French protesters

A lot is happening on the European continent. The large demonstrations in France are an example. Photo: Olivier Ortelpa (CC BY 2.0)

Current debate

What is really happening on the European continent?

When French protesters chant in the streets of Paris, the world's intellectual elite toasts toast champagne at the Nobel dinner in Stockholm. But the Nobel dinner also put the EU's relationship with DR Congo on the agenda.

A lot is happening in Europe right now. The UN climate summit is taking place in Poland. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May is trying to convince her Parliament about the country's future without the EU. May recently suspended the planned vote to leave the EU, presumably to adjust his political agenda. Heidi Avellan, Sydsvenskan, describes an almost war-like condition for the British Isles: "Without (an exit agreement, editor's note) there can be chaos, there is talk of a lack of food and medicine, of empty shelves and rationing".

On the other side of the canal, the chaos seems to be reality. French President Emmanuel Macron clashes with the violent protesters in the country's cities. The situation in France has some similarities to what caused the current situation in Britain: popular discontent. Patrik Kronqvist, editorial writer at Aftonbladet, describes just this and believes that major structural reforms must not only be paid for by the middle class: for the measures ”.

Apart from the domestic crises in the countries, the whole of the European Union faces major challenges in the future. This week's debaters have touched on, among other things, the European attitude towards arms exports to Saudi Arabia, future migration laws and trade policy towards DR Congo.

The latter in the light of Congolese Denis Mukwege, who together with Nadia Murad will receive the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 for their fight against sexual violence. In his speech during Monday's award ceremony, Mukwege addresses those who have been subjected to sexual violence and says: "This award is not worth anything unless your voices are heard."

The organizations Läkarmissionen and Pentecost Mission's development cooperation quote Denis Mukwege in a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet and believe that the EU must maintain its sanctions against DR Congo to support the Congolese people:

"The EU proudly calls itself a 'humanitarian superpower' that in all key documents stands for democracy and human rights. It has created an expectation among the people of DR Congo that they will also act on the basis of these words. Can the EU now lift the sanctions in good conscience? We mean you can not.


“Stop, leave, crash”
Heidi Avellan. South Sweden

"It is completely wrong for the EU to lift sanctions against DR Congo"
Lars Arrhenius, Maria Bard and Niclas Lindgren, Svenska Dagbladet.

"This is how the EU wants to change the asylum rules"
Per Gudmundsson. Swedish daily newspaper.

The EU is trying to round out its own court in Western Sahara
Jan Strömdahl et al., Dagens ETC

Saudi Arabia

"Stop arms exports and include women in the talks"
Gita Nabavi and Jaime Gomez, Göteborgs-Posten

"Put Saudi Arabia in the cold, Wallström"
Jonna Sima, Aftonbladet


"Swedish politicians should listen to the Yellow Vests"
Patrik Kronqvist, Expressen

Human Rights

"Rights can be destroyed faster than we think"
Amelie Börjesson et al., Svenska Dagbladet

"Sweden should do more for the women who fall victim to IS".
Amineh Kakabaveh, Today's ETC

The development assistance budget

"Savings on aid save lives in Sweden"
Mattias Karlsson and Oscar Sjöstedt, Svenska Dagbladet

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