EU hostage of Sweden Democrats over migration policies

Sweden’s Social Democrats concede election defeat

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For the first time since 2009, Sweden will guide the EU for six months over European Parliament negotiations and compromises on key legislation and policies. But as the country’s new government is dependent on the Sweden Democrats, experts have warned the EU might become “hostage” on migration plans.

The Swedish elections in September saw the Sweden Democrats gaining an important role in the country, with a whopping 20 percent of the votes received.

Speaking to EURACTIV, Karlstad University Professor Tobias Hubinette said: “The Swedish government has this agreement now [with the far-right], and it has to honour it. Because otherwise, the Sweden Democrats will basically make the government fall. They are like hostages.”

According to a coalition agreement, the SD party was excluded from the government despite being the second party in Parliament after the Social Democrats, now in opposition.

In return, SD won approval for much of its tough migration policy and was consulted on predefined topics, including energy and EU affairs.

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“The Sweden Democrats have full and equal influence on the subjects covered by the cooperation programme, in the same way as the governing parties,” the agreement reads, including on “EU matters affecting the subjects covered by the cooperation programme”.

Mr Hubinette continued: “Sweden will now join the other countries within the European Union who are basically against refugees and migration,” referring to Italy, Poland and Hungary.

Asked at the Euronews’ event Global Conversation about Sweden’s migration plans over the EU Presidency, European Affairs Minister Jessica Roswall said: “I think most of the Swedish parties think that it is necessary to have a European Pact on Asylum and Migration.

“It is therefore important for the Swedish presidency to move forward with the negotiations.

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“It is a difficult negotiation process because many Member States think differently. It will therefore be a difficult topic to deal with.

“But we have to do it and our ambition is to advance many of the different pieces of legislation combined in the migration pact.”

The party’s first auditor was a Nazi Waffen-SS veteran.

“It is the Sweden Democrats who have driven the right-wing bloc along, both in terms of shaping the political content and in attracting voters to the constellation,” the independent liberal newspaper Goteborgsposten wrote ahead of the election.

“For Sweden, a new political era awaits.”

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