Theresa May signing the letter invoking Article 50 (left) and the Swedish and European Union flags (right). Photo: Christopher Furlong/AP & Fredrik Sandberg/TT After British PM Theresa May triggered Article 50 to officially begin the process of the UK leaving the European Union, Tomas Spragg Nilsson explains why he feels betrayed as a Brit living in Sweden. I talk, write and rant about the politics of Brexit often enough. But today – the day the process begins to feel much more real – I've been reflecting on the situation Brexit personally puts me in. I feel betrayed. I left the UK a number of years ago to live in Belgium and since then I have moved to Sweden. In the time I've been outside of the UK, I've been the archetypal exerciser of freedom of movement. I've travelled, worked, studied and yes, even claimed benefits in countries I wasn't born in. I feel betrayed because I led this life, safe in the knowledge that the EU would afford me the rights to do so as … [Read more...] about OPINION: I feel betrayed by the UK over Article 50. Will Sweden offer hope?
The new US President Donald Trump is expected to make human rights less of a priority. This situation requires the EU to advance its position as a global human rights defender, and Sweden must work for that to become reality. With Sweden on the UN Security Council, it's an excellent opportunity for the government to show that it is serious about human rights being a security issue. Trump has both during his campaign and in the months after the election made a number of statements which suggest that the US will protect human rights to a lesser degree than before. These signals are a cause for concern for human rights defenders and for our colleagues who are fighting against governments who systematically violate civil and political rights. Forces hostile to human rights across the world are rubbing their hands together. A relevant example is a statement from Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of Hungary's ruling Fidesz party, regarding organizations which receive support from the … [Read more...] about Opinion: With Trump US president, Sweden must stand up for human rights
Following Brexit, Poland and Hungary's democratic backsliding, Russia's annexation of Crimea, the increased popularity of Marine Le Pen and other right-wing parties in Europe, the forecast for democracies in Europe looked rather bleak. Last year, even in Germany, few would have thought that Angela Merkel would stand a chance to win the German elections for the fourth consecutive term. In the aftermath of the economic crisis and in the midst of the refugee crisis in Europe, her principled positions, especially on migration issues had won her many admirers but also many harsh critics, who believed that Germans had had enough of “Mutti Merkel”. The election could have been a pivotal moment in German politics and European leadership, but it turned into a predictable race with a clear winner. However, Angela Merkel's victory is not absolute. She starts her fourth term with diminished authority, following the gains made by the rightwing nationalist party Alternative for … [Read more...] about OPINION: Angela Merkel’s principled approach to migration is good for democracy
PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt ahead of a Sunday night debate against Lars Løkke Rasmussen. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix UPDATED: Denmark's coalition government and its political allies on Monday led an opinion poll for the just the second time since November 2013, giving it a narrow lead over the opposition weeks before the June 18 vote. If elections were held today, the centre-left bloc backing Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt's coalition would win 50.5 percent of the vote compared with 49.1 percent for the right-wing opposition, according to pollster Voxmeter. The survey marks a turnaround for the ruling bloc, which only last week was trailing the opposition with 45.6 percent of voter sympathies compared with 54.3 percent for the right-wing parties. A second poll released on Monday however still showed the opposition ahead. Polling company Megafon gave Thorning-Schmidt's group 48.6 percent compared with 51.4 percent for the opposition. Megafon last put the ruling bloc … [Read more...] about PM’s bloc tops opinion poll ahead of June vote
Donald Trump won seven states on Super Tuesday. Photo: Philip Sears/Scanpix Denmark residents waking up on Wednesday could be forgiven for thinking that their nation had become the 51st US state overnight given the wall-to-wall coverage of the Super Tuesday results. One of the many Danes to weigh in on the results was Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen, who painted Tuesday’s big winner on the Republican side, brash businessman Donald Trump, as a unpredictable wild card who could be difficult to work with should be become president. “Trump is really like pulling a raffle ticket – and we’d pull a new one every morning. It would be an amazing roller coaster ride if Trump wins,” Jensen told broadcaster DR. In his analysis of the Super Tuesday results, in which Trump won seven of 11 states, Jensen said that if Trump is sworn in as the 45th president, it would definitely impact the two nations’ relationship. “It would have a … [Read more...] about Danish FM: Trump changes opinions like underwear