Wallström slams party over EU

European Commissioner and leading Social Democrat Margot Wallström has slammed Göran Persson's government for its "timid" approach to the EU, while indicating that the current government had a more positive approach.

Wallström, previously a minister in Persson’s government, said that the agreement between the Social Democrats and the Greens and the Left Party, on whose parliamentary support Persson relied, led to cautious EU policies.

“The supporting parties were largely critical of the EU and wanted to leave the EU. This naturally spreads a mood of timidity in the [Social Democratic] party itself,” she said in an interview with Sveriges Radio.

The current centre-right Alliance government, which defeated Persson in September’s election, had a different approach to European cooperation to previous governments.

“It is clear that this is a coalition of parties which all have a very positive attitude to the EU partnership. This is shown most clearly by the fact that ministers and the parties have a greater open interest in EU questions and in keeping in touch with us,” she said.

Wallström has been appointed by new Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin to develop the party’s foreign policy, a job she is to carry out together with Jan Eliasson, the former foreign minister.