Sweden equals Germany in EU foreign policy sway
Published: 30 Jan 2014 17:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2014 17:15 GMT+01:00
Sweden came out third in Europe in a new ranking of EU member states' foreign policy influence, including foreign aid, human rights, and free trade with the US.
- Bildt set for Iran trip in bid to beef up nuke deal (29 Jan 14)
- Twiplomat Bildt: 'Social media a tool for peace' (17 Jan 14)
- Cold War treaty confirms Sweden was not neutral (09 Dec 13)
"Sweden was once again a 'leader' on a wide range of issues – aid contributions, efforts on human rights issues in Russia and Ukraine, relations with Russia on the Syria conflict, and TTIP," stated a Thursday summary published in conjunction with the latest European Foreign Policy Scorecard.
The report, put together by the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR), looked at how European countries and EU institutions act in regards to key foreign policy areas.
While Sweden kept a low profile vis-à-vis China, the scorecard said it was top dog in Russian affairs. It marked Sweden as one of the leaders in helping the European Commission resist Russian pressure on eastern European nations. Sweden also had a strong voice when it came to the rule of law, human rights, and free press in Russia. Expanding even further, the scorecard noted that Sweden had put pressure on Russia to help resolve the Syrian civil war.
"This year, Swedes was ranked in shared third place with Germany," the Swedish government said in a statement. "Only France and the UK are placed ahead (of Sweden)."
"We are considered to be at the same level as the three biggest member states," Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said. "The government works with purpose and effort to make EU foreign policy reflect Swedish values. The ranking shows that this work has paid off, and that Swedish diplomats' efforts make a difference."