Open doors

Greens in Sweden and Eurosceptics in Denmark threaten incumbent governments


The two shores of the of Øresund Strait have never been so far apart: the results of the European elections have left in common between Sweden and Denmark only the disappointment of respective government parties, Fredrik Reinfeldt’s Moderates (center-right) in Sweden and Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrats in Denmark.



In Stockholm, the surprise came from the Feminist Initiative, whose five percent has brought Soraya Post in the European Parliament with the slogan “Out the racists, with feminists.” The Feministiskt Initiativ said that feminism is an attitude that applies to all efforts to tackle discrimination and the party does not agree with images of the EU and Sweden as unaffected models of gender equality.

The Greens too have done well and have become the second largest party, exceeding fifteen per cent of the vote and electing four MEPs: the fight against climate change and against mass surveillance – as well as younger candidates like Max Andersson that took away votes from Piratpartiet – has brought luck to Miljöpartiet de Gröna.  Sweden is represented by twenty MEPs.

Stefan Löfven, party leader and manufacturing unionist, has brought the Social Democrats in the first place. Already the dominant party in Sweden until the nineties, Socialdemokraterna got twenty-four percent and sent five representatives to EU veering to the left and defending foreigner’s rights under the same working conditions of Swedes.

The Moderates, in power since 2006 along with Liberals, Centre and Christian Democrats, lost an European seat, dropping to three and weakening so the proponents of financial discipline. The Moderaterna have supported greater economic liberalism, but in Sweden voices in favor of the return to State monopolies are multiplying. The Liberals (Folkpartiet) have fallen to ten per cent, losing a seat and then dropping to two.

The Centre (Centerpartiet) competed with the Greens on environmental issues, ensuring again a seat with five per cent, as well as the Christian Democrats, who have carved out their role in the field of social affairs. The far-right party Sverigedemokraterna was not successful, it brought only two elected representatives at the European Parliament, with less than ten per cent of the vote: at the European level, Nigel Farage’s Ukip refuses to cooperate with them, while on June 4th Dansk Folkeparti joined Conservatives and Reformists group, leaving Sverigedemokraterna completely isolated. Vänsterpartiet (Left) came to six percent (one seat) defending welfare and opposing the now very strong european trend towards privatization.

European elections’ results in Denmark were very different: the Danish People’s Party (right) has been more successful than Sverigedemokraterna, the Danish Dansk Folkeparti is more moderate, since Pia Merete Kjærsgaard launched the party in 1995, gaining ground thanks to previously little debated issues such as the taxation. The populist group has reached twenty-five per cent of the vote and four of the thirteen seats allocated to Denmark. The bad news for the incumbent government in Copenhagen have been addressed to the Social Democrats, down from four to three MEPs, although in terms of votes the Socialdemokraterne have only lost a couple of percentage points, thus remaining at around twenty.

Venstre (Liberal center-right, in opposition to the Social Democratic goverment) has suffered the largest decline, indicating a failure of Danish traditional conservative parties because of the growing right-wing anti-tax parties: Venstre, now limited to seventeen percent and to two representatives, did only sometime accept support from Dansk Folkeparti during Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s and Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s governments from 2001 to 2011.

Overall, parties representing center-left’s government have not been much weakened, the Social Liberal party, Det Radikale Venstre, rose from four to six and a half percent (a MEP) the Socialist Party (Left) instead has lost one seat: at the beginning of the year Socialistisk Venstreparti left the majority because of disagreements over privatization in the energy sector and SV has now had eleven percent and a MEP.

The Conservative Party, a party that often collaborated with the Center-Left as well as with Liberals, has stood with nine percent and a seat. In Denmark another Eurosceptic blow came however from far left, with the eight per cent of votes that confirmed a seat for the “People’s Movement against the EU”.