Christofer Fjellner: A friend of free trade

Christofer Fjellner: A friend of free trade
“I believe I am the fair voice for free trade in EU Parliament, and that’s more important now than ever,” says Christofer Fjellner, whose main focus in campaigning for the EU Parliament elections has been the free trade debate.

“We need trade and open borders,” says the Moderate Party politician. “We should try to take down some of the barriers we have in place instead of trying to create new ones.”

Fjellner says Sweden has gained prosperity from trading in the past, and the importance of EU member countries to work together on this issue – and all others – is of paramount importance.

“I think it’s a feeling of belonging together, the fact that we share so much of the same destinies,” Fjellner says, with regard to being an EU member. “History shows that what happens in one part of Europe sooner or later has consequences for the rest of Europe. So we must work together and realize that we belong together.”

He says his interest in politics began when he was in high school and the Swedish government was first contemplating joining the union. He started participating in campaigns to support the union, and felt “ashamed” by the country’s large disinterest in joining.

“I’ve always been one of those people that likes to debate and argue,” Fjellner says. He pursued political science and public finance at the university level (he studied at universities in Uppsala and Lund) and was president of both the Moderate party’s youth wing (Moderata Ungdomsförbundet) and the Nordic Young Conservatives (Nordisk Ungkonservativ Union) from 2002 to 2004. Fjellner was also an executive board member of the Moderate Party from 2000 to 2004.

Currently Sweden’s youngest member of the European Parliament, Fjellner says if re-elected he hopes to open borders to new forms of trade across Europe.

“I’m worried about the financial crisis in that more and more countries are trying to close their borders,” Fjellner explains. “The Czech Republic and Slovakia want to close factories. Seventeen of the G-20 countries have put in place 47 new barriers on trade, which I am deeply concerned about.”

But he has also included the environment in his platform, and says new policies are necessary in this area so business can be approached an eco-friendly manner.

“The reason I think the EU Parliament is important is what I’ve discovered by being there,” he says. “We have all the ideas in Europe put together under one roof, from the best to the worst. The EU parliament effects everyday life in Sweden. It’s important to protect that.”

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