Sweden's ruling Social Democrats set Nato deadline

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Sweden's ruling Social Democrats set Nato deadline
Annika Strandhäll, chair of the Social Democratic Women in Sweden, arrives at the party meeting at the Swedish parliament on Friday. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Sweden's ruling party aims to end its internal discussion over Nato membership on May 12th, after which the party's ruling committee will take a final decision, the party announced after holding a "marathon meeting" in the Swedish parliament.


"The discussion will be completed on May 12th, and after that we will begin the decision process," Tobias Baudin, the party's Secretary General, said at a press conference. 

"The discussions have been good and constructive," he said of the discussions of the security situation. "We have also discussed the process we have ahead of us in the Social Democratic party". 


The meeting, in the parliament's second chamber, involved the party's main committee, its action committee, and all of the party's MPs. 

As well as security policy, the meeting, which was planned before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, also discussed the party's annual reports and other internal business. 

The discussion process launched in the Social Democrats is widely seen as intended to build broad support within the party for a coming decision to back Nato membership, overturning the non-aligned security policy which has been at the centre of Social Democrat foreign politics since the 1930s. 

At the last party congress, the party's members voted to keep its historic policy of staying outside Nato. But Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, now wants to reassess this on the basis of the "changed security policy situation". 

Annika Strandhäll, chair of S-kvinnor, the party's women's organisation, which has long been heavily focused on disarmament and peace activism, said that her organisation was running a parallel dialogue process. 


"We also have a discussion process where members will have the opportunity to be involved in the discussion," she said. "Which decision the party ends up taking will be taken at a meeting of the party committee which is planned for the end of May." 


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