• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sweden hailed as EU foreign policy bigshot

31 Jan 2013, 14:53

Published: 31 Jan 2013 14:53 GMT+01:00

In its annual European Policy Scorecard, published on Thursday, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) ranked Sweden fourth among EU member states in terms of foreign policy influence.

"Like France and Germany, Sweden was categorized as a leader in at least one aspect of each of the chapters of the Scorecard, which indicates that it is engaged across the spectrum of European foreign policy and not simply in regions of specific interest," the ECFR wrote in its report.

Sweden was found to be a "leader" in ten foreign policy areas included in the ranking, just behind the UK, France, and Germany.

In addition, Sweden was one of only three EU member states to avoid being ranked as a "slacker" in any policy area.

According to the ECFR, Sweden "emerged as one of the most frequent leaders in European foreign policy" in 2011, and its ranking in 2012 "made it almost as much of a leader as the big three".

Specific policy areas in which Sweden was seen as a leader among European countries included promoting human rights in China, providing financial support to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, contributing to Afghanistan, and supporting an arms trade treaty at the UN.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt hailed the news as "flattering", writing on his official Twitter account that he was "honoured by the very positive evaluation".

"By hard work we've built up an influence that is much larger than that which should be entitled to us within the EU according to our size," Bildt expanded in a post on his official blog, adding that Sweden only accounts for 2 percent of the EU's population.

Bildt went on to praise the "talented and engaged" civil servants within the foreign ministry, adding that Sweden must continue to work hard to maintain its influence.

Story continues below…

"Continuing to be the driving and constructive force that we strive to be in an increasingly demanding foreign policy environment is going to require intensified efforts in the coming year," he wrote.

The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Related links:

Your comments about this article

15:23 January 31, 2013 by Rishonim
Yeah yeah yeah, we know Sweden is the best in everything. They are the best in cancer treatment, they are a the best at exporting arms, they are the best in cheating, they are leading the EU as the nation with the most one night stand, they are the best at excluding people with non Swedish sounding names from the job markets, they are the best at hypocrisy, etc etc!
15:51 January 31, 2013 by Iraniboy
I think Sweden can offer the best concept of leadership among other countries! Sustainable survival along with spreading the moral standards. Of course these two can sometimes go against each other, that's why it may look hypocritical at some points but at least better then alternative solutions practiced by other countries which is usually the supporting moral values as long as they gives us money/power!!!
12:21 February 1, 2013 by EP
Well said Rishonim, couldn't say it myself.

Never been to a country so in love with itself as Sweden and with so many naive people. Truth is, it's a small and insignificant country really on the world stage, but somehow they just don't get it ...
03:37 February 8, 2013 by Marc the Texan
Swedish civil servants are more inclined than most to build up bureaucratic infrastructure and spend other people's money. Of course that sort of mindset is going to be well received amongst EU bureaucrats.
Today's headlines
Record number of drowning deaths in Sweden this year
Linus Magnusson och Ester Meijer, life guards at Skanör beach in southern Sweden last year. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

More people have drowned in Sweden so far this year than in any other year this century. The good weather is getting the blame.

Presented by American Express
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
File photo: Pixabay

Getting ready to jet off on summer holidays? Be sure to check out these tips and tricks for avoiding unnecessary headaches between packing and relaxing.

Pupils' school photo Nazi salute 'wasn't criminal'
The harbour in Simrishamn, close to where the incident took place. Photo: Jorchr/Wikimedia Commons

Four high school students who performed a Nazi salute in a school photo have had their convictions for inciting racial hatred quashed by an appeal court.

Opinion
'We don't know how Brexit will affect our time in Sweden'
Sweden-based Brit Sarah Campbell, left. Photo: Private & AP Photo/Tim Ireland

One month after the Brexit referendum Sarah Campbell, a British reader based in Uppsala, pens a love letter to her European Union.

Royal husband: 'Britain should not leave the EU'
Sweden's Princess Madeleine and her British-American husband Chris O'Neill. Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

What does this British-American husband of a Swedish princess think of Brexit and Hillary Clinton?

This Swede is the world's best mosquito catcher
Kristoffer Ekersund. Photo: Private & Johan Nilsson/TT

Yes, there is such a thing as the world championship in mosquito killing.

Which of these two Swedes is Vincent van Gogh's lost twin?
Ivar Arpi, a self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh and Petter Samuelson. Photo: Tomlin Studio & Private

Question: What is even more bizarre than a Swede who really, really looks like Vincent van Gogh? Answer: TWO Swedes who look like Vincent van Gogh.

Date set for verdict in asylum home murder trial in Sweden
The accused in court with a member of his legal team. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The trial of a man accused of killing a worker at a home for young refugees earlier this year has ended.

High security as Orlando top of mind at Stockholm Pride
This man might not actually be a police officer. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Nothing is being left to chance, organizers insist.

Fired Ericsson boss to get millions in payouts
Hans Vestberg of Ericsson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has fired its long-standing CEO Hans Vestberg, but said he will receive a severance package amounting to millions of kronor.

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
National
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Blog updates

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,347
jobs available