Nordic disunion

A map of northern Europe, showing the various NATO, EU, eurozone and Nordic Council members
The Nordic countries take different approaches to regional cooperation and European integration, which sometimes causes significant tensions (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Cooperation between Scandinavian countries is limited
  • Sweden’s approach to the migrant crisis has deepened divisions
  • This has led to a focus on security issues
  • Crucial European Union matters have taken a back seat

As the mandate for “more Europe” wears thin in the continent’s south and east, a key question for the European Commission is whether it can still count on support from countries in the Nordic region. At first glance, these would seem the ideal supporters – strong, technologically advanced economies with stable, healthy democracies free of corruption and governments always ready to shoulder international commitments.

But if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. For all their outward similarities, the Nordic countries are in many ways very different. The migration crisis has put these differences on full display in political conflicts that undermine the region’s cohesion and relations with Brussels.

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