• Sweden's news in English
 

'Sweden Democrats Ukip deal eases pariah status'

Published: 20 Jun 2014 11:23 GMT+02:00

"For SD it is another step in the process of institutionalizing themselves and becoming a member of an established EU-critical group," Ann-Cathrine Jungar, political scientist at Stockholm's Södertörn University, told The Local.
 
"From their point of view, it's a further step in that process, and also in gaining credibility and being accepted. When you're a member of a group there is more likelihood of having a voice and having influence."
 
Nigel Farage, the president of the EFD and whose party claimed the largest number of seats in the UK, had previously described working with the Sweden Democrats as "highly unlikely".
 
Jungar, who specializes in radical right parties in Europe, explained that the apparent u-turn was made possible in part by overtures from the Sweden Democrats and in part out of the necessity of EU politics.
 
"Farage was in a situation where he needed new members. There were enough seats but he needed representatives from seven member nations. The threshold was lower." she said.
 
"Farage had originally criticized the Sweden Democrats for being 'too extreme', but I believe it was more aimed towards the youth group which had united with the National Front."
 
The Sweden Democrats youth wing, which has regularly been at odds with the mother party in recent years, announced two weeks ago that it had left the group which brought together far-right parties from across Europe, including the French National Front.
 
Jungar explained the decision as a deliberate ploy by the Sweden Democrats to remove the basis for Farage's criticism. She pointed out that the Sweden Democrats have also undergone a long process of ideological and organizational transformation.
 
"Jimmie Åkesson formulated the zero-tolerance approach a few years ago. Since then, they've been efficient in excluding party members who are too extreme. Their aim is to remove the pariah status they currently have. It's a long-term strategy that requires both pragmatism and compromise - and it's likely that this will continue to cause internal tension," she said.
 
"They've also got more public funding, meaning they have more money for communications and election campaigning."
 
Farage was forced on the defensive after the announcement to admit the Sweden Democrats, rejecting accusations of breaking his word by pointing out that the two Sweden Democrat MEPs, Kristina Winberg and Peter Lundgren, had written him a letter distancing themselves from their party's past, according to a report in the UK Guardian.
 
"They are a party that has changed dramatically over time. They have acknowledged their mistakes. We have met the two MEPs, they seem two very decent working-class people...They are Swedish patriots who want the best for their country," an EFD source told the newspaper.
 
While the Sweden Democrats welcomed the news that they had been accepted into the EFD group, it also signalled a recognition that they have been thwarted in their ambitions to form a European partnership with the Danish People's Party and the True Finns.
 
The party had long seen their Nordic neighbours as desirable partners, and had even applied to join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), led by the British Conservative Party. The Danish People's Party and the True Finns have meanwhile since been admitted into the ECR group.
 
Ann-Cathrine Jungar explained however that the Sweden Democrats' goals remain under development and that as with all political movements their ultimate aim is to manoeuvre themselves into a position where they can actually have an impact on power.
 
"Their ultimate goal in Sweden, of course, is to become a legitimate party that others will cooperate with so that they can have direct influence, rather than the indirect influence they have today," she said.
 
The Ukip-led group now has 48 MEPs from seven EU states. Ukip, with 24 MEPs, is the largest party followed by Italian ex-comic Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement with 17 MEPs.

The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish study explains coffee cancer link
Cutting cancer, one cup at a time. Photo: TT

Swedish study explains coffee cancer link

Swedish researchers have explained why drinking coffee is thought to lower the risk of contracting breast and other cancers. READ  

Zlatan's French rant ban reduced to three matches
Sweden's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Zlatan's French rant ban reduced to three matches

Controversial Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic's ban for his foul-mouthed rant at a referee in which he blasted France as a “shit country” has been reduced from four matches to three, French newspaper Le Parisien reported on Friday. READ  

Syria: ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders Scandinavian
President Assad. Photo: TT

Syria: ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders Scandinavian

President Bashar al-Assad has thanked Sweden for taking in record numbers of refugees during the war, but warned about a growing danger from ‘Scandinavian’ Islamist extremists in his country. READ  

New Swedes picked for airport Hall of Fame
Fashion blogger Kenza Zouiten is one of the new faces. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

New Swedes picked for airport Hall of Fame

The new faces that are going to represent Sweden at the Stockholm Hall of Fame at Arlanda airport have been revealed. The gallery of famous Swedes is meant to reflect the country's contemporary icons, but this is its first update in almost nine years. READ  

Swedish Robocop star in Wikileaks email scandal
Joel Kinnaman, left, and his co-star Abblie Cornish in Robocop. Photo: AP Photo/Sony/Columbia Pictures/Kerry Hayes

Swedish Robocop star in Wikileaks email scandal

Sweden's hottest Hollywood star Joel Kinnaman is the latest name to emerge from a Wikileaks' publication of over 170,000 internal Sony Pictures emails stolen in a massive hacker attack last year, alongside one of the Pirate Bay founders and information about the fourth book in the famous Swedish Millennium series. READ  

Feminist leader to take sick leave for exhaustion
Sissela Nordling Blanco at Stockholm's City Hall. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Feminist leader to take sick leave for exhaustion

One of the leaders of the feminist party which came close to entering parliament in last year's Swedish election is set to take a break from politics following exhaustion symptoms, a spokesperson announced on Friday. But party figurehead Gudrun Schyman has told The Local that she will stay on. READ  

First 'city warehouse' in Scandinavia for Ikea
What the new store will look like. Photo: Ikea

First 'city warehouse' in Scandinavia for Ikea

Swedish furniture giant has announced plans to open its first 'city warehouse' in Scandinavia, with a massive new store set to be built in the centre of Copenhagen, as plans for a similar project in Stockholm remain in doubt. READ  

New defence deal agreed between Swedish parties
Swedish soldiers on a mission in Afghanistan. Photo: TT

New defence deal agreed between Swedish parties

UPDATED: Sweden's centre-left coalition government has agreed a new 10.2 billion kronor ($111.9 million) defence deal with three of the four parties that make up the opposition Alliance after days of debate. READ  

Sweden sees boom in computing specialists
Sweden has a growing computing industry. Photo: TT

Sweden sees boom in computing specialists

The number of computing experts in Sweden increased by 20 percent in just five years, according to a new report by a leading think tank. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish cardamom ice cream
Cardamom ice cream. Photo: John Duxbury

How to make Swedish cardamom ice cream

As Sweden edges closer to summer, how about learning how to make a cool dessert with one of Swedes' favourite spices? This creamy cardamom ice cream (kardemummaglass in Swedish) is easy to make and easy to scoop. John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe with The Local. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
"You may only do something once, but do it 100%"
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sexiness?
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
Blog updates

17 April

Editor’s blog, April 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, After several days of social media buzz about an upcoming announcement from Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus,..." READ »

 

15 April

Gång, timme, tid & dags (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! In this article I will talk about “gång”, “timmar”, “dags” and “tid”, because they all translate..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: April 15th
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hovås, Gothenburg
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
National
Swedish teenagers help rebuild Breivik massacre island
National
Would you live in a steel box?
National
How an act of kindness by one Syrian immigrant went viral
Gallery
People-watching: April 8th
National
Swedish bids for Billboard fame
National
Swedish monkeys denied Saudi visas
National
Sunny spring weather predicted
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
National
Half of Swedes want begging ban
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
National
Why are expats less likely to settle down with Swedes?
Sport
What does Sweden think of Zlatan's recent outburst?
Society
Get to grips with Sweden's most bizarre Easter traditions
Gallery
People-watching: April 1st
National
The Local's best April Fools' gags
National
US spy agency to feature in new 'Stieg Larsson' book sequel
National
Beaver bite at Swedish bus stop
Gallery
Property of the week: Åreda
National
How this Syrian travelled to Sweden
Was Swedish TV host too harsh on nationalist leader Åkesson?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Scandinavian airlines change cockpit rules after Germanwings crash
National
Sweden remembers Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer
Politics
Why petrol prices are going up
Gallery
People-watching: March 28th
Stieg Larsson's partner blasts Millennium trilogy sequel
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,347
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se