Carl Bildt Mr Bildt summed up his eight years as foreign minister. Photo: Veronica Nordlund/The Government Offices

Carl Bildt summed up his eight years as foreign minister

Over the last eight years, he has met 111 fellow ministers around the EU's Foreign Affairs Council table. Carl Bildt's address at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs on 29 September summed up his time as minister for foreign affairs, beginning with the address he had held at the same place eight years earlier, when the new foreign policy lines were being drawn.

Much remains the same but in some areas reality has taken a different and unexpected course. "Today the challenges in our neighbourhood are significantly greater and significantly more serious than previously," says Mr Bildt.