Euroscepticism in Sweden Johan Tegel
Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt talks to journalists before the European Council

In the 20 years that have passed since the Swedish EU referendum and since Sweden became a member of the European Union, a tradition have grown strong among both the major parties and in the media to keep EU politics as far away from the voters as possible.

One would think that this has to do with euroscepticism but that's not entirely true. Sweden is generally a pro-European member-state but a cautious member-state. You will never hear ideas of great reforms come out of Sweden, but if you listen hard you will here a whisper of acceptance or most likely the very cautiously and moderate "we will wait and see". Oppose to having influence in Europe the politics and the European future.

For the same reason most Swedish political parties lack a clear policy on EU politics and even more so a vision for the future of Europe. What's the excuse of this democratic negligence? Some could argue that it comes from a long and strong tradition of intergovernmental collaborations in Swedish "foreign" policy. Where every question is handled separately. That's true, but if that's the excuse, there is a fundamental misunderstanding about what the European Union is and should be.

The EU is a union of integration and common values that's uniting Europeans above the diversity of Europe. Sweden needs to question itself and its role in Europe as far as politics goes and how politics should be conducted to live up to the tradition of democracy and openness in Sweden.

Edited by: Lisa Enocsson