Sören Wibe: The economics of a eurosceptic

Sören Wibe: The economics of a eurosceptic
As a university economics professor, Sören Wibe may not seem like a likely candidate running in the EU Parliament elections.

But his knowledge of finances and passion for politics are the basis of his platform, and have boosted his candidate ranking to number one within the June List, the upstart party that shocked the establishment with a 14 percent showing at the last European Parliament elections in 2004.

“I hope to work in the budget control committee because I believe that as an economist, I can do something concrete and specific there,” says Wibe.

“There are considerable wastes of taxpayers’ money within the EU, within committees and projects that are not very efficient. To fight against fraud and waste within the EU is what I hope to accomplish.”

Wibe first began his career in politics over 50 years ago when he became a member of the Social Democrat Party’s youth club. Since then, he has switched party affiliation, and worked for the June List and its Afghanistan, Vietnam and Palestine committees. Wibe has also served one term in the EU Parliament and one in the Swedish national parliament.

“I am what you’d call a ‘eurosceptic,’” Wibe explains. “I am not particularly engaged in parliament per se, but EU questions as a whole. I am strongly against the transfer of power from the national level to the EU level.”

Wibe says he feels the EU should allow people from member countries to move, study and work in other EU countries, based on the Nordic model between Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. However, he does not see the benefits of the EU acting within political realms. For example, Denmark does not write laws for Sweden, and vice-versa.

“I think we are heading for a United States of Europe, like a copy of the USA but in Europe,” he says. “I strongly believe in institutional competition. Countries should be able to choose their own political direction, and other countries can follow and copy the solution they see as best. The EU means one solution for all.”

The result, he says, will stop competition between countries and systems from existing. He says this competition has been the norm until the creation of the EU, and has been a major factor in the “greatness of the European continent.”

Wibe says his greatest accomplishment as a politician was his campaign win in the euro referendum of 2003, when Swedes voted against the introduction of the common currency.

“People should vote,” he says. “Get interested in these questions and issues, because they are important in the long term development of our country.”

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