Sweden's and the EU's relationship with Turkish President Erdogan has been on the agenda this week. It also has the Swedish development assistance budget. Photo: Russia Presidential Office and Maria Eklind

Current debate

Turkey and the aid budget in focus in the debate

Turkey's offensive in northern Syria characterizes the Swedish debate this week as well. More people have been forced to flee, which has created humanitarian needs. The Swedish government and the EU have been criticized for not doing enough. In addition, the debate on the size of the development assistance budget continued.

"Sweden's decision of SEK 100 million extra for humanitarian efforts in northeastern Syria is very welcome, but more resources will be needed," writes the Red Cross' Martin Ärnlöv in Aftonbladet.

Martin Ärnlöv believes that humanitarian law must be respected and that those fleeing northern Syria must be guaranteed protection. In addition, a political solution to the conflict between Syria and Turkey is needed to stop humanitarian suffering, he writes.

The EU is criticized by several debaters, both for its migration and asylum policy in general and for its reaction to Turkey's actions in Syria. Leading writer Olof Ehrenkrona writes in Svenska Dagbladet that the arms boycott from the EU will not affect Turkey's continued attacks. "The Turks do not suffer from a shortage of weapons," writes Ehrenkrona.

Representatives of the Left Party criticize the EU for holding hostage under Turkish President Erdoğan when he threatens to force Syrian refugees to move towards Europe. It is a shame that the world's richest continent does not consider itself able to receive more people on the run, the left-wing parties believe.

Several debaters are also critical of how the Swedish government handles the Swedish children of IS fighters who are stuck in refugee camps in Syria. On Svt Opinion, Particio Galvéz - who himself managed to get his seven grandchildren home - criticizes the government for giving unclear information.

Leading writer Erik Helmerson writes in Dagens Nyheter that the government has shot itself in the foot when they have not previously brought the children home. When the IS fighters are now forced to flee with their children from the camps, it will be much more difficult.

"Instead, Swedish toddlers will continue to suffer all the torments of hell, in one of the most disgusting places on earth, punished for their parents joining a terrorist sect," Helmerson writes.

On a completely different theme, the Moderates' party meeting has brought up the debate on Swedish development assistance. The moderates want to cut a third of the development aid budget, which the environmentalists Isabella Lövin and Peter Eriksson strongly criticize in a debate article in Aftonbladet. They believe that Sweden has a great influence and a great respect in sustainability issues globally. And that Swedish development assistance has played a crucial role in the lives of millions of people.

"It is selfish, cold, and completely unworthy of politics," write Lövin and Eriksson about the Moderates' proposal for cuts.

This week, Minister for Development Aid Peter Eriksson also presented the development assistance budget a seminar. He emphasized, among other things, that Sweden should be a counterpoint to conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United States - countries that are currently opposing those who work for women's rights and with sexual and reproductive rights.

The Minister also said that Sweden will stick to - and meet - the goal that one percent of the country's GNI should go to development assistance. This despite opposition from the Sweden Democrats and the Moderates.

Turkey and Syria

We must help the victims of the war
Martin Ärnlöv, Aftonbladet

V: Stop the billions going to Turkey
Malin Björk, Christina Höj Larsen and Håkan Svenneling, Svenska Dagbladet

EU and NATO new key players
Olof Ehrenkrona, Svenska Dagbladet

EU migration and asylum policy can take decisive steps forward
Evin Incir, South Sweden

Children of Swedish IS fighters

For the government, it was never the right time to bring home the IS children
Erik Helmerson, Dagens Nyheter

Take the children home from Syria - before it's too late
Patricio Galvéz, SVT Opinion

The development assistance budget

M turns his back on SD - and hijacks aid
Isabella Lövin and Peter Eriksson, Aftonbladet

Swedish development assistance has had to grow unchecked
Hans Wallmark, Aftonbladet

Is there something in the text that is incorrect? Contact us at opinion@fuf.se

Share this:

Help us improve Utvecklingsmagasinet

Answer our survey so we can continue to run and develop our digital magazine. It only takes a couple of minutes to answer the survey.

Start a survey