During the week, several debaters have pointed out the difficulties in getting help to people in north-eastern Syria who have been affected by the earthquake. Photo: Begum Iman, European Union. Source: Flickr.

Current debate

Week 7: Debaters criticize the aid policy and lack of support for Syria

During the past week, writers on Swedish debate and editorial pages have both directed criticism at Sweden's aid policy and at the fact that aid does not reach those in need in Syria after the earthquakes. The Swedish environmental target system has also been the subject of debate. SD's environmental policy spokesperson calls it a "resource-demanding monster", while civil servant Magnus Eriksson highlights the strengths of the system.

- Forssell's aid slaughter embarrasses Sweden.

That's the title of Jonna Sima's editorial Aftonbladet, in which she writes about the government's scrapping of the one percent target, which, for example, has led to reduced funding for Myanmar, Palestine and Guatemala. The information work of aid organizations is also heavily affected by the cuts. 

- In the outside world, the problems with climate change, war, famine and natural disasters are growing. At the same time, Sweden closes. The government's only strategy to face this seems to be to bury its head in the sand, she writes.

Göran Sundström, professor of political science at Stockholm University, also gets involved in aid policy in a debate article in The outside world. Among other things, he gives three pieces of advice to politicians regarding aid policy.

- The first advice to Forssell is thus to involve the administration in the design of the reform agenda, he writes.

Aid does not reach those in need in Syria

In an editorial on Dagens Nyheter attention is directed towards Syria. Even before the earthquake, three-quarters of the population in the country were in need of humanitarian aid, and the editorial office believes that very little help reaches those in need after the earthquake.

In a debate article in Aftonbladet also lifts Sweden's Syrian Confederation (SSR) the humanitarian crisis that Syria has been in for several years and points out the difficulty in getting aid to those affected in the north-eastern part of the country.

- So far we don't know of a way to breathe life into the dead. Dead who could have been alive if aid organizations had done their part in reaching the victims in northwestern Syria, they write.

Criticism of the Swedish environmental target system: "Resource-consuming monster"

The climate issue has also engaged debaters. Martin Kinnunen, SD's environmental policy spokesperson, criticizes the Swedish environmental target system in a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet. He believes that for too long Swedish environmental and climate policy has been based on the premise that Sweden should go ahead and decide on, for example, greater emission reductions than other countries.

- The idea behind the so-called pioneer country policy is that in this way Sweden should be able to influence other countries to go in the same direction. The problem with the strategy is that there is no evidence that it works, he writes.

In a reply civil servant Magnus Eriksson highlights the political neutrality of the environmental target system - which he believes is a strength. He refers to the fact that the system has survived several governments, regardless of political color.

- It is a system that has had great significance for environmental work in Sweden and that other countries have been impressed by and that Norway has actually imported, writes Magnus Eriksson.

Aid policy

Forssell's aid slaughter embarrasses Sweden

Jonna Sima, Aftonbladet

"The new aid policy resembles the old one"

Göran Sundström, professor of political science with a focus on the public sector at Stockholm University, Omvärlden

The earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The war has closed the roads to Syria's victims

The editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

The world is failing those affected in Syria

Sweden's Syrian National Federation (SSR), Aftonbladet

Environmental and climate policy

"Sweden's environmental goals must be realistic"

Martin Kinnunen (SD), environmental policy spokesperson and Member of Parliament, Svenska Dagbladet

"The environmental target system is basically good"

Magnus Eriksson, civil servant, Svenska Dagbladet

"Getting ahead of others brings business"

Mattias Goldmann, founder, 2030 Secretariat, Svenska Dagbladet

If rich countries are to pay for climate change, they should not be ashamed of it

Hanne Kjöller, nurse, journalist and independent columnist, Dagens Nyheter

"The EU's sewage directive risks costing Sweden dearly"

Peter Danielsson, chairman of Sweden's municipalities and regions (SKR); Pär Dalhielm, CEO Swedish Water, Svenska Dagbladet

"The government's silence about Agenda 2030 is telling"

Erik Larsson, editor-in-chief, Omvärlden

Don't let Biden undermine the EU's climate policy

The editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

Russia's war in Ukraine

Don't let all the beautiful words to Ukraine be a game for the galleries 

Annika Ström Melin, journalist and independent columnist, Dagens Nyheter

"Send tanks and Gripen to Ukraine"

Petter Martinsson, chairman of the Social Democrats' security policy club, reserve officer, former political expert in the Cabinet Committee, Svenska Dagbladet

"Sweden should not be drawn into the war"

Lars-Gunnar Liljestrand, co-publisher of alliansfriheten.se and co-author of the book "The law against war - about the UN Charter's prohibition of violence and wars of aggression", Svenska Dagbladet

We send weapons to Ukraine - and political refugees to Russia

Arvid Åhlund, Dagens Nyheter

Sweden's treatment of the Ukrainian refugees is a shame

The editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

Don't we value freedom more than this?

Mikael Ahlström, Svenska Dagbladet

The peace movement must understand that not everyone is Jonatan Lionheart

Erik Helmerson, Dagens Nyheter

The West's talk about future arms deliveries is hurting Ukraine

Lars Calmfors, Dagens Nyheter


Without humanism, no peace.

Evelyn Schreiber, Southern Sweden

Defend international law to stop hate

Staffan Graner, Kenneth Hermele and Katarina Katz, Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Jipf), Dagens ETC

Now the Moderates must give notice about international law

Johan Büser (S) Member of Parliament in the Foreign Affairs Committee; Linnéa Wickman (S), Member of Parliament in the Foreign Affairs Committee; Azra Muranovic (S), Member of Parliament in the Foreign Affairs Committee; Jamal El Haj (S), member of parliament in the labor market committee, Dagens ETC

Israel's right-wing government is trying to "Orbánify" democracy

The editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

Is there something in the text that is not correct? Contact us at opinion@fuf.se

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