfinn Høybråten had not joined the demonstration, resulted in many Christian Democratic voters turning to the Progress Party.[23] Soon after, the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) went public, fearing that Jensen might be the target of attacks.[24] During the speech, which was held amid the 2008–09 Oslo riots, Jensen and pro-Israel demonstrators were suddenly attacked by violent rioters throwing rocks, and Jensen was forced to leave the podium.[25]

Radical Islam

In February 2009, Jensen held a speech where she warned about what she called a "sneaking Islamisation" (snikislamisering) of Norway on the background of a public debate about allowing hijab as part of the police uniform, and demands from Muslim groups of Muslim-only education and special food in prisons.[26] The speech turned out to be highly controversial in the other parties.[27][28] She used the immigrant-heavy Malmö, Sweden city district of Rosengård to illustrate failed integration policies, claiming that Sharia law had replaced Swedish law and that emergency staff could not drive into certain areas. The statements proved highly controversial in Sweden, and the Progress Party was invited to a tour around Rosengård by the mayor and police chief of Malmö, which it accepted.[29][30] Jensen did however not join the tour herself.[31]

Further, in March 2009, she stated that the fight against radical Islam "is the most important fight of our time." She said that she, as a classical liberal, would always fight against totalitarian ideas such as communism and nazism, and that radical Islam "is a dark and scary ideology." She also accused the other parties of being cowardly, ignoring the questions raised by the Progress Party, and claimed that "it is probably an expression of the fact that they don't understand what's happening in society around them. They close their eyes and try to present themselves as tolerant and liberal, when in fact they are deeply intolerant."[32] Both these controversial statements resulted in large popular gains for the Progress Party, in polls.[32] In response to an incident in early 2010, where thousands of Muslims demonstrated in Oslo, she changed her claim of a "sneak-Islamisation" of Norway, to instead claim that the debate now was of a full-blown Islamisation.[33][34] During the demonstration (a response to newspaper Dagbladet publishing a Muhammad cartoon in the context of a news story) Islamist Mohyeldeen Mohammad had notably "warned" of a "9/11" or "7/7" in Norway to applause from the crowd.[35]

Climate change

In December 2008, Jensen questioned the scientific consensus on climate change that climate change is man-made and dangerous, quoting the 1970's global cooling minority conjecture to cast doubt on climate science. Regardless, she is largely supportive of expanding and researching into renewable energy production.[20] In January 2010 she attacked the IPCC, accusing the report from the panel of being based on fraudulent data. She referred to the erroneous statement of Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035, ice melting predictions by Al Gore and Jonas Gahr Støre, questions of statistical sampling, and emails from climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit.[36]

Personal life

Besides three half-sisters,[8] Jensen has one younger brother, businessman Tom Einar Jensen,[37] and one younger sister, Nina Jensen, former CEO of WWF.[7][38] Norway. Her great-grandmother was the early feminist Betzy Kjelsberg.[39] Although she was once engaged, Jensen has never married.[40]

Jensen has stated to be a "proud member of the Church of Norway", while expressing some personal doubt about certain Christian doctrines. She has criticised church leaders for getting too involved in politics, particularly in regard to some church leaders publicly voicing opposition to Norwegian oil drilling.[41][42]

In 2006, a biography on Siv Jensen was released, written by Martine Aurdal, chief editor of the feminist magazine Fett, later chief editor of the left-wing news magazine Ny Tid.[43]



  1. ^ "Stoltenberg warned, but now Jensen is historic" (in Norwegian). TV 2. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Jensen, Siv (1969-)". (in Norwegian). 9 March 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  3. ^ Tennfjord, Ingvild Wedaa (2 May 2005). "Under panseret". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  4. ^ a b Ergo, Thomas (1 December 2001). "På mors parti". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Olaussen, Lise Merete. "Siv Jensen". Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  6. ^ a b Hele Historien: Siv Jensen (9 November 2006). TV 2.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Siv Jensen", Store norske leksikon, 3.11.2013
  8. ^ a b c "Portrettet: Siv Jensen". P4 (in Norwegian). 1 March 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  9. ^ Minister of Finance Siv Jensen (Progress Party), Ministry of Finance
  10. ^ "Siv Jensen danker ut Hagen". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). 21 December 2004. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  11. ^ Mollatt, Camilla (8 May 2009). "Siv Jensen holder foredrag for ledere i britisk politikk og næringsliv". (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  12. ^ "Frp mot full isolasjon" Archived 18 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine, ABC Nyheter/NTB, 20.01.2009
  13. ^ Verdens Gang. 17 November 2011. I den virkelige verden har Frp under Siv Jensen gjort sine beste valg gjennom historien. ((cite news)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Progress Party exit: The first time a party withdraws from government" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. 20 January 2020. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Siv Jensen stands down. Points to Sylvi Listhaug" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 18 February 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Sylvi Listhaug elected new Progress Party leader" (in Norwegian). Adressa. 8 May 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  17. ^ Saleha Mohsin, "Norway Names Jensen Finance Minister After Oil Spending Deal", Bloomberg, Oct 16, 2013
  18. ^ "Norway to Spend More Oil Wealth, Cut Taxes", Wall Street Journal, Oct. 8, 2014
  19. ^ "Interview: Norwegian Party Leader Rejects 'Anti-Muslim' Label". Radio Free Europe. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  20. ^ a b c Bawer, Bruce (December 2008). "A Norwegian Thatcher?". Standpoint. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  21. ^ Thorenfeldt, Gunnar (7 May 2009). "Norges nye jernlady". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  22. ^ "Jensen vil flytte norsk ambassade til Jerusalem". Verdens Gang (NTB) (in Norwegian). 27 August 2008.
  23. ^ Fondenes, Eivind (1 September 2009). "- Israels krigføring var også terror". TV 2 (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  24. ^ "Politiet frykter angrep på Siv Jensen". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 8 January 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  25. ^ "Politiet bruker tåregass mot demonstranter". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 8 January 2009.
  26. ^ "Siv Jensen advarer mot snikislamisering". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 21 February 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  27. ^ Hammerstad, Kathrine (23 February 2009). "Vil stenge Siv ute fra innvandringsdebatten". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  28. ^ Myklebust, Bjørn; Langset, Kristine Grue (23 February 2009). "- Sivs beskrivelse er langt fra sann". Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  29. ^ Tommelstad, Bjørnar (23 February 2009). "Politisjefen i Rosengård "arresterer" Siv Jensen - Svensk lov gjelder i Rosengård". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  30. ^ "Ønsker Frp velkommen til Rosengård". Dagsavisen (in Norwegian). 24 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 August 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  31. ^ Lepperød, Trond; Lilleås, Heidi Schei (9 March 2009). "Jensen står over Sverige-tur". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  32. ^ a b Kristiansen, Arnhild Aass (2 March 2009). "- Kampen mot radikal islam er vår tids viktigste". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  33. ^ Magnus, Gunnar (13 February 2010). "Frykter åpen islamisering". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  34. ^ "Siv Jensens tordentale". Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010. (Video clip)
  35. ^ "Advarte mot 11. september i Norge". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 12 February 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  36. ^ Audestad, Gunnar Magnus Paul (31 January 2010). "- Ikke mer snakk om global oppvarming". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  37. ^ Online, Hegnar (13 September 2013). "Jensen gikk på dagen". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  38. ^ Torvik, Line (27 January 2007). "Frp-Siv får miljøkjeft fra lillesøster". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  39. ^ Haugstad, Tormod (18 November 2008). "FrP-Siv vil lykkes innen 2013". Teknisk Ukeblad (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  40. ^ Nilsen, Per Ingar (23 August 2013). "Siv Jensen snakker ut om bruddet Brøt forlovelse med drømmemannen". Her og Nå (in Norwegian). Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  41. ^ "Oljesøl fra Kirken", E24, 20.02.2009
  42. ^ "En varslet katastrofe", Vårt Land, 30.08.2013
  43. ^ Larsen, Christiane Jordheim (4 October 2006). "Avviser drahjelp til Frp". Klassekampen (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
Party political offices Preceded byCarl Hagen Leader of the Progress Party 2006–2021 Succeeded bySylvi Listhaug Political offices Preceded bySigbjørn Johnsen Minister of Finance 2013–2020 Succeeded byJan Tore Sanner