During the past week, among other things, the future of the EU has been discussed on Swedish debate and editorial pages, due to the upcoming elections to the European Parliament this summer. Photo: European Parliament. Source: Wikimedia commons.

Current debate

Week 7: Center parties demand financial penalties for climate criminals in the EU

Ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections, which fall in June this year, the debate about Sweden's role in the EU and the Union's future is increasing. The Center Party demands that the EU introduce financial penalties for countries that do not live up to the goals for climate change, while the Sweden Democrats advocate a restructuring of EU policy and strengthened decision-making at the national level. Even the Russian one opposition politician Alexey Navalny's death has been noticed in the debate during the past week. 

Far too little is being done to prevent climate change. Therefore, it is time for the EU to get a firmer grip on the issue and financially punish member states that do not reduce their emissions. That is what center party members Emma Wiesner, Rickard Nordin and Stina Larsson write in one debate article in Sydsvenskan. 

- In the same way that the threat to democracy is existential, the climate threat is an existential challenge that Sweden and the EU must tackle together, they write.

They also direct criticism at the Sweden Democrats, which is one of the parties in the European Parliament that has most diligently voted against climate proposals. The debaters believe that in the current turn to the right in many member states, it is the EU's responsibility to introduce financial sanctions in order to reach the climate goals that have been set by both individual countries and the EU, which intends to be at the forefront of the climate transition.

The debate relates to the larger issue of Sweden's future role in the EU ahead of this summer's elections to the European Parliament.

I Aftonbladet Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson and Charlie Weimers share an alternative view of Sweden's role in the EU. They emphasize the need for a restructuring of EU politics, and they want, among other things remove the writings about Sweden's membership in the EU from the constitution to secure national interests. They also advocate a referendum lock to involve Swedish citizens in decisions about power transfers or new financial demands from the EU.

- Our goal is a restructuring of European policy in the same way and with the same means that we won the debate on migration policy. By taking the other parties' mandates, they underline.

The Sweden Democrats' emphasis on "Sweden first" within the framework of the EU is questioned in a debate article by Johan Pehrson (L) in Aftonbladet. SD wants to restructure the EU to protect Swedish interests, citing the principle of subsidiarity, while Johan Pehrson emphasizes the need for joint work to solve major societal problems - and he sees the EU as an important actor for global solutions. 

- We have a war in Europe, cross-border crime and a climate crisis to deal with. Sweden cannot do it alone, he writes.

The death of Alexei Navalny

During Friday, the news came that the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has died, which several editorial writers drew attention to.

- Alexei Navalny was an unusually brave and successful opponent of the dictatorship. Not least his and his organization's fight against corruption in the Russian kleptocracy eventually became too great a threat, writes Aftonbladet's lead writer Ingvar Persson.

DN's editorial staff writes that Alexei Navalny was effectively murdered by the Russian regime.

- This is how Vladimir Putin treats his opponents, especially those who become real threats.

The EU and Sweden's role in the Union

"Enemies of an offensive climate policy in the EU must be attacked financially." 

Emma Wiesner, Rickard Nordin and Stina Larsson (C), Sydsvenskan  

"Sweden first" must apply in EU politics 

Jimmie Åkesson & Charlie Weimers (SD), Aftonbladet  

Your Swexit fantasies threaten Sweden's future 

Johan Pehrson (L), Aftonbladet  

SD's EU policy threatens Sweden's security 

Heléne Fritzon and Tobias Baudin (S), Aftonbladet

Russia and the death of Alexei Navalny

Navalny became a threat to Putin - that's why he is now dead

DN's editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter  

Non-violence will never be enough to break Putin 

Erik Melander, professor of peace and conflict research at Uppsala University, Dagens Nyheter  

In the end, Putin's fear killed Alexei Navalny 

Ingvar Persson, editorial writer, Aftonbladet 


The principle of subsidiarity is the central rule within the EU which means that decisions must be made at a level that is as close to citizens as possible. In practice, the principle means that the EU should not have legislative power over decisions that can be made at national level. Which decisions are covered by the subsidiarity principle has long been debated, where EU-critical parties often believe that the EU involves itself in national affairs to an excessively high degree. 

Sources: European Parliament, europaportalen.se 

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