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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Signs of change in Sweden?

The Swedish EU-debate is showing healthy signs of revival. In Saturday’s Expressen, 50 young Swedish representatives of liberal and conservative organisations and political parties criticised their centre-right Government’s “uncritical” position on the EU. In addition to listing several areas of EU-reform, the group called on the Swedish Government to reject the proposed EU Constitution which, they argued, “in several respects resembles a Social Democratic manifesto”.

And yesterday, former Swedish Speaker of Parliament, Social Democrat Bj√∂rn von Sydow, had an article in Dagens Nyheter arguing that national parliaments need to become ”a more effective counterbalance” to the EU Commission. He suggested a provision in a revised constitutional treaty, whereby one quarter of the bloc’s parliaments acting in unison could veto an initiative from the Commission. “I have myself seen that [parliaments] can work in such a coordinated way”, he said.

Much needed contributions to a debate that for too long has been stuck in a tedious yes-or-no, right-left mode.

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