Swedes ‘uninterested in relations with America’

A mere ten per cent of Swedes consider it important to nurture a long-term relationship with the United States, according to a survey carried out by the Nordic Council. This makes Sweden the most sceptical of the Nordic countries when it comes to transatlantic relations, Dagens Nyheter reports.

Danes place a higher value on cooperation with the US than any of their Nordic neighbours: 44 per cent view the American connection as particularly significant. This can be compared with 36 per cent in Norway, 23 per cent in Iceland, 17 per cent in Finland and, at the bottom of the pile, 10 per cent in Sweden.

“That’s scary,” Berit Salheim, Managing Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Sweden told The Local. “I wouldn’t have expected that at all.”

But America is not alone. Swedes are similarly uninterested in keeping in with China and Russia (10 and 7 per cent respectively).

Perhaps even more surprisingly, only 43 per cent of the 500 Swedish citizens interviewed for the survey considered it important to work towards long-term cooperation with other EU countries. Here too Danes were most enthusiastic, with a full 80 per cent in favour.

“I am surprised by the results of the study since Swedes have always had an international interest and involvement,” said Sinikka Bohlin, head of the Swedish delegation to the Nordic Council. “It is however very pleasing that Nordic cooperation is highly valued.”

Even in the Nordic sphere, however, Swedes adopt quite an insular approach. Only half of those surveyed see the point of Nordic cooperation, compared to 74 per cent of Danes.

See also: the US Ambassador gives The Local his view of relations between Sweden and the US