Sweden's PM wants to apply to join Nato at end of June: report

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Sweden's PM wants to apply to join Nato at end of June: report
A meeting of the Social Democrats' leading committee will be held at the party's headquarters in Stockholm, which is pictured above with Ukrainian colours projected onto it. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister has already decided to join Nato, with her government planning to submit Sweden's application at the Madrid summit of the security alliance at the end of June, the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper has reported.


The newspaper made the claim in a column by its political commentator, on the day that Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson is due to meet her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Stockholm to discuss the publication of Finland's new report on the security situation. 

At the same time, the Aftonbladet newspaper reported that the Social Democrats have called a special meeting of the party's ruling committee for May 24th, where it could decide to back Nato membership. 

The meeting, the newspaper claims, will be the culmination of a six-week internal party dialogue punctuated by three national meetings on security politics, and a meeting in Stockholm on May 23rd of all 26 district chairs. 

It is scheduled to last for five hours and will take place at the party headquarters in Stockholm. 

"The issue has to be treated with the respect it demands. There are still a lot of people who have been formed around the position taken by Olof Palme," said a source the newspaper claimed was "centrally placed" within the party.


"It remains to be seen whether a decision [on Nato] will be taken [at the meeeting], but it's clear that a lot will be hanging on it," a "centrally placed" source said. 

The party on Monday launched an "internal party dialogue" on Sweden's security situation, writing in a press release that the aim was to have a “proper discussion” on Sweden’s security and encourage party members to “increase their knowledge” on the issues. 

Sweden's non-aligned status, which saw it avoid joining international military alliances during the First World War, the Second World War, and the Cold War, has been a core part of Social Democrat politics. It arguably reached its high point under Prime Minister Olof Palme, who was a vocal critic of both US and Soviet foreign policy. 

In the press release announcing the party dialogue, the party said that while members would be encouraged to make their say, the final decision would be up to the party's ruling committee. 

“If during the process a need emerges to change course in security policy, it will be up to the party’s board… to make such a decision,” the party said. 


According to Aftonbladet, it has not yet been decided if the three planned national meetings will be held digitally or physically. 

The source said that the reassessment of Sweden's security situation currently being carried out by the 'security policy analysis group', could be completed ahead of its May 31st deadline, allowing its conclusions to inform any decisions taken at the May 24th meeting.

The Sweden Democrats on Monday called a similar special meeting of its party committee, in which it gave party leader Jimmie Åkesson a mandate to push for Nato membership. 

This means there is now a majority within the Swedish parliament in favour of joining the security organisation.

However, the Social Democrats argue that a decision to join should require a 75 percent qualified majority, giving the party the power to block the parliament. 



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