Financial crisis: unanimity and tension

Sweden
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
 
The European Council of 16 October 2008 is commented on positively, Minister of Finance, Anders Borg, sees it to contain basic issues that Sweden sees as important, such as the national responsibility and national methods; the latter is seen as necessary because of the speed that is required in which there is no time for development of common ones. The third method is to support through governmental shareholders’ contributions, rather than loans. A fourth important point is the need for openness.[1]
 
In the continued discussions during the autumn, Sweden has fought against industry support initiatives proposed by the French Presidency. As described by Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish preferred policy is to invest instead in increased competitive ability and support for people to get new jobs.[2] The government fears that in times like these, some EU member states are tempted to support their own major companies and it also worries about protectionism among some member states of the EU. In this policy, the government gets wide support from other political parties.[3]
 
Sweden is positive to the background paper by the Czech Presidency and the EU Commission in which they outline the dangers of protectionism in a situation of unemployment and argue for continued open markets.[4] Another common interest between Sweden and the Czech Republic, related to the financial crisis, is the interest for a budget reform. In order to be able to initiate this, the Czech government is waiting for a discussion paper from the Commission. The Swedish and Czech hope is to receive it very soon in order to start the discussions.[5]
 
On the global level, Sweden is eager to revive the Doha Development Round that failed in July 2008. In this, the Swedish government fully supports the director-general of WTO, Pascal Lamy, in his efforts to come to an agreement.[6]




[1] Anders Borg, Minister for Finance, in: Committee on European Union Affairs of the Swedish parliament:Stenografiska uppteckningar vid EU-nämndens sammanträden, 31 October 2008, pp. 2-3., available at: http://www.riksdagen.se/webbnav/?nid=3751&doktyp=eunprot&rm=2008/09&bet=... (last access: 25 January 2009).


[2] Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister, in: Committee on European Union Affairs of the Swedish parliament: Stenografiska uppteckningar vid EU-nämndens sammanträden, 7 November 2008, p. 6, available at: http://www.riksdagen.se/webbnav/?nid=3751&doktyp=eunprot&rm=2008/09&bet=... (last access: 25 January 2009).


[3] Maud Olofsson, Minister for Enterprise and Energy: Committee on European Union Affairs of the Swedish parliament: Stenografiska uppteckningar vid EU-nämndens sammanträden, 28 November 2008, pp. 1-12, available at: http://www.riksdagen.se/webbnav/?nid=3751&doktyp=eunprot&rm=2008/09&bet=... (last access: 25 January 2009).


[4] Ewa Björling, Minister for Trade, in: Committee on European Union Affairs of the Swedish parliament: Stenografiska uppteckningar vid EU-nämndens sammanträden, 23 January 2009, p. 3, available at: http://www.riksdagen.se/webbnav/?nid=3751&doktyp=eunprot&rm=2008/09&bet=... (last access: 25 January 2009).


[5] Cecilia Malmström, Minister for EU Affairs, in: Committee on European Union Affairs of the Swedish parliament: Stenografiska uppteckningar vid EU-nämndens sammanträden, 23 January 2009, p. 9, available at: http://www.riksdagen.se/webbnav/?nid=3751&doktyp=eunprot&rm=2008/09&bet=... (last access: 25 January 2009).


[6] Ewa Björling, Minister for Trade, in: Committee on European Union Affairs of the Swedish parliament: Stenografiska uppteckningar vid EU-nämndens sammanträden 5 December 2008, p. 19, available at: http://www.riksdagen.se/webbnav/?nid=3751&doktyp=eunprot&rm=2008/09&bet=... (last access: 25 January 2009).