Swedish Greens move positive on EU

Maria Wetterstrand GröntSwedish Greens’ (Miljöpartiet de Gröna) spokeswoman Maria Wetterstrand has provoced a u-turn of her party’s position on the EU. In a leader in the latest members magazine Grönt, Maria argues that the values for Swedish EU membership are stronger than its criticism. According to an interview she gave to Dagens Nyheter she can no longer defend a policy of her party that she does not support. In another DN article, also co-spokesman Peter Eriksson gives full backing to Maria’s position. – Interestingly enough Carl Schlyter, the party’s only MEP, does not seem to share the stand and prefers to campaign against the new Lisbon Treaty instead.
The issue will now be discussed at the party congress in May.
Other commentators suggest that the new positioning was long overdue and a tactical move. If the Greens want to join government with the Social Democrats at the next election (due latest in autumn 2010), they need a pro-EU position. In previous Social Democrats governments the Greens (and the Left Party) were not full government members – including ministers – because they were regarded us “unreliable” on the EU issue. That flank will hopefully be closed by the two successful party leaders now. Let us hope that their members will follow because Maria is right: Only with a constructive engagement of the Greens in a Swedish government, Sweden – and Greens – can really make a change in Europe. But if the majority of party members start to share this belief I am even more confident about Green cooperation on EU level (see also Helena’s article about this).

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