EU critic to run for European Parliament

Social Democratic Party Secretary and EU-critic Marita Ulvskog on Tuesday announced her plans to run for a spot in the European Parliament in the upcoming 2009 elections.

EU critic to run for European Parliament

“I very much want to be a part of helping us do better in next year’s election than we did in 2004,” said Ulvskog to the TT news agency.

She said she began thinking about running after she failed in her attempt to convince party colleague and former trade minister Leif Pagrotsky to run.

Over the summer she spoke with Party Leader Mona Sahlin and deliberated about the deicion with her family.

The EU-issue caused Ulvskog to break with her party colleagues earlier in her career. In 1990 she left her position in the Prime Minister’s Office to become the editor-in-chief of the Dala-Demokraten newspaper.

While at the paper she helped create an anti-EU faction within the Social Democrats.

“I have a critical stance toward the EU. But now we’ve been members for 15 years and as members we have to do more so that the EU does the right things,” said Ulvskog.

Ulvskog hopes to help her party by reaching out to the country’s couch-potatoes and encourage them to vote by making it clear that what goes on in the EU also plays an important role in Swedish domestic politics.

Ulvskog has been the Social Democrats’ party secretary since 2004 and also served as public administration minister and culture minister in previous Social Democratic governments.

Her decision to run for the EU parliament means that Ulvskog will have to leave her post as party secretary.