In connection with Europe Day on 9 May, EU cooperation became the topic of the week. A number of debaters mentioned that solidarity between member states is currently being tested - both by the corona pandemic and by a lack of respect for human rights in, for example, Poland and Hungary. Other topics that were debated were global trade and women's rights.
Dagens Nyheter's leadership page gives a historical look back at the EU and states that the union - despite its many shortcomings and challenges - "gives smaller countries like Sweden an opportunity to stand stronger in relation to powers such as Russia, China and now also the United States".
EU leaders David Sassoli, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel write in Aftonbladet about the importance of a strong EU during the corona pandemic. They point to the importance of safeguarding the internal market and the common heritage shared by the Member States. "If we stand united in our solidarity and remain true to our values, then Europe can once again emerge from the crisis stronger than before," EU leaders wrote in a debate article.
Karin Karlsbro (L) instead highlights how fundamental values within the EU - such as "democracy and the rule of law" - are threatened by Member States such as Poland and Hungary. The Social Democrat Veronica Palm also writes in the ETC about how EU cooperation is threatened. She wonders whether the EU is moving towards "a deepening that risks resting on completely different principles than solidarity, respect for human rights and the dream of a Europe of the Peoples?".
Representatives from the Moderate Youth Association also describe in Omvärlden how “the main threat to EU cooperation comes from within. "Throughout Europe, authoritarian populists and corrupt politicians are gaining ground."
In addition to the EU, women's rights have been on the agenda in the debate over the past week. Ministers Peter Eriksson (MP) and Åsa Lindhagen (MP) describe how many women are hard hit by the corona pandemic, not least in a global perspective. Maternity care is deteriorating, the supply of contraceptives is declining and violence against women is increasing. The debaters emphasize that "the recovery after the corona crisis will therefore require a broad social work where the situation of women and girls must not be forgotten, but given priority".
The issue of women's rights is also raised by 18 representatives of trade unions and organizations in the Aftonbladet debate. They point out how the corona crisis is a livelihood crisis that hits people hard in countries with widespread poverty. And women are often the most vulnerable. The debaters believe that global trade has a great responsibility for the vulnerable situation of people when the crisis comes. Companies in Europe must ensure that everyone in their supply chain receives a wage that can be supported. And all consumers should make choices that protect human rights and the environment.
Aftonbladet's lead writer Pernilla Ericson also writes about Sweden's role in global trade chains. She believes that Sweden must take a stand against Brazil's devastation of the Amazon. And the only thing that bites President Bolsonaro is if the economy is affected, she writes. “That Sweden still imports meat from Brazil is a shame. Swedish fund savings also make an impression ”.
A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles about Sweden's role in the world:
If the EU did not exist, we would have had to invent it
The editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter
Europe will not be what it used to be
David Sassoli, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, Aftonbladet
Stop petting other countries in the EU that misbehave
Karin Karlsbro, Aftonbladet
No cheers for the EU that fails with both solidarity and democracy
Veronica Palm, ETC.
The corona crisis calls for stronger EU cooperation
Stefan Löfvén, Dagens Nyheter
EU cooperation must counteract national egoism
Benjamin Dousa and Fredrik Hultman, The outside world
The EU should tighten requirements for imports from China
Tomas Tobé, Svenska Dagbladet
Defend women's rights after the corona pandemic
Peter Eriksson and Åsa Lindhagen, Aftonbladet
Address the corona crisis with sustainable trade
Ola Höiden et al., Aftonbladet
Bolsonaro ignores the death of the Amazon
Pernilla Ericson, Aftonbladet